"We should try, as the default, to get the kids to stay in school," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at an event hosted by Georgetown University.
"If you're in the part of a country where the dynamics of the outbreak are really minimal, if at all, then there's no problem at all in getting back. If you're in a situation where you're in outbreak mode, then you leave it up to the local individuals," he said.
Facing a battered economy as he seeks re-election in November, President Donald Trump has pressured states to reopen shuttered businesses and schools. Last week, he said the Treasury Department would re-examine schools’ tax-exempt status and their federal funding if they did not resume in-person classes.
It is not clear how Treasury could restrict funds. Most primary and secondary school funding is local.