Press ReleaseJuly 24, 2020

Over 1,500 Physicians Sign Petition Supporting the Reopening of Schools

A surge in known COVID-19 cases doesn’t warrant a suspension of in-person, classroom instruction in the fall

Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2020) —As part of the Job Creators Network Foundation’s ‘Flatten the Fear’ campaign, over 1,500 physicians within 48 hours have signed-on to a petition advocating for elementary and middle schools to reopen this fall. The Doctors’ recommendation comes as local and state leaders grapple with the decision to resume in-person, classroom instruction.

Read the petition here.

The recommendation is also echoed by the Center for Disease Control and PreventionAmerican Association of Pediatrics and National Academies of Sciences—which have lined-up in support of reopening schools. Various studies find that elementary and middle school students are less likely to spread the virus to other children or adults; moreover, they rarely display severe symptoms that could pose a serious health risk. Children also face the risk of abuse and neglect, as well as developmental problems while in prolonged periods of isolation.

“Tens of millions of American students and families, particularly minorities, have faced severe disruptions from prolonged school closures,” said Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network. “These consequences extend beyond just scholastic slippage, which may never be recovered, to social and health impacts, including missed school lunches and an escape from abusive homes. For the sake of all American families, especially the most vulnerable, and following the best science, state and local officials must reopen schools.”

C.L. Gray, MD, president and founder of Physicians for Reform and a partner of the Job Creators Network Foundation, released the following statement:

Implementing a strategy that allows schools to reopen should be a priority for every school district across the country. It’s becoming growingly apparent and supported by prominent organizations—including the CDC, American Association of Pediatrics and National Academies of Sciences—that schools can and should be able to safely reopen when common sense safety protocols are put in place. Leaders at the state and local levels need to work together to make it happen.

Jeff Colyer MD, a practicing physician, former governor of Kansas and partner of the Job Creators Network Foundation, released the following statement:

As both a practicing physician and former governor, I understand that science should inform public policy decisions. In this case, the science makes it abundantly clear that schools should resume in-person, classroom instruction for America’s youth. It couldn’t be more evident.

Dr. Kristin Held, an ophthalmic surgeon with a private practice in San Antonio, Texas, president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and partner of JCNF, released the following statement:

Allowing schools to reopen for in-person, classroom instruction is a no-brainer. The science suggests COVID-19 poses little risk to students and at-home learning has proven to be a failure. With common sense protocols in-place, schools can and should safely reopen.

Lee S. Gross, MD, a practicing family physician in North Port, FL, the president of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, and partner of JCNF, released the following statement:

Keeping schools closed will be more detrimental to children than the virus itself. By preventing in-person learning, we’re preventing the scholastic, social and developmental growth of our youth. The numerous studies on students and COVID-19 speak for themselves. With safety as a priority, state leaders must allow schools to reopen.

The Flatten the Fear campaign is a project of the Job Creators Network Foundation. To learn more, visit