'Science should not stand in the way' of schools reopening, says White House Press Secretary

White House press secretary to host briefing for first time since March 2019
Posted at 10:08 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 01:08:56-04

WASHINGTON D.C. (KGTV) -- White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that "science should not stand in the way" of schools reopening in the fall.

"The science is on our side here," said McEnany. "We encourage for localities and states to just simply follow the science and open our schools."

President Trump has advocated for schools to reopen over the past several weeks, threatening to cut funding to schools and pressuring governors to get them up and running.

The President has praised Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) for directing schools to reopen this fall, despite a massive spike in coronavirus cases in the recent weeks. A spike so significant, that it has prompted the GOP to scale back its convention in the state next month.

Meantime, health experts are sharing a different view.

"Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue reopening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff," the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a joint statement.

Many school districts are moving forward with plans that include virtual learning in the fall to prevent the spread of COVID-19. San Diego Unified School District is one of them, announcing this week that it would be implementing virtual learning starting at the end of August.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, noted last week that the government doesn't have enough data to show whether, and to what degree, kids can spread the virus, according to the Associated Press.

The bulk of the data has been collected from adults, particularly those who are sick, Birx said. She added that children under 10 are the least tested age group.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.