On Saturday, The New York Post posted an article about the influence of the Teachers’ Union on decisions that were made about reopening schools.
The article reports:
The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on, and even suggested language for, the federal agency’s school-reopening guidance released in February.
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 emails were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust and provided to The Post.
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.
“Thank you again for Friday’s rich discussion about forthcoming CDC guidance and for your openness to the suggestions made by our president, Randi Weingarten, and the AFT,” wrote AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner in a Feb 1 email — which described the union as the CDC’s “thought partner.”
The article notes:
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.”
The close communication between the union and the feds came despite repeated assurances from CDC and Biden officials that the medical guidelines would “follow the science” and be free of political interference.
The Teachers’ Union is right to be concerned about the welfare of its members. However, it should also be concerned about the well being of students. I suspect there were more things at work here than the welfare of teachers and students.