July 17, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the Trump Administration blocked the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from testifying at public hearings about safely reopening schools.
“The Trump Administration still has no plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 and is now preventing the CDC from testifying before the Committee on Education and Labor about safely reopening schools. At a time where it is critical to have safe reopening plans backed by the advice of public health experts, the Administration is blocking Congress from accessing the information we need to keep our communities safe and informed.
“I remain extremely concerned that the Administration seems to be ignoring the guidance of scientific experts, leaving communities across the country with little to no information on best practices for moving forward. Congress needs the testimony of CDC officials and other experts to understand the federal resources necessary to safely reopen schools.
“The President’s comments this week threatening to withhold federal funds from schools that fail to fully reopen for in-person instruction are shameful. The decision of how and when to open schools in the fall should be left to states and school districts in coordination with public health experts to ensure every student, parent, teacher, and staff member is safe.
“Working to safely open schools should absolutely be a top priority. The best way to help make returning to school possible, just like reopening the economy, is to combat the pandemic itself. This Administration still has no coordinated national testing strategy. It still fails to use the full force of the Defense Production Act to ensure we have enough PPE and other medical supplies. These failures have cost lives and they will cost our students invaluable time in the classroom if there is no change from this Administration.”