JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday that he would ‘absolutely’ send his grandkids back to school in the fall.
“I’m one-hundred-percent that they can get back to school,” Redfield said in an interview with Good Morning America.
He said he would only be concerned with one of his grandchildren, who has cystic fibrosis, returning to the classroom.
In the past, Redfield had recommended social distancing in schools to help curve the spread of coronavirus. When asked how realistic it was for children to stay six feet apart and to wear masks, Redfield responded saying that it’s important to get schools open.
“It’s not public health versus opening the schools for the economy, it’s public health versus public health,” Redfield said. “I think there really are a number of negative public health consequences that have happened to our K-12 by having these schools closed.”
Redfield said it’s important to work with school districts to figure out how they can take CDC guidelines and apply them in an operational way that is safe for teachers and children who may have health issues.
In the interview, the topic of face masks was also discussed and while Redfield has voiced his support for wearing masks, saying that they are the most powerful tool in combating the virus, he said he was also hesitant in declaring a national mask mandate.
“I think it’s really a question of how you get the American people to embrace the social responsibility,” Redfield said. “Some governors have done it... I think our key is just to let the American public know how important this is, how important it is that we wear these masks...”
When pressed on his opposition to mask mandates, Redfield responded, “I’m not sure that mandating makes. I think the issue is how to motivate all Americans to do that.”