Coronavirus: Michael Gove contradicts himself moments after “guaranteeing” that teachers will be safe at school


Michael Gove admitted today that there is no way to be sure teachers and children will not get coronavirus if they return to class – just moments after claiming he could ” guarantee ”that schools are safe.

Minister urged councils, teachers’ unions and doctors to “rethink” opposition to reopening primary school classrooms in England from June 1, as proposed by government, telling minister that if they really care about children, they should “turn to your responsibilities”.

Asked about BBC1 Andrew Marr Show if he could “guarantee” that teachers returning to school would be safe, Mr. Gove said firmly, “Yes.”

But moments later, he admitted there was still an element of risk, telling Marr: “The only way to make sure you never get coronavirus is to stay completely at home. There is always, always, always in the loosening of these restrictions there is a risk of catching the coronavirus.

“The bottom line is that we can make these workplaces safe. You can never eliminate the risks, but as we know, it is extremely unlikely that a school is likely to be the source of a Covid outbreak and if, for any reason, there are risks, we can take steps to mitigate them. . “

He added, “We cannot have a situation where we keep our economy, our schools and our public services shut down continuously, because the health consequences of doing so would also be harmful.

“None of us can guarantee that anyone will be completely free (of risk) unless he is actually imprisoned for life in his own home. “

Labor Party Urges Government To Release Scientific Evidence Underlying Proposal To Reopen Schools And Continue Talking To Unions, Teachers And Boards To Ensure Parents Can Be Safe Their Children Will Be Safe if they come back.

Shadow Cabinet Minister Rachel Reeves told Sky News Sophy Ridge Sunday: “The government still has a lot of work to do to ensure that it will be safe to send the children away in two weeks.

“The government has two weeks to do it right. So far, they haven’t addressed it properly. “


Teachers’ unions asked the government for more responses on Friday after meetings with science advisers and ministers. And they have received support for their cautious approach from the British Medical Association, while local authorities, including Liverpool and Hartlepool, have declared that they will not reopen schools on June 1, unless they are absolutely convinced that it could be done safely.

Asked what those opposing a return to school next month would say, Mr. Gove said, “I respectfully ask them to think again, to broaden the range of scientific advice they consider.

“I know the BMA has the best interests of its members at heart, but in fact, the clear scientific and clinical advice is that it is safe to reopen schools with social distancing.”

The former secretary of education added, “Children have only one chance at education. Over the past decade, we have made significant strides in closing the gap between the richest and the poorest in our schools. This lock put that back.

“If you really care about children, you want them to be in school, you want them to learn, you want them to have opportunities. Look at your responsibilities. “

Reeves said parents ‘and teachers’ anxieties would be “much less” if the government had implemented a widespread coronavirus screening program, followed by follow-up of contacts of those infected and the isolation of those who found positive.

Gove announced today that more than 17,000 of the government’s 18,000 contact tracers have been recruited and said authorities are “on track” to start the program by the end of this month. .

Reeves said, “The government needs to put in place some of the confidence-building measures, including the testing, tracing and isolation strategy. The government abandoned this in mid-March. It was a mistake. “

She added, “We want to see our children in class, but to do it safely, two things must happen. First, the government must work with parents, teachers and their unions to make sure the new plans have the confidence of everyone so that parents feel confident about sending their children to school.

“But we also need more transparency from the government. The Prime Minister said last Sunday that all the decisions that will be made about easing the lock will be based on science and here we are, a week later, and those details have not been released and it is a cause for concern and adds to the anxiety of teachers, teachers and parents about safety. “

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has suggested that the return-to-school schedule should vary based on the R-value – recording the average number of people infected with each coronavirus patient – in different parts of England .

The former Labor MP warned that the Prime Minister could break national unity unless he listens to concerns that the lifting of the lockdowns is coming too soon for the North.

Talk to the BBC Breakfast he said, “People don’t have R information at the moment. They can get it, but it is not officially published by the government.

“There is a very different picture in the North, especially in the Northeast, where the R is the highest, so I can understand the concerns.

“Let’s go back around the table, look at the evidence and have some flexibility in terms of [children] go back to school because it will be different in different places. “


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