Sunday shows preview: CDC school reopening guidance stirs debate; Texas battles winter freeze
Debate over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent guidance on reopening schools amid the pandemic, as well as the winter weather ravaging Texas are expected to dominate this week’s Sunday talk shows.
Last Friday, the CDC released long-awaited guidelines on a phased reopening for schools across the country. The agency, among its recommendations for a safe reopening, listed the universal wearing of masks by students, staff and teachers as well as social distancing.
The CDC added that vaccinations for teachers should be prioritized, but “should not be considered a condition” for reopening schools.
The recommendations prompted more questions aimed at the Biden administration, as experts are attempting to promote the safety of returning to schools, while teachers unions are pushing back against returning to in-person learning.
Republicans have also criticized President Biden over claims that he is not pushing hard enough for schools to reopen.
The issue of whether teachers should be vaccinated before returning to the classrooms was a main focus of debate this week, especially after Symone Sanders, a spokesperson for Vice President Harris, repeatedly declined to directly answer when asked if teachers need to be vaccinated in order for schools to safely reopen.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday clarified that “neither the president nor the vice president believe,” vaccinations are a requirement for teachers.
Psaki is scheduled to appear on ABC’s “This Week,” on Sunday.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Wednesday that it would be “non-workable” to get every teacher vaccinated before schools reopen. He did however tell CBS’s Gayle King that he believed teachers should be bumped up in vaccine priority.
Fauci will do a round of interviews on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday.”
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who has publicly supported Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package to start the safe reopening of schools, will also appear on NBC’s Sunday show.
The White House also announced Saturday that Biden had approved a major disaster declaration for Texas as the state grapples with severe winter weather.
The declaration will funnel federal funding to 77 of Texas’s 254 counties. It also allows individuals and businesses to apply for federal aid, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and grants to help support temporary housing and repairs for home damage.
States of emergency have already been approved in Texas, as well as Louisiana and Oklahoma, as freezing temperatures have damaged infrastructure and residents suffer from widespread water shortages and power blackouts.
Dozens of people have also been killed from car crashes and other incidents as a result of the winter storm across the states.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (R) are both scheduled to appear on CBS’ “Face the Nation” this week. Texas Rep. Michael McCaul (R) will appear on CNN’s “Face The Nation.”
Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:
ABC’s “This Week” — Psaki; Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Fauci; Weingarten.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” — National security adviser Jake Sullivan; Turner; Price; Matthew Pottinger, deputy national security adviser to former President Trump.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — Fauci; McCaul; Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.); Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.).
“Fox News Sunday” — Fauci; Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.
Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), House Intel Committee, House Armed Services Committee; Stephen Miller, former White House senior adviser; Kash Patel, former chief of staff for the Department of Defense, former deputy assistant to the president.