Exclusive report shows teachers unions’ involvement in CDC reopening guidance far greater than reported

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A report set to be released on Wednesday centers on testimony from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official who revealed that teachers’ unions and the agency coordinated at much higher levels when issuing guidance than was previously divulged, according to a Fox News exclusive report.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will release findings which are said to detail the extent to which the CDC and teachers’ unions worked to keep children out of school for longer than reasonably necessary. Throughout the COVID pandemic, the agency insisted that partnering with those unions was routine and in no way political.

An interim report reviewed by Fox News Digital contains emails between the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the White House, and the CDC that demonstrate the AFT’s “cozy relationship with the Biden administration’s political leadership at the CDC positioned the union to impose line-by-line edits.” The collaborative guidance for reopening schools was found to be in contradiction with the CDC’s “past practice to keep draft guidance confidential.”

Fox News previously reported in October that both the AFT and the National Education Association received advanced copies of the CDC guidance, ostensibly in order to review and amend it before public release. The AFT and NEA are the two largest teachers’ unions in the U.S.

In one example, AFT’s senior director of health issues, Kelly Trautner, emailed CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and requested the addition of a caveat in the guidance which read “In the event high-community transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.” The documents show that Walensky then forwarded the email to Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response, who summarily revised the text with the line-item addition.

That particular instance occurred one day before the guidance was released to the public, the report claims.

The House Republicans’ findings allege the Biden regime granted the teachers’ unions “unprecedented access to the policymaking process for guidance on re-opening schools.”

“Documents and testimony show, however, that Director Walensky downplayed the degree to which CDC departed from past practice to allow AFT to affect the policymaking process. In fact, CDC allowed AFT to insert language into the Operational Guidance that made it more likely schools across the country would remain closed after February 2021,” the report noted.

Recent testimony by Walke in a Feb. 18, 2022 interview is included in the material in which he says that such levels of coordination between the CDC and teachers’ unions would be considered “uncommon.” Walke claimed it is not the practice of the agency to share draft guidance outside its corridors.

The report also states that White House lawyers would not allow Walke to answer questions posed by the House subcommittee as to why the practice of confidentiality was violated, nor why the influence of the unions was accommodated.

“When Republican staff asked Dr. Walke questions to that effect, a Biden Administration lawyer instructed him not to answer,” the report said. “Because lawyers for the Biden Administration prevented a key witness from explaining why the CDC allowed AFT to write key portions of its guidance for re-opening schools, there are still several unanswered questions. This matter should be investigated further.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Republican Reps. Steve Scalise and James Comer accused Biden of rewarding his biggest political donors at the expense of children whose social skills and mental development have been arguably stunted by school closures.

The exclusive statement reads:

The facts are clear: Biden’s CDC overrode routine practice to allow a radical teachers union that donated millions of dollars to Democrat campaigns to bypass scientific norms and rewrite official agency guidance.

The damaging edits by union bosses effectively kept thousands of schools shuttered across the country, locking millions of children out of their classrooms. The Biden Administration abandoned medical science and replaced it with political science to reward one of their largest donors, harming millions of children in the process. They bypassed the science to put union bosses ahead of children.

Millions of Americans are still outraged at what these Washington Democrats put their children through, and all because union bosses demanded they keep schools closed longer.

America’s children are suffering, academically and mentally, because of the Biden Administration enabled school closures. Republicans will not rest until we uncover all the facts and hold everyone accountable who was involved in holding back millions of children from having equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream.


Walensky reportedly said when the guidance was released that it was “free from political meddling.”

The ATF defended its coordination with the CDC, telling the outlet the agency had worked with “dozens” of agencies and interested parties other than teachers’ unions when crafting the guidance.

The CDC has not yet responded to a request by Fox News Digital for comment on the House subcommittee’s report.


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