Public health experts are warning that a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document strongly touting the benefits of reopening schools in the fall while downplaying the risks paints a politically motivated and misleading picture of the science that could put students, educators, and entire communities in danger of contracting Covid-19 as infections surge nationwide.The document, titled \u0022The Importance of Reopening America\u0026#039;s Schools This Fall,\u0022 was posted on the CDC\u0026#039;s website Thursday as part of a broader set of resources and tools designed to help school administrators, teachers, parents, and others safely navigate the process of resuming in-person instruction.Experts said much of the new material released by the CDC\u0026#039;s is reasonable and helpful, discussing the importance of in-person learning for child development while also detailing the serious risks involved in reopening schools amid a global pandemic. (The full package of resources released by CDC Thursday can be viewed here.)\u0022CDC: you do not need to convince Americans about the importance of in-person schooling. We get it. We need you to guide us on the science and how we can safely reopen. Guidelines should be based on public health—not political considerations.\u0022 —Dr. Leana Wen, George Washington UniversityBut the document openly advocating school reopenings drew condemnation from experts who characterized it as clearly driven by a political agenda rather than science and concern for the health of students, school faculty, and the broader public.\u0022This just seems irresponsible,\u0022 tweeted Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and immunologist at the Harvard School of Public Health. \u0022With outbreaks raging in the U.S., this can spell disaster.\u0022The CDC document heavily emphasizes the significance of in-person instruction for children, particularly those \u0022with heightened behavioral needs\u0022—a point that neither public health experts nor educators dispute. What alarmed experts was the document\u0026#039;s failure to discuss in detail the possible health impact reopenings could have on school faculty members and communities.\u0022There is almost no epidemiology in this,\u0022 tweeted Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. \u0022There are only two paragraphs on the science, and one of those is mostly devoted to flu.\u0022\u0022There is no mention of the risk of severe disease for teachers and staff, who are also part of the school community,\u0022 Rivers added. \u0022There is only passing, vague mention of mitigation measures to reduce the risk of transmission. Same for community prevalence.\u0022The document focuses largely on the potential health risks that Covid-19 poses to children, a topic of ongoing debate among scientists and medical professionals. \u0022The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms,\u0022 the document states. \u0022Children appear to be at lower risk for contracting Covid-19 compared to adults.\u0022Mina noted that even if it is true that children are at lower risk from Covid-19, that \u0022does not translate into low risk of causing outbreaks and infecting adults and at-risk populations.\u0022Dr. Leana Wen, visiting professor at George Washington University, tweeted that the CDC does \u0022not need to convince Americans about the importance of in-person schooling.\u0022\u0022We get it,\u0022 Wen wrote. \u0022We need you to guide us on the science and how we can safely reopen. Guidelines should be based on public health—not political considerations.\u0022.@CDCgov: you do not need to convince Americans about the importance of in-person schooling. We get it. We need you to guide us on the science \u0026amp; HOW we can safely reopen. Guidelines should be based on public health--not political considerations.https://t.co/NZpgMESBI6— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) July 24, 2020The CDC\u0026#039;s new resources come just over two weeks after President Donald Trump complained on Twitter that the agency\u0026#039;s guidelines for reopening schools are too \u0022tough\u0022 and \u0022expensive.\u0022 Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are aggressively pressuring schools to resume in-person classes in the fall and threatening to withhold federal funding from schools that remain closed due to Covid-19 fears.Following the president\u0026#039;s tweet, CDC Director Robert Redfield said his agency would release additional materials to assist schools with reopening but would not alter its existing guidelines, which recommend that students wear face coverings and remain six feet apart, among other precautions.Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, criticized the document pushing school reopenings as \u0022likely politically driven\u0022 and highlighted the some of the more useful information posted by the CDC on Thursday:Here\u0026#039;s the guidance for K-12 administrators on preparing to open schools, including considerations related to community spread and best practices for prevention. https://t.co/UpNK7P9E8Y pic.twitter.com/wkaomODvRp— Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH (@JuliaLMarcus) July 24, 2020Here\u0026#039;s the guidance on the use of cloth face coverings for schools, including scenarios where they\u0026#039;re recommended and strategies to support students of various ages in wearing masks. https://t.co/5CrY4hrkOf pic.twitter.com/B5450KHJNw— Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH (@JuliaLMarcus) July 24, 2020Here\u0026#039;s the guidance on screening for symptoms in schools, which is essentially not recommended. https://t.co/EkzietQ8IU pic.twitter.com/N7BhZccBLz— Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH (@JuliaLMarcus) July 24, 2020Here\u0026#039;s a tool to help parents make decisions about sending their kids to school. https://t.co/P6oCx97FTW pic.twitter.com/49dZJkaiw7— Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH (@JuliaLMarcus) July 24, 2020Here\u0026#039;s a set of checklists for parents who are preparing for in-person schooling, remote learning, or a hybrid. https://t.co/llaQbIpDdf pic.twitter.com/jix5cbjSU2— Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH (@JuliaLMarcus) July 24, 2020\u0022It sure would be easier if the CDC could speak directly to the public instead of just quietly posting things on their labyrinth of a website,\u0022 Marcus tweeted.