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Dr. Flip Flop: A timeline of Fauci's school reopening positions
Early on, Fauci was "blessing" school closures and attacking proponents of reopening. He now claims to have supported reopening the whole time.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has held many positions when it comes to whether to keep schools open in America. Over the past several months, he has made an incredible transformation from a man who viciously attacked school reopening proponents, to quietly now siding with them. Schools have been open throughout most of the world during the entirety of the pandemic, but thanks to U.S. “experts” like Dr. Fauci, millions of schoolchildren in America have not been able to access in-person education for many months. Today, Fauci falsely claims that he was for keeping schools open all along. The data has always been very clear during the pandemic that keeping schools open is both incredibly safe and prudent, and finally, the esteemed Dr. Fauci has caught up with the overwhelming data supporting open schools.
Here’s a timeline on all of the positions Fauci has taken on schools:
3/12/20: Dr. Fauci calls for nationwide school closures and says he supports states that decide to follow his advice.
“The one thing I do advise and I said this in multiple hearings and multiple briefings, that right now we have to start implementing both containment and mitigation. And what was done when you close the schools is mitigation,” Fauci told reporters in the White House driveway. “We have to try as best as we can to distance ourselves from each other.”
4/12/20: The New York Times reported that Fauci “gave his blessing” to Mayor Bill DeBlasio to shut down the entirety of the New York City public school system for the rest of the school year.
4/13/20: Fauci slams Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who announced at the time that he wanted to get schools open as soon as possible. Fauci claimed that opening the schools will get children infected with the coronavirus.
“If you have a situation where you don’t have a real good control over an outbreak and you allow children together, they will likely get infected,” Fauci proclaimed.
5/12/20: Without evidence, Fauci claims COVID-19 is dangerous to children, citing “Kawasaki syndrome” as a potential outcome in schoolchildren.
In a tense and memorable back and forth with Sen. Rand Paul (who argued that schools must remain open), Fauci dismissed the idea that schools should be opened back up fully because “we don’t know everything about the virus.”
Fauci then turned Paul’s own phrasing on him. “You used the word we should be ‘humble’ about what we don’t know. I think that falls under the fact that we don’t know everything about this virus, and we really had better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children,” Fauci said.
“Because the more and more we learn, we’re seeing things about what this virus can do that we didn’t see from the studies in China or in Europe. For example, right now children presenting with Covid-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome,” Fauci said.
5/14/20: President Trump openly expresses his disagreement with Fauci on school reopening policies:
6/30/20: Testifying on Capitol Hill, Fauci says school reopenings depend on the “dynamics of the outbreak.”
"One of the things we want to emphasize and have been emphasizing is to take a look at where you are in the area of the so-called opening America again. Are you at the gateway phase one, phase two, phase three?" Fauci asked. "The CDC has guidelines about the opening of schools at various stages of those checkpoints. The basic fundamental goal would be as soon as you possibly can to get the children back to school and to use the public health as a tool to help get children back to school."
7/15/20: The NIAID chief supports looking at schools on a case by case basis.
7/24/20: Fauci continues to advance his vague ideas about school reopenings, but again makes clear that he opposes having schools open in areas where the coronavirus is spreading.
He tells The Washington Post:
“It depends on where you are. We live in a very large country that is geographically and demographically diverse and certainly different in the extent to which there is different COVID activity. So, If you live in a county or a place where there is very little activity, then there might be very little you have to do [to] send the children back to school. If you are in an area where there is viral activity, you want to look at what the schools can do and their planning."
8/4/20: Dr. Fauci calls for the continuing closure of schools in areas with high transmission, and a hybrid learning system in areas with moderate transmission, in elaborating on a scaled approach that allows for schools to remain open based on unspecified area transmission numbers.
8/4/20: ABC reports that Fauci is still concerned that schools could be vectors for transmission of COVID-19.
8/4/20: Open up the schools if transmission is low, Fauci advises.
8/13/20: Fauci falsely states that bars are vectors for transmission, argues for a trade off that involves shutting down some industries while keeping schools open.
8/13/20: Fauci agrees that the future entails “many months” of virtual learning, in supporting keeping schools physically closed.
9/3/20: Schools can only open back up once the virus is “under control,” Fauci tells CNN.
9/20/20: Fauci declares that “some” schools may be able to open safely, but that places with high COVID-19 transmission levels “may want to pause before they start sending the kids back to school for a variety of reasons.”
11/29/20: Fauci discovers the almost year-old data showing that schools are not vectors for COVID-19 transmission. He continues to call for bars being shut down as a trade off, although bars are not vectors of transmission. He says in an ABC interview:
"We get asked it all the time. You know, we say it -- not being facetiously, as a sound bite or anything -- but, you know, close the bars and keep the schools open is what we really say … Obviously, you don't have one size fits all. But as I said in the past … the default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school or to get them back to school."
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