San Diego Parents Debate Fauci's Guidance to Close Bars but Keep Schools Open

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Over the weekend, the nation's top infectious disease specialist urged closing bars and keeping schools open.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the rounds on the morning news shows on Sunday.

“Reality stares you right in the face,” Fauci said on NBC's "Meet the Press," explaining how concerned his colleagues are if things don’t turn around quickly. “We don’t want to lock down completely, but we might have to … and I’m not talking nationally, I’m talking locally, I’m talking about specific locations of people starting to see stress on hospitals and health care delivery systems."

Fauci was also on "This Week," where he said that bars should be closed and schools kept open.

Some parents in San Diego Unified have been urging the district to reopen schools for hybrid in-person learning, which other districts have done -- albeit with mixed results.

“It kind of confirms what we as parents have been asking for -- is schools be opened,” said parent Gina Smith from Reopen Schools San Diego.

Smith said her son has been going to day camp since June with no incidence of coronavirus. 

“I feel if big-box [stores], restaurants and other businesses were able to open successfully, I think schools should have been priority No. 1," Smith said.

Dawniel Stewart, who is also a parent and co-leader of San Diegans for Science Based School Reopenings, does not believe students should be back on campus yet but agreed that San Diego prioritized opening businesses instead of schools. 

“We would be in a very different place if we had handled the pandemic differently from the start, and that means to prioritize our schools rather than our businesses," Stewart said. "But we’re in such a mess with this virus that any discussion of opening schools is nonsense and utterly ridiculous at this point.”

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