Skip to comments.Confirmed: Teachers union helped formulate CDC "scientific" guidance on school reopenings
Posted on 05/03/2021 10:58:58 AM PDT by DeweyCA
A leftover from the weekend via the New York Post. There’s nothing unusual about special interests lobbying the federal government to try to influence policy, of course. But there’s cause for squeamishness when (a) it’s the “scientific” branch of the government responsible for pandemic guidance that’s being pressured and (b) the special interest in question happens to be a hugely generous benefactor of the party in power.
The Post has documented two changes to CDC guidance that were made at the behest of the American Federation of Teachers, but that’s only because there are actual documents — emails — to substantiate those. There were also phone calls between the AFT and CDC apparatchiks, including Rochelle Walensky. Who knows what sort of rules were sought by the AFT in conversation that didn’t make it into discoverable written communications.
With the CDC preparing to write that schools could provide in-person instruction regardless of community spread of the virus, [AFT exec Kelly] Trautner argued for the inclusion of a line reading “In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.” That language appeared on page 22 of the final CDC guidance.
The AFT also demanded special remote work concessions for teachers “who have documented high-risk conditions or who are at increased risk for … COVID-19,” and that similar arrangements should extend to “staff who have a household member” with similar risks. A lengthy provision for that made it into the text of the final guidance…
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.”
Walensky and AFT President Randi Weingarten apparently spoke by phone on February 7, five days before the CDC released its overly cautious new guidance on school reopenings. What did the two discuss? We’re left to wonder, but it’s worth noting that even members of big media were surprised by how timid the agency’s recommendations for schools ended up being. Jake Tapper grilled Walensky on February 14 about the fact that the vast majority of school districts would need to remain closed under the new CDC rules based on the current levels of community spread even though teachers were already being vaccinated and kids were unlikely to transmit the virus. Walensky struggled to respond. Why?
Maybe the “community risk” guidelines were more of an AFT policy than a CDC policy. “This is free from political meddling,” Walensky said of the school reopening recommendations when she announced them on February 12, but we know now that’s not true. How much has the CDC been following politics instead of science in keeping kids out of the classroom and marooned at home with virtual learning?
And will they continue to do so this fall? A lot of parents, especially moms who had to quit their jobs to pick up the slack created by the unions, are keen to know:
Weingarten answered the criticism by noting that the AFT contacted the CDC under Trump more often than it has under Biden. Well … yes, that makes sense given that 11 of the 14 months of the pandemic happened with Trump as president. But even if the time were more balanced, there’s a world of difference between the AFT lobbying a party that depends heavily on its largesse and a party that’s antagonistic to it. “The CDC sought approval of scientific guidance from political donors while ignoring actual experts like the American Academy of Pediatrics so unions could get more money (much harder if schools are open) while they ramped up political donations,” says Rory Cooper. “It’s corruption top to bottom.” Trump was an outspoken advocate of reopening schools ASAP last summer, against the AFT’s wishes. The Biden administration has been far more cautious, tying reopening to school spending in the massive COVID relief bill, as the AFT wanted. Of course the AFT lobbied Trump’s administration more often, then — it had to, as Team Joe and his CDC didn’t need nearly as much persuading to carry out the union’s agenda.
I’ll leave you with Anita Dunn being asked yesterday by Tapper whether schools will reopen in the fall, something that Biden recommended just a few days ago. Notably, Dunn hedges — they’ll probably reopen this fall, she says, but you never know when one of those pesky variants might emerge to foul things up. She’ll get back to us in August, I assume, after she’s had a few phone calls with Weingarten.
Public school is evil.
They were probably science teachers so......
So much for this administration following the "Science".
The entire Biden-Harris administration is "two- faced" !
This became evident when Biden promised to follow the "truth", rather than the "facts" or "science".
They own the term : hypocracy !
Breaking: CDC says teachers need to have 20% raises and reduced school hours and days/school year. They should only work one month a year, oh, and they require a car service.
When the (bottom of the education and intelligence barrel) teacher’s union uses the word “science”, I am reminded of Inigo Montoya famous quote: “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”
In this day and age, I have no idea why people still refuse to believe in conspiracies occurring. Or even their possibilities.
This is proof positive of compromised CDC “rules” on covid!
They let the teachers union have a part in forming this idiotic covid mandate bullshit and take ZERO input from practicing physicians????
To the teachers and their union:
No WORK, NO PAY!!
This unconstitutional, criminal regime in the whitehut is a total disaster!
I don’t find the existence of interaction between the CDC and the teacher’s unions to be all that troubling.
I work in a hardware / software development group within a company where most of the employees who use computers have no particular computer expertise. They are basically call center operations far removed from developers.
The IT department of our company sets policy based call centers. A lot of their policy gets in the way of normal development; e.g., firewall policies that make remote access to the labs nearly impossible. They also have a blanket policy on email content which puts hurdles in our way when we attempt to paste code into an email to share with other team members since email content cannot be directly pasted into containers that the IT department deems risky.
The problem is that the IT department has NEVER considered our use cases. This results in a bureaucracy that lays rules down that are inappropriate to our working environment.
I see interaction between the CDC bureaucrats and the teachers to be an opportunity for the teachers to explain their “use cases” to the bureaucrats.
Neither the CDC or the Teacher’s Union are elected to anything and have NO LEGAL AUTHORITY over ANYTHING!!!!!
Well, considering where they get their funding, who’s surprised?
Let’s not forget: Anita Dunn, the Senior Strategic Adviser to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, said that China’s Chairman Mao Zedong is her “favorite political philosopher.” Mao, according to the Washington Post, killed 80 million of his own people.
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