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CDC Director Robert R. Redfield on July 2. Photo: Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

House Education and Labor Committee Chair Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said in a statement Friday that the White House is preventing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from testifying on how to safely reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is pushing schools to fully reopen this fall, despite COVID-19 outbreaks worsening in multiple states.

  • Scott invited CDC director Robert Redfield or another agency official to testify before the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee on July 23 about how to protect students, teachers and staff from the virus this coming academic year.

What they're saying: “It is alarming that the Trump administration is preventing the CDC from appearing before the Committee at a time when its expertise and guidance is so critical to the health and safety of students, parents, and educators," Scott said.

  • "This lack of transparency does a great disservice to the many communities across the country facing difficult decisions about reopening schools this fall."
  • "The administration’s strategy of prioritizing politics over science has had a devastating impact on our country throughout this pandemic. It should not make that same mistake when it comes to reopening schools.”

The big picture: The CDC is also delaying the release of guidance on how to safely reopen schools, CBS News and CNN report. The guidance, which was set to come out this week, will now likely be made public before the end of July.

  • School systems across the U.S. have announced they will not fully reopen this fall, including New York City's, which is the nation's largest public school district, and most California schools.
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said this week that public schools that don't reopen in the fall should not receive federal funds.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2020 - Health

New York reports most coronavirus cases since May

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an Oct. 6 press briefing. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York reported over 2,000 positive coronavirus cases on Wednesday — the most infections seen in the state since May, per COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and health department data.

The big picture: Hospitalizations have been creeping back up in New York, alongside 38 other states. New York is currently seeing more than 900 hospitalizations a day, the CTP reports.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.