From what seemed like Day One of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media repeatedly preached the importance of “following the science” when it came to America’s response to the outbreak.
But according to Breitbart, President Joe Biden and his administration, along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), might not have followed that creed. New documents obtained by a conservative watchdog group reportedly reveal that a powerful teachers union could have had considerable influence on the government’s guidance for reopening schools.
What’s going on?
First reported by the New York Post, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by watchdog group Americans for Public Trust revealed that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) lobbied the CDC on how and when to recommend reopening schools — and the union even had some level of success.
Teachers unions like the AFT spent considerable time and resources attempting to convince the government and the American public in the lead-up to a February announcement of guidance from the CDC that heading back to the classroom at that time was not a sound strategy, with a Los Angeles teachers union even labeling the idea of reopening schools then as “racist,” reports noted.
The documents obtained by Americans for Public Trust revealed that CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and her staff corresponded numerous times with union officials, even bringing the Biden White House into the loop at one point. Again, this all took place just a few days before a highly-anticipated Feb. 12 announcement from the federal agency on purported best practices for reopening schools in America in the wake of the coronavirus.
“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,” an email written by AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner said, according to the Post.
“We were able to review a copy of the draft guidance document over the weekend and were able to provide some initial feedback to several staff this morning about possible ways to strengthen the document,” Trautner added.
It gets even worse
There were several more emails and even phone call appointments included in the documents obtained by the watchdog group that suggested a close working relationship between the teachers union and various government officials.
In its report, the Post pointed out that some of the “suggestions” by union officials on the language that should be included in the guidance were adopted “verbatim” in the CDC’s final statement.
As Breitbart reported in February, shortly after the CDC’s announcement, Dr. Walensky assured the American public that the reopening plans were “free from political meddling” and doubled down on the idea that the agency formulated the plan based on “available science.”
Notably, Biden’s presidential campaign was extremely popular with teachers unions; according to reports, he hauled in more money from such organizations than any other candidate in the 2020 election by a wide margin.
Now, it’s starting to look like the teachers unions are enjoying the benefits of their history of support. The White House will have to forgive concerned Americans who may come to conclude that these unions are having an outsized influence on public health policy.