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CDC quietly removes controversial guidance regarding importance of school reopenings amid COVID-19


Some prior content was 'outdated'

Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has "quietly removed" some of its controversial guidance that suggested schools should reopen in the fall, The Hill reports.

What's a brief history here?

The guidance also said that transmission risks of COVID-19 to children and other young people was comparatively low.

The deleted content read:

Scientific studies suggest that COVID-19 transmission among children in schools may be low. International studies that have assessed how readily COVID-19 spreads in schools also reveal low rates of transmission when community transmission is low. Based on current data, the rate of infection among younger school children, and from students to teachers, has been low, especially if proper precautions are followed.

What are the details?

According to The Hill's report on Wednesday, the CDC removed the information from its website in October without any public remarks on the matter.

A spokesperson for the CDC told the outlet, "Some of the prior content was outdated and as new scientific information has emerged the site has been updated to reflect current knowledge about COVID-19 and schools."

The outlet points out that just before information was scrubbed from the health organization's site, CDC Director Robert Redfield reportedly told Democratic Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) — who is chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis — that the information in question was "out of date."

In a statement on the matter, Clyburn said, "I am pleased that, in response to this request, CDC has now removed two guidance documents unsupported by science and has agreed to update two more that Director Redfield concedes are 'out of date.'"

"With infections rising rising dramatically across the country, it is critical that schools, teachers, and families have accurate, trustworthy public health information on the coronavirus," he continued.

The outlet noted that CDC Deputy Incident Manager Michael Beach, head of the department's coronavirus response, told the South Carolina lawmaker's committee that the information at the time it was presented reflected accurate data.

"It does appear that children can become infected," Beach said.

At the time of this reporting, the CDC's website states that the "body of evidence is growing" that "children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and contrary to early reports might play a role in transmission."

At the time of this reporting, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that there have been at least 11,424,275 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with at least 249,477 deaths attributed to the pandemic.

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