‘Follow the Science’: Documents Suggest Biden Let Teachers’ Union Shape CDC School Reopening Policy

May 2, 2021 by

The AFT helped shape Biden administration policies on the reopening of schools, despite Biden’s pledge to “follow the science.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten speaks about education, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington. Weingarten addressed students needs to succeed and the pitfalls of an anti-public education agenda. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
AP/Cliff Owen

Newly-released documents suggest that one of the country’s most powerful teachers’ unions shaped Biden administration policies on the reopening of schools, despite President Joe Biden’s pledge to “follow the science” on pandemic policy.

The documents, obtained by the conservative group Americans for Public Trust through a Freedom of Information Act request, were reported Saturday by the New York Post. They show the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) lobbying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — and succeeding in having some of their recommendations adopted.

The teachers’ unions had long opposed a rapid reopening of schools, even when science said there was no significant risk. The Los Angeles teachers’ union also claimed that a statewide school reopening plan would reinforce “structural racism.”

The Post reported:

The powerful teachers union’s full-court press preceded the federal agency putting the brakes on a full re-opening of in-person classrooms, emails between top CDC, AFT and White House officials show.

The documents show a flurry of activity between CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, her top advisors and union officials — with Biden brass being looped in at the White House — in the days before the highly-anticipated Feb. 12 announcement on school-reopening guidelines.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco who has written extensively on coronavirus, called the CDC-AFT emails “very, very troubling,”

“What seems strange to me here is there would be this very intimate back and forth including phone calls where this political group gets to help formulate scientific guidance for our major public health organization in the United State,” Gandhi told The Post. “This is not how science-based guidelines should work or be put together.”

Biden campaigned against President Donald Trump by claiming that he would follow the science on the coronavirus, pandemic, implying that the Trump administration had not.

When he announced the administration’s policy on school re-openings February 12, Biden said he would “follow the science” and claimed that the CDC “has provided the best available scientific evidence on how to reopen schools safely.” Walensky also claimed that there had been no political interference.

Source: ‘Follow the Science’: Documents Suggest Biden Let Teachers’ Union Shape CDC School Reopening Policy

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