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Chairman Scott Invites CDC Director to Testify After WH Pressures it to Change School Guidelines

07.09.20

In light of Trump administration’s call for schools to prematurely reopen, the Chairman requests the CDC Director’s testimony on how schools can resume operations safely

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) invitedCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, MD, or his designee, to testify before the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education on Thursday, July 23. Chairman Scott specifically asks Director Redfield to discuss the immediate needs of K-12 public schools as many districts examine the possibility of reopening in the fall.

The invitation follows the Trump administration’s forceful calls for schools to resume operations in the fall, in which the President dismissed the validity of CDC guidelines and threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that fail to reopen.

Yesterday, Chairman Scott denounced the Trump administration’s campaign for schools to reopen prematurely, noting that “reopening schools now, without more investment, presents serious risks to the health and safety of our students and educators.”

The Chairman also noted that just last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its first report examining the state of school infrastructure since 1996. In the report, the government watchdog concludes that over half of school districts need to repair or completely replace ventilation systems. This is particularly concerning given CDC guidance explicitly stating schools must have adequate ventilation to reopen. 

Moreover, it is important to hear from the CDC at this time because the administration has asked the CDC to issue ‘less restrictive’ guidelines for schools, prioritizing politics over the health and safety of children. This move is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous.

The hearing, “Underfunded & Unprepared: Examining How to Overcome Obstacles to Safely Reopen Public Schools,” will be held Thursday, July 23 at 10:15 a.m. and can be viewed here.  

To read the invitation to Director Redfield, click here

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