As CCP virus cases continue to spike, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci cast doubt on President Joe Biden’s goal to reopen schools within 100 days, saying, it “may not happen” because of mitigating circumstances.
American Federation of Teachers’ President Randi Weingarten and National Education Association’s President Becky Pringle held a virtual question and answer session on Thursday with Dr. Fauci to address the reopening of schools.
“The President is taking very seriously the issue, both from the student standpoint, and from the teachers’ standpoint, and he really wants to and believes that the schools need to reopen in the next 100 days, essentially all the K- 8 schools, within 100 days, that’s the goal. That may not happen,” Fauci said during a virtual event sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers.
On Friday, Biden made another push for Congress to pass a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus relief package so schools can get funding to open as soon as possible.
“The notion here is we have to act now. There’s no time for any delay. … It could take a year longer to return to full employment if we don’t act and don’t act now. We could see an entire cohort of kids with a lower lifetime earnings because they’re deprived of another semester,” Biden told reporters on Friday.
In order to meet his 100-day goal, Biden is urging lawmakers to approve $170 billion for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to enable buildings to be in compliance with CDC health guidelines, in most cases for in-person learning. Congress authorized $82 billion in funding for schools in December.
The new aid to schools is attached to a larger $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that would also include expanding unemployment benefits and direct stimulus checks.
Fauci also told the teachers that the president “wants to do everything within his power to help get to that, and you know about the rescue plan, because the American rescue plan is something that hopefully will provide the resources for masking, for better ventilation, for whatever resources the schools might need to protect the students and the teachers. In addition, to get teachers vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can.”
Since taking office last week, Biden has signed several executive actions to support the reopening of schools. In one executive order, Biden directs the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to layout reopening guidelines to schools to include cleaning, masking, and testing. In a separate executive action, the government offers reimbursement to schools for the procurement of personal protective equipment through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund.
Weingarten praised Biden’s first executive order supporting the reopening of schools, saying, “This executive order will produce guidance that embeds and disseminates best practices—based on the science—for safe and effective in-person, remote and hybrid learning. It will source emergency supplies, such as personal protective equipment for schools and childcare providers.”