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.
“… 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.”