Teachers Union Boss Randi Weingarten Set to get Grilled for Role in Keeping Schools Closed
American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten will appear before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic later this month to answer for continuing to support school shutdowns far beyond when lawmakers began advocating otherwise.
The panel will be titled “The Consequences of School Closures,” a committee spokeswoman confirmed that Weingarten would be a key participant in the April 26 panel.
The hearing comes two years after bombshell reports that Weingarten was communicating with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) during COVID. According to the New York Post, Weingarten even suggested inserting specific language into their health guidelines, some of which were ultimately included.
A February 1 email from AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner to a White House official revealed the extent of this relationship. The correspondence was forwarded to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
“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openness to the suggestions made by our president, Randi Weingarten, and the AFT….We were able to review a copy of the draft guidance document over the weekend and were able to provide some initial feedback to several staff this morning about possible ways to strengthen the document.”
The subcommittee found that this lobbying of the CDC was successful, leading to a trigger policy that would immediately close schools once a certain COVID positivity threshold was reached.
Weingarten admitted to policy pushing during an interview with Martha MacCallum with Fox News, claiming that her input is to thank for the majority of schools being open today, despite only 67% of schools having returned full-time and in person.
However, MacCallum pointed out that data suggesting deficient transmission in schools was available even during the ATF’s continued push to keep schools closed.
Ohio Republican Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), the Subcommittee Chairman, told The Post about his regrets regarding the handling of COVID-19.
“Keeping America’s children in schools should have been the top priority of every governmental organization, school district, and teachers union across our country. Even after data confirmed that the ‘science’ did not justify prolonged school closures, Ms. Weingarten and AFT fought to keep our children away from a healthy and successful learning environment by influencing CDC school reopening guidance. I look forward to hearing Ms. Weingarten’s testimony and learning the truth about the role AFT played in promoting unscientific school closures that harmed the academic, mental, physical, and social development of our youth.”
Last month, the subcommittee sent dozens of letters inquiring about the handling of COVID-19 to various governmental organizations, “concerned about the potential for undue influence of non-governmental groups on CDC scientific guidance.”
Wenstrup, a doctor himself, claimed that the AFT “is a political union, not a professional scientific or medical organization.”
“Even as reliable health data became available, instead of prioritizing the health and education of America’s children, the Biden Administration prioritized its political allies….Yet, CDC permitted the AFT to edit the Operational Strategy prior to its release,”
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