Posted by Curt on 5 June, 2023 at 3:05 pm. 1 comment.



Most of you won’t be surprised to learn this, but an infuriating bit of pandemic history has been revealed in records released under a FOIA request. They consist of text messages that were exchanged between CDC Director Rochelle Walensy and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten in early 2021. The CDC was preparing to release new guidelines about reopening schools that had been closed during the pandemic. But the AFT got hold of the guidelines in advance and Weingarten directly contacted Walensky to pressure her to essentially allow the unions to keep the schools closed longer. The CDC caved to the pressure and changed the language. (NY Post)

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten voiced concern to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky about the language of the federal agency’s February 2021 school opening guidance a day before it was made public, according to newly reported texts that shed light on their friendly relationship.

The text messages showing the chummy exchange between Weingarten and Walensky were obtained by the Fairfax County Parents Association through a Freedom of Information Act request with the CDC.

The text chains seem to show Walensky caving to pressure applied by Weingarten to keep schools shuttered in February 2021 and then thanking Weingarten, whom she refers to as her “friend,” after the union released a statement praising the health agency.

The original language that the CDC was preparing to put out in February 2021 said, “All schools can provide in-person instruction (either full or hybrid), through strict adherence to mitigation strategies.” But after being pressured by Weingarten, the language was changed. The final version that was released said, “All schools have options to provide in-person instruction.”

Weingarten was apparently thrilled with the change, which made it easier for the unions to argue to keep the schools closed longer. She thanked Walensky profusely, referring to her as “my friend.” What a charming, heartwarming story, eh?

What this confirms for us (as so many of you already suspected) is that the CDC was not “following the science” when creating policies about school closures and reopening. They were following the marching orders of the teachers’ unions. Of course, as we later learned, the school closures did basically nothing in terms of pandemic mitigation. The states that either didn’t close their schools or reopened them quickly didn’t experience any measurably worse outcomes for children as a result of the pandemic.

What is certain, however, is that the states where schools remained closed longest at the behest of the unions were the ones where children suffered the worst outcomes in terms of educational achievement and pediatric mental health.

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