Fmr Bush WH Medical Adviser Proposes Plan to Get All Teachers Vaccinated and ‘Open Schools Three Weeks Later’

 

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, former medical advisor to the George W. Bush White House, offered a radical plan to reopen every school in the country by the beginning of April.

Speaking with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday night, Reiner, who is director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at George Washington University, presented his solution to what remains as one of the most vexing problems of the pandemic.

Both the Biden White House and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky have faced criticism about the CDC’s just-released official guidance about how to safely reopen schools, which calls for numerous mitigations strategies be put in place and community transmission rates be minimized, but does not mandate teachers be vaccinated before resuming in-person learning. However, the agency did recommend states move teachers into higher priority groups for vaccinations.

“I want to ask you, in terms of where we are now, though, this pressure to get students and teachers back into the classroom,” Burnett said, before pointing to the novel reopening idea that Reiner teased on social media earlier in the day, which would take advantage of the one-shot vaccination dose of the nascent Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Look. The CDC put forth this plan to open schools but it requires schools to open in places where the level of virus is low in the community and most parts of the country don’t have that right now. Almost 89 percent of the districts are still in red zones,” he noted. “It requires big, physical distancing in classrooms, six feet between students and, you know, classrooms are cramped… It’s going to be impossible. Plus, the reassuring data about the low level of transmission in schools was acquired in a non-variant environment and with the emerging variants, there’s no data to reassure teachers.”

“So, let’s treat teachers like first responders,” he suggested as an alternative. “Let’s treat them the way they need to be treated and vaccinate them all. Next week, the FDA is going to review the data for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is likely to be approved shortly thereafter. Let’s take the first four million doses of that vaccine and dedicate it to America’s teachers. Let’s proactively vaccinate them… Let’s take the vaccine and vaccinate them the way health care workers are vaccinated. You know, bring them all into school over two weeks and vaccinate every teacher in the country. Open schools three weeks later.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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