CDC: No rewriting of guidelines for reopening schools despite President Trump’s criticism

The president said CDC's guidelines are 'very tough and expensive'

Des Moines Public Schools custodian Cynthia Adams cleans a desk in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed. That's the latest thinking from some public health experts. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Des Moines Public Schools custodian Cynthia Adams cleans a desk in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed. That's the latest thinking from some public health experts. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Despite President Donald Trump's sharp criticism, federal guidelines for reopening schools are not being revised, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Dr. Robert Redfield said the agency would be issuing “additional reference documents” for parents and schools to facilitate the reopening and deal with safety concerns in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. But he said there would be no changing of the overall guidance.

Redfield commented a day after Trump complained the reopening guidelines were “very tough and expensive” and the CDC was “asking schools to do very impractical things.” Speaking of CDC officials, he tweeted, “I will be meeting with them.!!!"

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Redfield said, “It’s really important, it’s not a revision of the guidelines, it’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidance that we put forward."

He made his comments on ABC’s ”Good Morning America.”

Trump is pressuring state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, threatening to withhold federal funds from those that keep their learning remote.

On Wednesday, at a White House coronavirus task force briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said new CDC guidelines would be coming out next week. Speaking at that same briefing, Redfield emphasized that his agency’s guidelines are only recommendations. “I want to make it very clear that what is not the intent of CDC’s guidelines is to be used as a rationale to keep schools closed,” he said.