April 28, 2023

Randi Rewrites History on School Closures

Just like Anthony Fauci, Randi Weingarten will probably get away with it too.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, testified before Congress this week regarding the COVID pandemic and her policies at the time. She became infamous for being the power behind keeping schools closed.

In her testimony, Weingarten tried to spin her complicity in keeping schools closed in a way that is not honest at all.

Her first claim was that Joe Biden’s transition team reached out to the AFT for input on school reopening, which led to her colluding with the CDC on January 29, 2021. In other words, what happened next was Team Biden’s fault.

January 29, 2021, is extremely important because it was common knowledge that on February 1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was going to change its recommendations so that in-person learning could resume. AFT union members were threatening to strike if they were forced to go back to in-person work. This little tidbit adds a new motive for the AFT and doesn’t jibe with Weingarten’s previous claim that it was the Biden admin that was pushing for her involvement with the CDC.

We noted at the time that AFT “successfully pressure[d] the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), with the complicity of Joe Biden’s White House, to alter a CDC recommendation on school reopenings just days before it was released.”

There were also emails that prove Weingarten and the AFT were meddling with the CDC so that schools would be harder to open up. Weingarten had every reason to make it as hard as possible to reopen schools. Her union members were getting paid while not having to work very hard. She evaded a strike, but the credibility of the CDC was further compromised. Based on the science and data readily available, the CDC knew that schools opening didn’t pose the threat that leftists feared. It was widely known even then that children were not particularly vulnerable to the disease, and based on other countries like Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, schools weren’t superspreaders.

However, with the AFT’s interference, that all changed. Reopening came with so many precautions such as masking, social distancing, and COVID testing that the best many schools could offer under these restrictions was hybrid learning — some in person, some remote. Children’s test scores, academic gains, and social and mental health declined. The shockwaves of this decision by the Biden White House, CDC, and AFT will be felt for years to come. These kids will have the hardest time making up for lost ground.

In Wednesday’s testimony, Weingarten had the audacity to say: “We spent every day from February on trying to get schools open. We knew that remote education was not a substitute for opening schools but we also knew that people had to be safe. Maybe it’s because I live in New York City; I live near a hospital. Every other minute there was a[n] ambulance, there was terror. Our members were terrified. Others were terrified. And what we were simply looking for was clear scientific guidance, and when we couldn’t get it, we did it ourselves.”

“Safely” is Weingarten’s key cover word. At the time, she was so adamantly against schools reopening that she ranted: “It’s as if [Donald] Trump and [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos want to create chaos and want to jeopardize reopening. There’s no other reason why they would be this reckless, this callous, this cruel.”

Maybe this rant was because she lives in the NYC bubble, where people are still to this day wearing masks alone in their cars, or maybe it’s because she benefits when people are vulnerable and terrified.

Either way, her commitment to keeping schools closed was always about wielding teacher union power and getting as much money as possible from the government for herself and her members — to heck with the students.

The fact she can say with a straight face to Congress that she and others knew remote learning wasn’t a good solution and yet continued to push for closed schools tells you all you need to know about her as a person and as a political hack.

This was never about what was best for the children. It was always about what is best for Randi Weingarten, the AFT, and the Democrat Party.

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