Former acting CDC director: Schools can reopen safely before teacher vaccinations take place

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot demands teachers return to schools

Former Acting CDC Director Dr. Richard Besser joins ‘Your World’ with reaction and analysis

Children and teachers can return to school safely, even if they haven’t been vaccinated, provided that proper safety procedures are in place, former acting CDC director Dr. Richard Besser told “Your World” Thursday. 

Dr. Besser explained to host Neil Cavuto that social distancing, improved ventilation systems, and health screenings can help to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“These things work,” he said “I think teachers should be in the group of frontline workers who are given vaccines early, but you don’t need to have that to be able to open up schools very safely.”

The former acting CDC director cited a recent study showing that schools did not pose an increased risk of spreading the virus. In fact, the rate of transmission was lower in schools than in the community at large.

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Dr. Besser also pushed back against teachers’ concerns about contracting COVID-19 from their own students, stating that although such a circumstance is “possible”, the chances are much lower of catching COVID than the flu. He added that proper mask-wearing and symptom identification by staff will go a long way to ensure the safety of children and adults.

Current CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky has also argued that students and teachers don’t need coronavirus vaccines to go back to school.

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“Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for safe reopening of schools,” she said during a White House briefing Wednesday 

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill proposed by Biden’s administration includes funding for proper ventilation, PPE equipment, health screenings, and testing, among other resources. 

Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.

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