WASHINGTON—Following reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “misinterpreted” research on school reopenings, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is calling for answers from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
In a letter, Ernst and her colleagues demand a team “composed of public health experts to identify and address the source of this failure, align the guidance with science, and get our students back to school.” This team would be composed of experts both inside and outside of the CDC to address the agency’s failure and to provide information, based on consistent science, to safely reopen schools.
“It is clear that a team of experts is needed to evaluate the CDC’s guidance and address their clear conflicts with the science,” the senators wrote. “If schools across the country followed the Biden Administration’s unscientific CDC guidance to the letter, more than 90 percent of them would be forced to close. These recommendations are in flagrant opposition to the science, and yet, they support the [teachers’] unions’ goals.”
To read the full letter, click here.
Senator Ernst has been helping lead an effort to safely reopen schools across the country—urging other states to follow Iowa’s lead in safely getting kids back in the classroom. In light of scientific research showing low community transmission of COVID-19 in schools, especially among younger children, Ernst urged the CDC to follow the science and revise its guidelines to help schools reopen.
Last week, Senator Ernst supported an amendment to the Democrats’ partisan $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” package to ensure that school reopening dollars are going to support in-person learning. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked that effort.
Ernst also helped introduce the Put Students First Act of 2021, legislation which would prohibit federal funding to schools that do not provide an in-person learning option by April 30, 2021.