President Trump’s administration has been coercing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to convince the public that children are not as susceptible to the coronavirus.
According to several interviews of government officials conducted, the administration is pressurizing the CDC to present data that proves the coronavirus cases are decreasing and children will not be vulnerable to it. This information is backed up by a former member of Pence’s staff.
A recent study carried out by the CDC proves that teenagers (ages 12 to 17) are two times more likely to be infected than children (ages 5 to 11). Additionally, another study shows a huge spike in COVID-19 cases in children, more than 600,000 cases reported. This study was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital Association.
The document outlining the guidelines for school reopening by the CDC was dismissed by Trump because he believes it is very costly for districts. Moreover, Pence explains that the CDC will be revising the guidance and presenting five documents with clearer guidance and fewer restrictions.
The director of the CDC says, however, that the additional documents will not eliminate the original recommendations from the CDC. They will simply provide more information on how schools can reopen safely and securely.
The director is in favor of opening schools and emphasizes that the document should not be used as an excuse to keep schools closed. He has stated that the CDC is willing to even work in collaboration with individual schools to assist them in implementing the procedures.
NBC News stated that a CDC official, Redfield, accused a member of the White House COVID-19 task force, Atlas, of spreading false information and presenting unproven data about the pandemic to the president.
However, the White House official denied any such allegations saying that he was only asking for more precise information and his intention was not to pressurize the CDC.
Atlas claims that there is no scientific evidence that masks will prevent the spread of the virus whereas Redfield firmly disagrees with this statement, emphasizing the importance of wearing masks.
Atlas also encourages that restrictions should only be implemented on the people more susceptible to the virus however several health professionals contradict this approach.