Senate Republican Lamar Alexander said that if he were president of a university today, he “would be planning on going back to school” in the fall.
The Tennessee Senator, who on Sunday said COVID-19 testing levels are not enough for college and university campuses to reopen as normal in August, told Fox News on Wednesday that he may have “created a little confusion” with his earlier comments.
Sen. Lamar Alexander
“… everyone knows that vaccines aren’t going to be ready by August, and that some treatments medicines will be,” said Alexander, according to a transcript of his comments on his website. “But the good news was that tests should be, and if I were president of a university today, I would be planning on going back to school.”
He described several measures universities could take to limit the spread of COVID-19 upon reopening.
“… I would test every student as they came back. Every faculty member,” Alexander said. “That doesn’t eliminate the disease, but it creates a place to isolate anybody sick and it creates confidence that it’s a safe place. I would work on spacing.”
He further suggested administrative staff who weren’t needed stay home, schools stagger reopening and faculty teach remotely.
“Masks can be used. We may have to have a culture of masks on college campuses for a while, but I think most students are looking forward to going back to college. And I think because of the advances in testing that we’re now making in this country, they’ll be able to.”