Tags: Coronavirus | AAP | schools | Trump

Pediatric Group Flips, Says School Reopenings Should Be Science-Based, Not Political

school social distancing
Summer school sessions with social distancing measures on July 9, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 10 July 2020 05:01 PM

A major medical group is distancing itself from the Trump administration on school reopenings — flipping a stance that had advocated sending kids back to school in the fall.

In a statement Friday, the American Academy of Pediatrics said the decision should be shaped by science — not politicians.

"Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff," the organization said. "Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools."

The AAP added that public health agencies "must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics" and said "schools in areas with high levels of COVID-19 community spread should not be compelled to reopen against the judgment of local experts.

"We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it," the AAP said.

President Donald Trump has been adamant about reopening schools across the country full time, suggesting Democrats want to keep them closed to hurt his shot at reelection.

He also threatened to cut off federal funding to schools — a power the executive branch does not have.

In late June, the AAP recommended kids go back to classes at brick-and-mortar schools, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised remote learning would be the safest option.

The APP didn’t explain a rationale for its pivot, but it did take a swipe at Trump funding threat.

“Withholding funding from schools that do not open in person fulltime would be a misguided approach, putting already financially strapped schools in an impossible position that would threaten the health of students and teacher,” the organization stated.

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A major medical group is distancing itself from the Trump administration on school reopenings...
AAP, schools, Trump
Friday, 10 July 2020 05:01 PM
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