Most U.S. parents say it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall — including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans — in this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
The big picture: President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have made the back-to-school debate their new central argument for how the economy can get rolling and have threatened funding for those who don't comply. Still, many school districts are choosing to be more cautious.
By the numbers: The U.S. has seen more than 3.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 135,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data. Over 41 million tests have been administered and more than 1 million people have recovered.
What else is happening:
- Four former directors of the CDC blasted the Trump administration's "repeated efforts to subvert" agency guidelines related to reopening schools, accusing the White House in a scathing Washington Post op-ed of undermining science with "partisan potshots."
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other family entertainment like zoos, museums and card rooms to cease immediately. Bars must also close entirely.
- Public schools in Los Angeles and San Diego, the two largest public school districts in California, will not send children back to campuses next month and instead hold classes online.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that schools will only reopen if they meet scientific criteria that show the virus is under control in their region, including a daily infection rate of below 5% over a 14-day average. "We're not going to use our children as guinea pigs," he added.
Trends to watch:
- Vaccine: Nations around the world and the global economy are desperately waiting for a coronavirus vaccine, and experts say there is a chance one will become available in record time.
- New risk factors: The CDC included more demographic groups at risk for the coronavirus such as younger people who are obese and who have underlying health problems.
- When to wear a mask: Scientific evidence shows face masks can help to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, but the nuances and changes in messaging about their use are complicating public health efforts.
- Elections: States need to determine how to hold safe elections by this fall. And state governments are facing budget shortfalls that threaten layoffs for public sector employees.
Editor's note: The graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14. This article has been updated with new details throughout. Check back for the latest.