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Johnson Leads Letter on Child Transmission of COVID-19 Letter sent to HHS Secretary Alex Azar; also signed by Reps. Gonzalez, Latta

Press Release

Date: Aug. 5, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after leading a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar asking him to provide America's schools and families with the tools and information they need to effectively return children to the classroom this Fall:

"With the school year rapidly approaching, many families are struggling to decide the best path forward for their children's education this fall," Bill Johnson said. "While some parents are reluctant to send their children into classrooms due to their fear of the coronavirus, there are also many parents -- like me -- who want their children to return to the classroom, five days a week this fall, observing the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines. However, understandably, many families need more information or reassurance. This letter requests just that."

Research into COVID-19 has established that children are far less likely than adults to suffer serious illness or complications from the virus, but, it remains unclear how easily children contract the virus and what role they play in transmitting the virus to other children or their more vulnerable adult teachers and caregivers. Uncovering definitive answers on the role children play in transmitting COVID-19 is critical in our efforts to re-open schools safely and on time. The letter requests HHS to conduct a review of the existing data as soon as possible and disseminate the information.

Along with Johnson, the U.S. Representatives who signed the letter, are: Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Bob Latta (OH-5), David McKinley (WV-1), Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-5), Morgan Griffith (VA-9), and Pete Olson (TX-22).

Johnson added: "I firmly believe that the threat our children face from COVID-19 is much less than the threat posed by continued social isolation and learning loss. And, America's pediatricians and the CDC agree. Schools not opening up in person will lead to yet another catastrophic impact on American families, especially those that need the assistance that in-person schooling provides, like: single moms; parents who both work outside of the home; families in rural communities that do not have access to broadband; and children stuck in unstable homes that are no longer able to escape the despair of a toxic home environment for seven hours a day…I know, because I was one of them."