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Everybody seems to agree that we need to get kids back in school: And yet, here we are

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President Trump wants kids back in school in the fall. Joe Biden wants kids back in school in the fall. There’s a presidential election in the fall.

You can see where things get complicated.

“We hope that most schools are going to be open. We don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it’s going to be good for them politically so they keep the schools closed. No way.”

This was Trump at a White House event on Tuesday, launching the usual flood of tweets to the tune of “Orange Man Bad!” from critics, the general thrust of the pithy missives being, Trump wants to kill our kids.

Even though Biden’s COVID-19 response calls school reopenings “perhaps the single most important step to get parents back to work.”

Biden, you have to think, doesn’t want to kill your kids.

And then Congressional Democrats are calling for billions of dollars to go toward developing reopening plans, which means now, checking the scoreboard, you have the Orange Man, Biden, congressional Democrats, all on the school reopening team.

And then you can add in the CDC, which did throw something of a monkey wrench into the momentum toward reopening when it issued recommendations that include keeping children at least six feet apart “if feasible.”

Those recommendations are being used by administrators across the country to lay out reopening plans based on a hybrid of in-person and remote learning.

But the CDC itself is back-tracking on the recommendations, with CDC Director Robert Redfield saying Tuesday that “(n)othing would cause (him) greater sadness than to see any school district or school use our guidance as a reason not to reopen.”

So, Trump, Biden, congressional Democrats, the CDC, all on Team Back to School.

Also good to throw in here the guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which cites evidence suggesting that physical spacing in schools as close as three feet may approach the benefits of the currently accepted six-foot distance rule.

Massachusetts, for one, is following this particular bit of guidance, which also has the backing of the World Health Organization, and is being followed by countries across the globe that have already reopened their schools.

In sum, then, we have Trump, Biden, congressional Democrats, the CDC, the pediatricians, the WHO, all wanting kids back in school.

Thing is, that pesky election, it’s just around the corner.

Somebody has to be able to take credit for doing the right thing.

You can’t just do the right thing.

That’s how politics works.

And it’s why we are where we are right now.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press