CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday slammed the closures of New York City schools amid the uptick in coronavirus cases, saying the decision is being based on “fear and not enough fact.”
During a discussion with Dr. Anthony Fauci on his show Thursday night, Mr. Cuomo, who is the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to shut down in-person learning Thursday without revealing a plan for reopening after the city overall hit a 3% positive COVID-19 test rate.
“I am an antagonist, full disclosure, to the idea of how we’re handling schools,” CNN’s Mr. Cuomo told Dr. Fauci. “It doesn’t make sense to me, Doc, that one case closes down a whole school. They don’t have any real ways of getting you testing. They have different kinds of tests and different periods.
“New York City just shut down all the schools,” he continued. “The rate in the city is 3%. What’s magic about 3%? The rate in the schools is 0.17 percent. Why close the schools? Why not close everything else before you close the schools? What am I getting wrong?”
“You’re getting nothing wrong,” Dr. Fauci answered. “I agree with you completely. I think one of the things we need to do is to the best of our capability try to keep the kids in school.”
“So why aren’t more people upset about this?” Mr. Cuomo asked. “Because we did a better job in 1918, in terms of educating kids outside, and keeping them in school than we’re doing right now. And I think it’s all fear and not enough fact.”
The CNN host then asked Dr. Fauci for permission to hold presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden and his team’s feet to the fire when it comes to devising a plan to keep children in school.
“I’m just trying to figure out if it’s the right thing to chase,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I mean, Trump, that administration, he’s a revenant. But when Biden comes in, am I wrong to chase after them and say, ‘You got to own schools. You have to own what the right guidance is for people, the right standards, the right thresholds?’
“Because everything we’re doing with schools is making things worse, hard for families,” he continued. “They can’t work. There’s a lot of stress and anxiety. It’s tough for the teachers and their families. The testing isn’t there, and, and the inequities. Kids are already unequal based on income and where they live. And now, they don’t have the same technology or Wi-Fi or equipment. A lot of kids need help. The kids who need help can’t get the help, as everything’s exacerbated. Should I chase them to own it?”
“Yes. Go ahead,” Dr. Fauci responded. “I would encourage you to do it.”
“Good,” Mr. Cuomo replied. “I’ll say you sent me.”
As Covid-19 cases continue to surge across the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci says officials should “keep the schools open.”— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) November 20, 2020
“Obviously, you want to be sensitive to the safety and the health of the children,” Fauci adds. https://t.co/3QZJCUIWLbpic.twitter.com/v2mW9sCnWF
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