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White House blocks CDC from testifying on reopening schools next week

Trump Administration Blocks CDC Director From Testifying To Congress On Reopening Schools

The Trump administration is rebuffing House Democrats’ effort to hear testimony from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield on safely reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) sent Redfield a letter last week asking him or a CDC designee to testify at a hearing on how K-12 public schools can reopen for in-person classroom instruction this fall.

But on Friday, Scott said his panel had been informed that the Trump administration would not allow CDC testimony at the hearing planned for next week.

“It is alarming that the Trump administration is preventing the CDC from appearing before the committee at a time when its expertise and guidance is so critical to the health and safety of students, parents, and educators. This lack of transparency does a great disservice to the many communities across the country facing difficult decisions about reopening schools this fall,” Scott said in a statement.

A senior administration official said that Redfield has already testified before Congress at least four times in the last few months.

CDC officials have delayed the release of new recommendations for sending children back to classrooms.

Earlier this week, Redfield stressed the wearing of masks as a key component to any strategy for reopening schools.

“Because to me, face coverings are the key. If you really look at it, the data is really clear — they work,” Redfield said.

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