Biden avoids question on returning children to school: ‘Why are you the only guy that always shouts out questions?’

President-elect Joe Biden avoided answering a question from a reporter about whether or not he will push back against teachers unions preventing children from returning to classrooms for in-person learning.

“Mr. Biden, the COVID task force said it’s safe for students to be in class,” CBS reporter Bo Erickson asked Biden on Friday as a press conference came to a close. “Are you going to encourage unions to cooperate more to bring kids back to classroom, sir?”

Biden chose not to answer the question and instead responded, “Why are you the only guy that always shouts out questions?”

The debate on opening schools has become a contentious issue across the country, with several major teachers unions across the country refusing to approve sending children back to class due to coronavirus fears.

Op-eds in both the Washington Post and The Atlantic this week called for the opening of schools, citing the documented emotional damage that closings can have on children and the fact that countries across the world have managed to open schools without upticks in child infections.

“It’s small family gatherings where people become more comfortable they remove their face mask. … But it’s not interschool transmission,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said this week. “The truth is, for kids K through 12, one of the safest places they can be … is to remain in school.”

Several studies have suggested that children are not spreaders of the coronavirus, including a German study over the summer suggesting that the opposite is true.

“It is rather the opposite,” professor Reinhard Berner, the head of pediatric medicine at Dresden University Hospital and a researcher on the study, said. “Children act more as a brake on infection. Not every infection that reaches them is passed on.”

The Biden-Harris campaign website has a section titled “Joe Biden’s Roadmap To Reopening Schools Safely” that lays out various conditions and funding provisions needed to reopen schools.

“Creating the conditions to make it happen should be a top national priority,” the website reads. “Joe Biden believes that the decision about when to reopen safely should be made by state, tribal, and local officials, based on science and in consultation with communities and tribal governments. “

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