The coronavirus pandemic has forced most parts of the world to go into lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly disease. This has paused most of the world’s work including the education of children.
According to a UNICEF report at least 1.725 billion learners are affected due to school closures. While many nations have no action plan on resuming classroom learning, the United States especially President Trump is pushing to reopen schools.
The White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday stressed that schools reopening this fall shouldn’t be based on science surrounding the coronavirus pandemic
McEnany said: “The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open. And when he says open, he means open in full, kids been able to attend each and every day at their school.
“The science should not stand in the way of this,” she added, saying it is “perfectly safe” to fully reopen all classrooms.
You can’t make this up.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany just said that “the science should not stand in the way” of reopening schools.pic.twitter.com/G8jajTPTbA
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 16, 2020
McEnany then claimed “science is on our side,” citing one study that said the risk of critical illness is less than the seasonal flu in children. She also quoted former Stanford Neuroradiology Chief Dr. Scott Atlas, who has appeared on Fox News to call the debate around reopening schools “hysteria.”
“We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools,” she continued.
The Trump administration has been pushing to reopen schools under the premise that children under the age of 18 “are at very low risk” if they catch the virus.
Some experts have expressed concerns about returning to classrooms because of the risk students could carry the virus home to older relatives. Education professionals have also expressed worry they may be in harms way.
The virus has infected 13,996,881 people so far globally, while 5,93,776 people have succumbed to the infection. Several countries are easing restrictions even as the pandemic situation continues to worsen.
The World Health Organisation has also rung the alarm bells saying the situation is likely to worsen as countries are headed in a “wrong direction”.