McMorris Rodgers Continues Push to Reopen Schools in Eastern Washington

Washington, D.C. (March 17, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today continued advocating for the reopening of schools in Eastern Washington and across the country. During today’s Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Rodgers said the following:

“Let’s be clear—school closures are having a devastating effect on our children. Dr. Hasan, the division chief of pediatric infectious diseases at RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey, put it ‘the mental health crisis caused by school closing will be worse, a worse pandemic than COVID.’

“Worse than COVID, yet schools remain closed. One year ago today—this day—Governor Inslee closed the schools in my home state of Washington, and we have been too slow to open. Washington ranks 46th in the nation in getting students back into the classrooms. This is unacceptable. Why is it taking so long, Governor Inslee?

“It’s time our kids return to the classroom. Schools remain closed because of fear and politics, not science.

“Dr. Walensky, on February 3rd, you stated ‘schools can safely reopen.’ Dr. Fauci for months last year you agreed schools should reopen. As you put it last fall ‘close the bars and keep the schools open.’

“But unfortunately, the teachers’ unions continue to stand in the way. President Biden should be leading to get our schools open but following public backlash from the White House about your remarks Dr. Walensky, the CDC published guidance that kept many schools from fully reopening.

“We now know the CDC misinterpreted some of the research it relies on. Four doctors wrote in USA Today and confirmed fear—not science—led to harmful policy. Enough is enough. Our kids are in crisis.

“Today, I call on you Dr. Walensky and Dr. Fauci to do as this administration promised, follow science and truth. Update the CDC’s guidance to open schools immediately. Surely that’s something we can all agree on.”

Click here to watch Cathy’s full opening statement.

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