WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler mocked over his failed attempt to shame Trump on school reopenings

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler was roasted online following his attempt to shame Donald Trump after the former president chastised President Joe Biden over public schools that remain closed during the pandemic despite studies showing they can safely reopen.

“There’s no reason whatsoever why the vast majority of young Americans should not be back in school immediately,” Trump said during his highly anticipated speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday.

“The only reason that most parents do not have that choice is because Joe Biden sold out America’s children to the teachers’ unions. His position is morally inexcusable,” Trump continued.

Kessler took to Twitter before consulting a calendar and wrote: “Trump complaining about kids not back in schools yet. Who was president a month ago?”

Trump spoke Sunday, Feb. 28; a month ago is Jan. 28, eight days after Biden was inaugurated.

The WaPo fact-checker was fact-checked mightily online.

Some pointed out that, by and large, local school districts are in charge of deciding when to reopen. But that didn’t stop Biden from criticizing then-President Trump for allegedly not doing enough to get schools reopened during the pandemic when he was still in office.

“If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on in this crisis, American schools would be open and they’d be open safely,” he said during a brief appearance in Delaware in September. “Instead, American families all across this county are paying the price for his failures and his administration’s failures.

“He’s offering nothing but failure and delusions from the start to finish to American families and our children,” Biden continued. 

“That’s what you should be focused on — getting our kids back to school safely… not whipping up fear and division, not inciting violence in our streets,” Biden said. “Get off Twitter and start talking to the congressional leaders of both parties.”

For his part, Trump had been pressing for schools to reopen for weeks ahead of the new 2020 academic year, but he got a lot of pushback from school boards and teachers’ unions, the latter of which continue to resist reopening schools despite Trump’s delivering of vaccines in record time and CDC guidelines based on studies showing that reopening schools is safe.

As for the Washington Post and Kessler, the paper decided to close up its so-called false claims project launched at the outset of the Trump presidency after Biden was inaugurated, saying there were “no plans” for a similar operation scrutinizing the current administration.

“The database of Trump claims was started a month after Trump became president as a way to not overwhelm our fact-checking enterprise, where the core mission is to explain complex policy issues,” WaPo communications director Shani George said the day after Biden was inaugurated. 

“While we do not have plans to launch a Biden database at this time, we will continue to dig into the accuracy of statements by political figures of all party affiliations,” she added.

Kessler has been incorrect in the past in an attempt to catch the former president in a lie.

In April he had to issue a mea culpa after a viral Twitter thread meant to fact-check Trump after he took issue with a Department of Health and Human Services inspector general report claiming hospitals were experiencing a shortage of equipment needed to handle the pandemic.

In fact, Melissa Rumley told The Daily Caller, “The report was not an [IG] product.”

Kessler’s latest fail reverberated on Twitter.

 

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Jon Dougherty

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