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The nation’s second-largest teachers union sent a two-page letter to the Biden administration on Tuesday questioning the decision to reduce the recommended social distancing in schools to three feet between students.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced its recommendation for social distancing within schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from six feet to three feet, citing studies of limited virus transmission and similar recommendations from the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

“These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based roadmap to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement last week. 

But on Tuesday, Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers, told Walensky and Education Department Secretary Miguel Cardona that while she and her members “trust the CDC … to provide them with accurate information,” they have concerns about the recent changes. The letter was obtained by CBS News. 

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“We are not convinced that the evidence supports changing physical distancing requirements at this time,” Weingarten wrote. “Our concern is that the cited studies do not identify the baseline mitigation strategies needed to support 3 feet of physical distancing.”

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Weingarten also questioned the scientific foundation of the social distancing studies: “[T]hey were not conducted in our nation’s highest-density and least-resourced schools, which have poor ventilation, crowding and other structural challenges.” 

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