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White House: ‘Science Should Not Stand in the Way’ of Reopening Schools

White House: ‘Science Should Not Stand in the Way’ of Reopening Schools

“When he says ‘open,’ he means open in full; kids being able to attend each and every day at their school. The science should not stand in the way of this.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defends Trump’s push to re-open American schools in the fall.

More from Bloomberg:

As the school year draws near, children and teens represent a ballooning percentage of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. as the youngest Americans increasingly venture outside their homes and are able to get tested.

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has long maintained on its website that those younger than 18 make up only 2% of cases, state data paints a much less rosy picture. California and Mississippi, for instance, are recording rates nearing 10% of overall cases. Florida has found that about a third of all children tested there are infected.

In response to questions from Bloomberg, the CDC cited a chart, updated today, with data from the states showing children make up 6.4% of those infected, though information isn’t included on almost 1 million cases. The numbers are rising, epidemiologists say, as testing has become more available to those with mild or no symptoms, encompassing many of the pediatric cases, and as those under 18 are increasingly involved in social activities.

At the same time, there is enormous pressure building to reopen in-class schooling from parents who need to return to work, childhood development specialists and the Trump administration, which sees it as a linchpin for the economy in an election year. Others remain skeptical.

“I think we need to understand why that’s happening and what it means for the risk of this virus in kids,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Health Security. “Our understanding for how it effects kids is evolving.”

Virus data isn’t reported in a consistent manner across states. But publicly available databases show that in many cases the numbers are vastly different than what the CDC continues to say on the portion of its website meant to provide Covid-19 information to pediatric health-care providers, a site that hasn’t been updated since May 29.

In producing this report, Bloomberg gathered data from state health departments across the U.S. Here’s a breakdown among selected states:

State Hotspots:
Arizona: 11% of total cases in those younger than 20.
California: 8.4% in those younger than 18.
Mississippi: 9.4% in those under 18.
Washington state: 11% in those 20 and younger.
Tennessee: 4.5% of cases involving those 10 and under, and 11% for those 11 through 20.

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