Fauci supports younger kids returning to in-person learning: 'They do not transmit as readily'

By , Audacy

Dr. Anthony Fauci is lending his support to reopening schools for in-person learning.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases emphasized that lower grades are less at-risk for COVID-19 because children don’t spread the virus as easily.

"There have been a number of studies to show that when you have children that are of a certain age, namely … eighth grade and higher, that they transmit as easily as adults transmit," Fauci told "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd on NBC.

"Whereas younger children … they do not transmit as readily,” he explained.

He also reiterated President Joe Biden’s plan, the American Rescue Act, which is aimed at helping younger grades go back to school.

However, he explained that the data doesn’t support a return to in-person classes for high school-aged students as they are more likely to spread the virus.

On Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said vaccines are not necessary for school re-openings.

"I want to be very clear about schools, which is: Yes, ACIP has put teachers in the 1b category, the category of essential workers," she said.

"But I also want to be clear that there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely."

Additionally, the CDC published a study on Tuesday that schools could resume with in-person learning if social distancing is possible and wearing face masks is enforced.

"Decisions made today can help ensure safe operation of schools and provide critical services to children and adolescents in the U.S.," scientists from the study noted.

Schools were advised to continue limiting activities that increase the risk of transmission including indoor sports practice and competitions.

Fauci supported the CDC telling MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: “I would back the CDC recommendations because that is really based on data… we need to try and get the children back to school and that's the goal of President Biden that in the next 100 days to get the K to eights back in school.”

“It's less likely for a child to get infected in the school setting than if they were just in the community,” he added.

Despite vaccine shortages, Fauci said Biden’s priority remains getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

He also explained that he believes people should prioritize getting their second dose despite concerns that new variants may become more resistant to current vaccines, per NBC.

But while he maintained that vaccinations are important for getting children back to school, he acknowledged that there’s a “demand” that “clearly outstrips the supply right now.”

The White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told "Your World" that in-person learning should be able to resume "without necessarily having everyone vaccinated, all the teachers or all the students,"

"The default should be, and has been for quite a while, that to the best of our ability, we should try to get the children back to school as quickly as we can and keep them in school," he added.

ABC reports that many school districts remain concerned about the new variants and are planning for the possibility of continued remote learning in the fall semester.

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