Biden Adviser Says Schools Will ‘Probably’ Reopen by Fall: ‘It’s an Unpredictable Virus’

A worker takes a break while cleaning up a basketball court at Glasgow Middle School, a Fairfax County Public School, during deadline day for families and teachers countywide to decide between teaching/learning from home or in the classroom due to the coronavirus, in Falls Church, Va., July 15, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Anita Dunn, senior adviser to President Biden, reiterated the president’s statement on Friday that schools will “probably” be fully open by September, in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Host Jake Tapper asked Dunn whether the Biden administration could guarantee that all K-12 schools would be open “full-time” for “in-person learning” by the coming school year. Tapper also asked if the administration would push back on any party, including teachers unions, “who stake out any position to the contrary not backed up by science.”

Dunn touted the fact that 80 percent of teachers in the U.S. have been vaccinated, but called for more vaccination in the general population before the new school year.

Biden “said ‘probably,’ he didn’t say ‘absolutely,’ but given the science, if the vaccination program in this country proceeds — if people do go get their vaccines — he does believe that schools should be able to reopen in September,” Dunn said. “But he said ‘probably,’ he did not say ‘absolutely,’ because we’ve all seen this since, unfortunately, January of 2020: it’s an unpredictable virus.”

Biden said schools should “probably all be open” by September in an interview with NBC News Today on Friday, adding that “there’s not overwhelming evidence that there’s much of a transmission among these young people.”

The Biden administration has struggled to fully reopen school districts that moved to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, facing opposition from teachers unions in some of the nation’s largest districts. Currently, 4 percent of American schools are operating with fully-remote learning while 48 percent have hybrid remote and in-person learning, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s Return to Learn Tracker.

Less than half the nation’s schools, at 47 percent, are operating with full in-person learning.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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