“Close the bars,” and open schools, Fauci says

WASHINGTON – The country’s most spectacular public health official has made a definite choice for communities across the country who have faced difficult choices about how to move forward safely during the most treacherous months of the coronavirus epidemic.

“If you have a choice between closing schools and closing bars, close the bars,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, told Yahoo News firmly on Monday morning.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, speaks at a press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on Thursday, November 19, 2020.  (Chris Kleponis / CNP / Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House press conference on November 19th. (Chris Kleponis / CNP / Bloomberg through Getty Images)

This guidance follows a few days after New York City, the nation’s largest school district, announced it will close shutters and return to fully remote education. The personal school continued earlier in the fall, although its partial resumption was widely hailed as a success.

New York schools closed despite a positive low sensitivity within the school population of 0.19 percent. Instead, they were given shutters because the city generally met the 3 percent positivity rate that Mayor Bill de Blasio said triggers an automatic closure.

The city’s positivity rate seems to be driven by people gathering in bars, restaurants and other public spaces. Over the weekend, for example, authorities closed a sex party in Queens.

Many other districts are moving in the same direction, potentially pulling kids back to Zoom for hours on end. This has led some people to wonder why schools are forced to bear the heavy burden of the epidemic when adults appear to be spreading the virus in adult spaces.

Evidence strongly indicates that schools are not a major source of viral infection, neither among children nor between children and adults. This is especially true for younger children, who tend to struggle best with online learning. The risk appears to increase with age, for reasons still not fully understood.

Fauci explained to Yahoo News that teachers are unwilling to teach in a “hot zone,” even if the schools themselves continue to remain islands from the airborne pathogen. “They’re worried – understandably – about coming to school in person as opposed to a virtual school.”

In cities like New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles, great teachers ’unions deeply tied to democratic leadership can encourage teachers to“ put their intentions in the words of Fauci, ”and simply say they won’t apply to teach in person. .

A woman goes away in front of the entrance to a public school in New York, USA on November 19, 2020.  (Wang Ying / Xinhua via Getty)
New York public school. (Wang Ying / Xinhua through Getty Images)

In July, nearly 20 percent of teachers told Education Week that “they won’t return to work if their district reopens school buildings”. Given the relative difficulty of recruiting, certifying, and training teachers, an informal teacher strike could cripple reopening plans. Teachers ’reluctance to return to personal education hampered Washington DC’s plans to bring some students back into the classroom.

Trade unions have insisted they want to return to personal education, but many leaders say it is not yet safe. “It can almost be suggested that there should be a school that doesn’t open, not based on the science of infected children,” Fauci said. “But teachers see them as in danger.”

One union in Fairfax County, Va., In a suburban area by the Potomac River in Washington DC, asked the school to stay virtual until August 2021. This call was considered by some to be too cautious.

President Trump first asked for the schools to reopen in July, but did not provide public educators with any funding they thought they should have safely reopened. His involvement only served to politicize the issue, many Democrats came to oppose, at least in part, the reopening of schools because any aspect of Trump’s response was considered toxic.

Fauci himself often criticized the president, who in turn said he would fire the renowned immunologist. The two men seemed to agree on this issue in the schools.

“To the best of my ability – try to keep the kids in school,” Fauci told Yahoo News.


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