Group of Michigan doctors wants science involved in decision to re-open schools for fall

School districts across the state have been trying to come up with a plan to safely bring kids back for fall.

Some state lawmakers are calling on doctors to drop their plan to send students back to the classroom. The Michigan Senate is expected to meet Saturday to discuss what’s been labeled a bi-partisan framework for how schools can teach kids safely this fall. 

This group of doctors has a relatively straight forward request on paper.  

“We hope that when our policymakers meet, we hope they’ll consider health professionals who are in the middle of this pandemic,” said Dr. Rob Davidson, Committee to Protect Medicare and west Michigan ER doctor.

President Donald Trump has continued to push for reopening schools for face to face education and previously threatened to pull federal funding for districts that don’t allow, for in-person learning.

Three doctors, two of whom are with the Committee to Protect Medicare, say they want the science and data to lead decisions on schools re-opening.  

“The science and the facts of COVID-19 remind us the information evolves every day,” said Farhan Bhatti. “We must be nimble at responding to needs at any given time.”

The group is also requesting that the Republican “Return to Learn” program be scrapped.  

“These are hard and fast conditions,” he added. 

Dr. Bhatti,  besides being a member of the committee to protect Medicare, is also a school board member in Lansing.  

“We would not what to do as a district if we had such a huge hole that was put into our budget,” Bhatti said. “From the types of cuts that are looming on the horizon.”

“We know that we’re not out of the woods,” said Davidson. “COVID-19 has taught us that outbreaks can happen anywhere at any time.”
Dr. Harshini Jayasuriyaa is a family doctor in mid-Michigan with kids in public schools. For her, there are still a lot of unknowns as a medical professional and a mom.

“I’m very lucky to be in a school district that has a lot of resources, and even still, I’m very hesitant to allow them to go in as it currently is,” she said.

The White House had continued to maintain school districts that can safely re-open provided the proper mitigation measures and health protocols, saying their approach is based on scientific data and common sense.

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