Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leaders of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said US schools will be able to safely reopen in the fall because of progress in battling the disease.
That long-range forecast is at odds with the current Los Angeles Unified School District plans, which are still targeting a May 1 return, even as Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state education officials have taken a more pessimistic view.
Under Fauci’s plan, schools and colleges would head back to class right when a second wave of coronavirus may hit. However, he said, treatments and immunity would play a role in preventing trouble.
“However, if you come back in the fall, it will be a totally different ball game,” Fauci said. “We have a number of clinical trials that are looking at a variety of therapeutic interventions… As I mentioned to you many times at these briefings is that we have a vaccine that’s on track and multiple other candidates… If we start seeing an efficacy signal, we may be able to even use a vaccine at the next season.”
Earlier this week, LAUSD Schools Superintendent Austin Beutner said that campuses would be closed at least until May 1. Los Angeles County Superintendent Debra Duardo said last week that the county’s 80 school districts — which includes LAUSD — keep their campuses physically closed through the end of this school year, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has stated that he doesn’t believe schools will reopen.
Beutner did not say whether LAUSD is done, but did say “it’s clear that normal is not returning anytime soon.” He said the district will address “what the rest of the 2019-20 school year will look like, including things like graduation and financial aid assistance for college, as well as plans for the summer,” when it returns from spring break next week.
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