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Fauci claims schools 'need' Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill to reopen. But here's what he said in Nov.


'If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected'

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, claimed Sunday that Biden's massive $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package should be passed before schools can safely reopen.

Fauci's comments came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance last week that declared, "It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services."

The guidance, however, did not mandate vaccines for teachers, despite teacher unions nationwide opposing a return to in-person instruction until teachers receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

What did Fauci say?

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Fauci claimed schools do not have the necessary resources to abide by the CDC's guidelines — and said that is exactly why lawmakers should pass Biden's bill.

"I think that the schools really do need more resources. And that's the reason why the national relief act that we're talking about getting passed, we need that," Fauci explained. "The schools need more resources."

"The things we didn't have before, there wasn't anything that was put down solidly on paper on saying, these are the kinds of things that you should consider, these are the kind of things that you should follow," Fauci went on to say. "I think it can be done. I mean, obviously, it's not a perfect situation. But it's really important to get the children back to school in as safe a way as possible, safe for the children, but also safe for the teachers and the other educators."

What did Fauci say before?

Just three months ago, Fauci declared that it was generally safe to reopen schools.

"Close the bars and keep the schools open," Fauci said in an ABC "This Week" interview on Nov. 29.

"If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected," he added.

What does Biden's plan include?

In addition to $1,400 stimulus checks, an extension of federal unemployment benefits, and numerous other COVID-related items, Biden's bill also seeks to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

"We need to tackle the public health and economic crises we're facing head-on. That's why today, I'm announcing my American Rescue Plan. Together we'll change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge toward economic recovery, and invest in racial justice," Biden said on Twitter when he announced the plan.

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