Reproduced from KFF Health Tracking Poll; Note: ±3% margin of error, "Parents of a child" have a child between 5-17 who normally attends school; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans are divided by race and party on the question of whether schools should open sooner or later, according to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why it matters: Although reopening schools may exacerbate community spread of the coronavirus, keeping kids at home often causes learning loss and makes life much harder for working parents.

Between the lines: Staying home is often harder on children of color for a multitude of reasons, including that they may not have the same access to virtual learning as wealthier white children.

  • But parents of color are are much more likely than white parents to think that schools should reopen later, a reminder that Black and Latino communities are also disproportionately affected by the virus itself, and may have more at stake if reopening schools worsens outbreaks in their communities.
  • And while 82% of parents of color say their child's school needs more resources to safely reopen, only 54% of white parents say the same.

The big picture: The Trump administration has been pushing schools to fully reopen in the fall, and Republicans are unsurprisingly much more likely to agree with the president than Democrats.

  • Most independents think that schools should reopen later rather than sooner.

What we're watching: Half of parents said their child's school hadn't yet announced whether they'd be having in-person classes in the fall.

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Health

Italy tightens restrictions as COVID-19 cases soar

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference on Oct. 25 in Rome. Photo: Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced new coronavirus restrictions on Sunday that require face coverings be worn outdoors and mandate bars and restaurants close early.

Why it matters: Nearly 20,000 new cases were recorded in Italy on Saturday alone, per data from Johns Hopkins. COVID-19 infections began spiking dramatically in early October, after the country suppressed its first wave over the summer.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

The swing states where the pandemic is raging

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, The Cook Political Report; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Several states that are likely to decide which party controls Washington next year have exceptionally large coronavirus outbreaks or are seeing cases spike.

Why it matters: Most voters have already made up their minds. But for those few holdouts, the state of the pandemic could ultimately help them make a decision as they head to the polls — and that's not likely to help President Trump.

22 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

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