American Academy of Pediatrics Breaks With White House Over Latest Reopening Push

In its quest to get schools to reopen this fall, the Trump administration and its allies have pointed to a guidance issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. That guidance said the AAP “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school."

But amid surging infection rates and threats by the president to remove funding from districts that fail to fully reopen, the AAP has changed its tune. In a statement Friday, the association said “public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics” and that the federal government should provide enough resources “to ensure that inadequate funding does not stand in the way of safely educating and caring for children in our schools." 

The initial AAP guidance had already been met with some criticism. While it cited the apparent decreased risk to most children, it didn’t have much to say about the risks to teachers, staff, and parents or grandparents. According to a recent study, 25% of America’s teachers are at increased risk of COVID-19 complications due to age or underlying conditions.