On the same day that a million-dollar campaign accused President Joe Biden of working with dark money and powerful teachers’ unions to keep schools closed, the head of that union gave an interview that essentially confirmed the assertion.
Americans for Public Trust, a government accountability group, went after Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over reports the American Federation of Teachers lobbied the CDC on school reopenings.
In a CSPAN interview Monday, AFT President Randi Weingarten can be heard saying of the CDC, “They asked us for language and we gave them language when they asked for it.”
Weingarten dismissed the whole sordid affair as “normal rulemaking,” saying there was “nothing nefarious” about it even though the two suggestions they made were in the final draft almost verbatim, according to the New York Post. At the time, she said the Post’s reporting was “a hit piece.”
She unwittingly gave the Trump administration a plug in the process.
“This is what every administration used to do,” the union chief said. “The problem with the last administration is that they didn’t do it.”
Weingarten suggested last week that schools should reopen full-time and in-person in the fall, pointing to vaccines as a key reason.
“Between the vaccines, the mitigation, the collaboration, and just being in school — you saw a formula for how to create the trust and transparency that was necessary to get everyone back,” Weingarten told Politico last week.
But on Monday, she kept talking about variants of COVID-19 while justifying the union’s actions.
“We have said to the CDC everyone should have, parents should be — they should be communicating with parents, they should be communicating with educators,” Weingarten said. “They have to communicate with those who actually are impacted by their policies.”
“The science tells you where the pandemic is going. The impact, the logistics are something that one has to do,” she continued. “Everything that we said privately, we have been saying publicly. And ultimately, the fact that there are variants, the fact that there needs to be — there needed to be accommodations, this is part of what creates the trust that we can reopen schools fully in the fall. Again, safety is the way in which you reopen.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, responded to video footage of the CSPAN interview in a tweet that read: “Puppet-masters must be obeyed.”
Here’s a sampling of responses to the story from Twitter, to include former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows:
Wow. This is the Teachers Union President openly admitting: Joe Biden’s CDC sought out her lobbying for guidance on opening schools. https://t.co/xZmx9gF970
— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) May 18, 2021
Weingarten now openly admitting what @apublictrust revealed through the Teachers Union/CDC emails.
The Biden CDC let political allies at teachers unions rewrite their COVID guidance to keep schools closed. https://t.co/9abXvSq3uZ https://t.co/qYcxTqS4Hy
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) May 18, 2021
Education for children sounds like it falls around #8 on her priority list.
— SeasonX (@BStorm80) May 18, 2021
Why is she worrying about the grandparents of the students in the schools? Isn’t that the job of the parents? She just got through saying that parents should be consulted, why is she supposedly carrying the flag for them? Answer: she’s not, she’s lying
— Gary (@LentzGary) May 18, 2021
Why should anyone be shocked? The Biden campaign website’s Education page spoke more about unions than children. In fact, every policy page spoke more about unions than actual policy.
— Andy Perrigo (@faperrigo) May 18, 2021
Wow. @rweingarten dictated language to the CDC and deliberately kept schools closed far longer than they needed to be. Thousands of years worth of education was stolen from American children by these organizations and they need to be held accountable.
— Hamp Oldshue (@HampOldshue) May 18, 2021
The teachers’ unions have acted as mob bosses and our children have paid the price.
We need legislation that protects parental rights from these special interest groups and we need it now.
— Madeline Kazantzis (@MadelineKaz) May 18, 2021
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