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WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) joined 58 Members of Congress in a letter urging the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to withdraw its recently-issued school reopening guidance, which places 89 percent of schoolchildren in the most restrictive “red zone” category, and to issue a solution that will allow more children to safely return to the classroom as soon as possible. “Red zones,” as defined by the CDC, severely limit in-person attendance for elementary schools and all but prohibit in-person instruction for middle and high schools.
“Given the sheer number of schools that fall into the strategy’s ‘red zone,’ we believe this framework is misguided and wholly untenable,” the letter reads. “After all, while the strategy uses community spread rates as the basis for categorizing schools into the red zone, the CDC’s own studies reveal community spread is not an accurate barometer of in-school transmission of the virus.”
“As we approach the one-year mark of school closures in this country, it is worth revisiting the harm these closures have inflicted upon millions of American parents and their children,” the letter continues. “Your own studies found a 66% increase in mental health-related emergency room visits among school-age children in 2020 as compared to the same period prior to COVID-19. This is staggering. We remain concerned with how the long-term implications will play out among our nation’s youth.”
The letter concludes: “Given these devastating impacts and the CDC’s own literature, it seems apparent you did not rely upon the best available science and weigh all of the risk factors in the development of the most recent guidance for school reopenings. As such, we implore you to reconsider this guidance and devise a more workable solution that will allow students to safely return to the classroom as soon as possible.”
To read the full letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.
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