WASHINGTON, July 9 (KUNA) -- Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield said Thursday "schools must reopen."
"If schools were to stay closed, it would be a "greater public health threat," Dr. Redfield stressed during a virtual summit hosted by The Hill news network.
"I cannot overstate how important I think it is now to get our schools in this nation reopened. The reason I push it is because I truly believe it's the public health benefit of these kids," he said.
"Having the schools actually close is a greater public health threat to children than having the schools reopen," Redfield argued, noting that the virus is not much of a threat to most children.
"I don't think we should go overboard in trying to develop a system that doesn't recognize the reality that this virus really is relatively benign to those of us that are under the age of 20," Redfield said.
"The greatest risk this virus causes is if there was an individual that was vulnerable in that group, like my grandson, or if there was an individual that was vulnerable like a teacher and this is why in the process we need to protect the vulnerable," he added.
Meanwhile, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, commenting on the global race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, said, "It's a very tight international collaboration here; we're all working towards a common goal."
Azar explained that the United States currently has four major investments in vaccine candidates that work in three different ways: the Moderna vaccine, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and the Novavax vaccine.
"So we now have major bets in all three of the major potential platforms for vaccines. With each of them we will drive towards manufacturing to have tens of millions of doses by this fall and hundreds of millions into the beginning of next year," he said.
"We're investing in US manufacturing and US fill-and-finish capacity so that we're not dependent on any movement of product across borders from outside the United States. But in no way would we do anything to preclude development for the rest of the world," he went on.
A member of the White House press corps has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) said Thursday.
The White House said it would test those present in briefings, according to the WHCA.
The case marks the first known coronavirus case among the White House press corps.
Two people were asked to leave the site of a roundtable with Vice President Mike Pence after they tested positive for Covid-19, CNN reported, citing sources of the press pool traveling with the Vice President. (end)