Trump coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx refused to say that schools should stay closed if they have a high positive test rate.
Dana Bash asked on CNN’s State Of The Union, “Should schools in areas with a positive iterate of 5% or more remain closed and have distance learning only?”
Birx answered, “So as you described at the beginning, I am the coordinator. So I work with Dr. Redfield and Dr. Fauci and Dr. Hahn and others every single day and we go over the data together. I would endorse what Dr. Redfield is saying. In these areas where we have the widespread case increases, we need to stop the cases.”
Bash asked again, “Schools there should stay closed?”
Birx, “Safely reopening.”
Bash kept asking, “So schools there should stay closed?”
Birx dodged, “I’m going to do what the CDC guidelines have recommended, and certainly the doctors. If you have high case load and active community spread, just like we are asking people not to go to bars, not to have household parties, not to create large spreadings events, we are asking people to distance learn at this moment so we can get this epidemic under control.”
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 2, 2020
Birx’s answer is why the federal coronavirus response is failing. Dr. Birx was so afraid of angering Trump and defying his proclamation that all schools must reopen as normal that she refused to state a common-sense answer. Schools with high positive testing rates should not be open.
Dr. Birx is a public health official who is letting the political needs of a president influence public health policy.
There is no executive branch federal leadership, and that is why this pandemic will rage on until Trump is gone.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association