In a recent interview with CBS, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been a leading adviser throughout the COVID-19 crisis, conceded that while he had backed the prolonged school closures when they were initially put in place, doing so was an error.

“It’s just not a good idea to keep it for one year,” Fauci said in the interview.

Before, Fauci was defending the advice to close schools with congressional testimony and in public comments. Fauci was at odds with former President Donald Trump last summer, pushing back on CDC guidelines that recommended closing schools for virus spread in a community.

A day later, Trump lambasted the stringent CDC guidelines in a tweet, saying, “They are very tough & expensive guidelines for opening up…. They’re asking schools to do very impractical things.”

Meanwhile, Fauci argued that in August 2020 that some places with high virus levels may still not be ready to reopen schools and suggested “many months of virtual learning” was in store for some areas.

However, Fauci repeatedly said that his “default position” would be to open schools, provided the transmission rates in a county or a state were low.

Statistics released on Brown University’s National COVID-19 School Response Data Dashboard in September 2020 revealed that fewer than 1% of all open schools had reported COVID-19 inflections.

Two years later, during another interview, Fauci demurred on whether those extended closures might have been a mistake, admitting to the “deleterious collateral consequences” but then suggesting that his position had all along been “to do everything you can to keep the schools open”

Fauci did testify to the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic saying that the advice for six-feet physical distancing had “no scientific basis” and was “a judgment of six-feet.”

The US Department of Education stated in September 2022 that the reading scores of nine-year-olds were the worst in 30 years, and math scores fell for the first time in 50 years of collecting data.

Fauci ended the CBS interview by saying, “To shut down was correct. And I would say, close the bars and open the schools, open the schools as fast and as safely as you can.”

Despite increasing evidence to the contrary, Fauci also mentioned that remote learning doesn’t cause major harm to a student’s learning progress.