Dec 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden prioritizing schools, teachers in coronavirus playbook

Anthony Fauci appears via video today with Vice President-elect Harris and President-elect Biden. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci appears via video on Tuesday with Vice President-elect Harris and President-elect Biden. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Biden's COVID checklist includes getting Americans to wear masks as a patriotic duty, vaccinating 50 million people and reopening the majority of schools by the end of April.

Why it matters: The remote learning adopted by many of America's biggest school districts has been a disaster for students and parents alike.

  • Other countries have prioritized keeping schools and child care open, but not the U.S.
  • As of October, "74% of the 100 largest school districts ... chose remote learning only as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 9 million students," per EdWeek.
  • This put unprecedented stress on working parents, particularly working moms.

Teachers are high on Biden's list for vaccinations, he said Tuesday:

  • [W]e'll follow the guidance of science to get the vaccine to those most at risk. That includes health care professionals, people in long-term care and, as soon as possible, it will include educators."
  • "If Congress provides the funding we need to protect students, educators and staff, if states and cities put strong public-health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see if the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days."

Between the lines: The CDC and states are setting vaccination priorities, a senior Trump White House official said Monday.

What's next: The FDA's vaccine advisory committee released a detailed analysis finding that Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine appears to meet the safety and efficacy requirements necessary for an emergency use authorization, Axios' Orion Rummler reports.

The bottom line: "My first 100 days won’t end COVID-19. I cannot promise that," Biden said.

  • "But I am convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better."
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