GOP seizes on CDC research to press Biden on schools

School reopening has become the latest partisan battlefield of the pandemic.

The Biden administration is coming under pressure from Republicans to support the reopening of schools after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new research that says that schools can operate safely despite COVID-19.

The CDC researchers on Tuesday wrote that there is “little evidence” of widespread coronavirus transmission in schools when proper precautions are followed.

Teachers unions in several places across the country, however, are resisting the push to return to in-person instruction, arguing it is not safe.

Experts stress that the picture is nuanced, and schools should not be thrown open without care and precautions. But they say repeated evidence from around the country shows that schools can open safely under the right conditions.

That puts the new Biden administration in a tough political spot given support from teachers unions for the Democratic Party. And the GOP is seizing on the issue, arguing that schools should be reopened.

Point of contention: Teachers unions are pushing to keep schools closed until it can be completely safe, and have drawn criticism for what some see as unreasonable demands.

Big picture: Schools may not be areas of spread, but they are reflective of the larger communities. If the virus is raging in a community, there’s a much higher likelihood of infection outside the school and it being brought in.