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  1. #3046

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I guess, as a government agency, we are stuck with the concept of that position being a "political appointee". But it is one of MANY government appointments (compare with the Supreme Court and a million other examples) in which one's politics should be checked at the door when the appointee shows up for the first day on the job. This guy is not there at all. With that one press conference, he showed me that he might be even more dangerous than Dr. Birx. She has at least on occasion tried to give a different opinion from that of the president. Like Dr. Redfield, Dr. Birx has been far too willing to bend to Trump's wishes. If Biden is elected, I think it is safe to assume both of them will be looking for work by January 21.


  2. #3047
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    A Conan writer shares her experiences and emotions with losing her politically conservative mother to COVID in an interview with him.

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  3. #3048

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    CDC will issue new guidance on school openings, Pence says, after criticism from Trump
    John Wagner
    July 8, 2020 at 2:34 p.m. EDT

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue new guidance on school openings, Vice President Pence said Wednesday, hours after President Trump criticized earlier recommendations as “very impractical” and vowed to meet with the agency himself.

    “We don’t want the guidance from CDC to be a reason why schools don’t open,” Pence said. “I think that every American, every American knows that we can safely reopen our schools. . . . We want, as the president said this morning, to make sure that what we’re doing doesn’t stand in the way of doing that.”

    “I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” Trump wrote. “While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”

    In May, the CDC recommended a raft of social distancing policies for schools: desks at least six feet apart and facing the same direction, lunch in classrooms, staggered arrival times, cloth masks for staff and daily temperature screenings for everyone.

    Appearing alongside Pence at Wednesday’s briefing, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said that he recognized that “there is a variety of unique circumstances for different schools”and that the additional guidance would reflect that.

    “It would be personally very disappointing to me and, I know, my agency if we saw that individuals were using these guidelines as a rationale for not reopening our schools,” he added.

    The announcement about additional CDC guidance came as Trump and other officials made a concerted effort Wednesday to portray reopening schools as key to the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.

    “It’s absolutely essential that we get our kids back into classroom for in-person learning,” Pence said at the outset of the task force briefing at which a parade of other officials argued that the health risks to children were outweighed by the disadvantages of keeping them at home, including stunted academic growth.

    During the briefing, Pence, who leads the task force, struggled at times to explain what the president meant by his tweets, including another on Wednesday morning in which he threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that refuse to open their campuses.

    The far more dominant message was that the cost of keeping schools closed is greater than allowing them to open.

    “We can’t let our kids fall behind academically,” Pence said.

    Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia argued that reopening schools was important so that parents can schedule their workdays “in a predictable manner,” while Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said “reopening schools safely may be the single most important thing that we can do to support healthy families during this pandemic.”

    “Reopening schools comes with some risk, but there are risks to keeping kids at home, too,” he said. “At home, kids aren’t benefiting from social stimulation. They may be falling behind in learning. They may be more vulnerable to abuse that goes unreported by the mandatory reporters in our school system. They may not be getting special services.”

    Redfield: “Clearly, the ability of this virus to cause significant illness in children is very, very, very, very limited,” he said. Perhaps, but the children don't exist in a vacuum with no adults in a functioning school
    Obviously, there is no way schools can reopen under CDC recommendations. There is no way I could teach a class of 30+ students, keeping them 6 feet away from each other at all times, and have them see the board/effectively monitoring their work and activities. It is just laughable. If you to to 50% in each room, perhaps, but where do you get the other space and teachers for the other students. And you can't do half via zoom one week and the other 1/2 in class at the same time. I suppose theoretically it could work, but the practical implications are staggering. Perhaps we train the best student in each class to teach the subject? Because as the adults become ill, who will be there? While the students might be possibly less impacted, the teachers and support staff have a lot more potential issues. Just giving temperature screenings to the 1300+ students as they arrive would be staggering in terms of time. How do you stagger start times? Do you stagger end times? How does this affect buses? And where will the additional funds come from to make this work?

    There may be important implications and issues to discuss, and they should be discussed intelligently and rationally, but a quick "slap this together" and put on a happy face does nobody any good. If we had control over the situation, as say, in NZ or Denmark, this could work. Unfortunately, this is part of the larger problem when so many refuse to take even the most basic steps to try to get a handle on this virus's spread in the United States. This is just another situation when people are so myopic that they cannot or will not recognize the interconnections of behavior and our society's overall function. I know that if I were still in the profession, I would be thinking long and hard about this situation, and not because I didn't want to teach the kids, but because I would have to be evaluating my own risks being surrounded by so many people/students. And in elementary school, the issues (it would seem) would be magnified.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

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