President Donald Trump got a lot of pushback for his criticism of school reopening guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—including from the CDC itself. But even many people who share the CDC's goal of minimizing health risks in the midst of a pandemic agree that the guidelines aren't especially practical. Keeping kids masked and separated in a learning environment intended for groups makes sense only to those who have little experience with schools—or children. That has lots of parents looking at alternatives such as homeschooling that allow them to implement their own guidelines not just for health, but for their kids' education.
"I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!" the president tweeted on July 8. Not content to just voice his displeasure, he also threatened to cut federal funding for schools that don't fully reopen.
When Trump tweets, his critics automatically respond. California Gov. Gavin Newsom shot back that his state's schools will make their own decisions without regard to the president's desires. Fair enough—local decisions are usually preferable to one-size-fits-none orders from on-high.
But Trump isn't alone in finding the CDC's guidelines unwieldy.