WATCH: Fauci now says school reopening is 'complicated' and depends on how teachers and parents 'feel'

"There's so many complicated issues: how the teachers feel, how the parents feel about the possibility of bringing infection back home," Fauci said.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

Speaking to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci again seemed to reverse his position on school reopenings. This despite admitting on Wednesday that the CDC has no data on the rate of COVID infections among teachers within schools.

"There's so many complicated issues: how the teachers feel, how the parents feel about the possibility of bringing infection back home," Fauci said.

"Based on the CDC guidelines," Todd asked, "what level of risk is an unvaccinated teacher taking right now by going in a reopened school?"

"Y'know, Chuck, you cannot give a numerical figure to that," Fauci said, "you can't say 'what is the risk,' give me a number."

Fauci said "I mean obviously being in school is very similar to being in the community, so the risk of a teacher getting infected in the school is very likely very much similar to what you would see in the community. But we don't know that yet."

This is different than what was said on Wednesday when the CDC took questions as to what was necessary for schools to reopen.

Dr. Walensky said "What I can tell you is most of the data we have from schools have demonstrated that, and teachers specifically, have demonstrated that when disease comes into the school it's not because of spread that is happening in the school, it's because the members who are attending school, teachers, staff, bus workers, and what not, bus drivers, have gotten the disease from the community and not from one another in schools."

But Fauci told Meet the Press that "The data get fuzzy when you try to compare what happens when you're not in the school versus what happens when you are in the school."

So what is required for schools to open?

Fauci said that the "default position is that we should try to do everything we can to get the children back to school safely," but did not offer any guidance.

"It's not an easy issue," Fauci said. "Anybody who says it is an easy decision to make is not looking at the complexity of it."

Much of the complexity, however, seems to be stemming from the constantly changing guidance from the nation's top doctors. Children in many parts of the country have been out of school for nearly a year.

Pediatricians have said kids should get back to school. The American Academy of pediatrics found in a peer-reviewed study that COVID transmission in schools is incredibly low. Of 90,000 students and staff who are in school across 11 school districts, only 32 cases happened in school, and of those, there were zero cases of child to adult transmission.

Teacher's unions have been very vocal about their desire for schools to remain closed. While President Joe Biden touted his plan to get schools open for K-8 students by the end of his first 100 days, that goal has already begun to be walked back.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the goal was to have kids in school at least one day per week, while Biden then counteracted that and said he thought schools would be "close" to fully reopened by the end of April. There are 78 days left in those first 100 days.


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