Friday, April 1, 2022

Teachers Unions Worked With CDC to Keep Schools Closed for COVID, GOP Report Says; CDC Chief Defends ‘uncommon’ Ties to Teachers Unions on School Reopenings, and other C-Virus related stories

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File
Teachers unions worked with CDC to keep schools closed for COVID, GOP report says:
Labor group allowed to draft guidelines that led to lengthy closures
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed the nation’s second-largest teachers union to help write COVID-19 guidelines that led to extended school closures during the pandemic, according to a report released Wednesday.
The findings are included in an interim report issued by Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which is investigating the government’s response to the pandemic.
The committee’s Republican investigators found that officials of the union, which heavily backed Democrats in the 2020 elections, “wrote key portions” of the CDC’s February 2021 report setting guidelines for when and how schools should reopen. Questions of whether and how long schools should be shuttered and in-class instruction should be restricted quickly became some of the most divisive issues in the nation’s response to the pandemic.
Under President Biden, the 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,” said a joint statement by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the ranking Republican on the coronavirus panel, and Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Documents in the report show the White House and CDC staff communicating extensively with union officials about a draft of the school reopening guidance before it was issued on Feb. 12, 2021, according to emails obtained by the Republicans through Americans for Public Trust, a right-leaning watchdog group that sought the information through a Freedom of Information Act request. --->READ MORE HERE
Tribune News Service via Getty Images
CDC chief defends ‘uncommon’ ties to teachers unions on school reopenings:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky defended the agency caving to teachers unions on school reopening guidance last year, insisting they were needed to keep classrooms from closing down again.
The Post reported in May 2021 that a top official at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) relayed suggestions from the union during the planning of the nationwide school reopening guidance released by the agency the previous February.
During a hearing before the House Select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, Walensky claimed that “46% of schools were … open before that guidance, 60% were open a few months after.”
“Those guidances opened schools,” she added.
Republicans on the subcommittee released a report earlier Thursday that cited testimony from CDC scientist Dr. Henry Walke, who reportedly described the level of coordination between AFT and CDC as “uncommon.”
“In fact, according to Dr. Walke, the CDC does not typically share draft guidance outside the agency for any reason, even with other federal partners,” the report said. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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