- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday said he would “absolutely” be comfortable with his school-aged grandkids returning to classrooms in the fall.

He said there might be some reservations with a grandson who has cystic fibrosis.

“But my other 10 grandchildren — of those, eight of them are school age — I’m a hundred percent that they can get back to school,” Dr. Redfield said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

He said it’s important to get schools to reopen, which President Trump has been pushing for strongly in recent weeks.

“I think there really are a number of negative public health consequences that have happened to our K-12 [students] by having these schools close,” Dr. Redfield said.

He said face masks and social distancing in classrooms will be important to try to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. Redfield said that “probably the most powerful tool” to combat the virus is “a simple face mask.”

“If all Americans would embrace that as part of their personal responsibility to confront this outbreak, we could actually have a very significant impact on the outbreak that we’re seeing across the country in the next 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks,” he said. “So that’s the first thing I would encourage.”

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday said he wouldn’t hesitate to have his kids return to school in the fall. Mr. Pence’s children are now adults.

On July 8, Mr. Pence said the CDC was planning to put out new guidance the following week on how to safely reopen schools after President Trump had criticized the current guidelines as too cumbersome.

A day later, Dr. Redfield said they weren’t revising the guidelines, but rather would be putting out additional “reference documents” for schools.

Those documents have yet to be publicly released.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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