The CDC claimed that they were issuing guidance as regards school reopening based on science. Now, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has revealed that the CDC asked the unions for "language" to include in their recommendations, and the AFT was only too happy to oblige.
Weingarten spoke to C-SPAN's Washington Journal, to answer questions about the apparent collusion between the CDC and the teachers' unions. When asked about the language from the unions that "ended up nearly verbatim" in CDC recommendations, Weingarten said "They asked us for language and we gave them language when they asked for it."
In giving the guidance on school reopenings, the CDC said outright that they had no data on contagion rates in school or for teachers. And when the CDC issues recommendations reducing social distancing from six to three feet, the unions balked.
"The CDC was doing its job and we were doing our job," Weingarten said. "And everything, so essentially what happened is, the CDC in February and March, basically asked all sort of different organizations to sit down with them and give them comments about what they thought was important. They talked to parents organizations, they talked to the two unions.
"And one of the things that we didn't see in the CDC y'know draft, and they explained what their draft was, is that there were variants," she said, noting variants of the virus in India and others as a reason why teachers' unions were so opposed to school reopenings. Multi-generational households was something that also caused fear among teachers' unions.
Weingarten said "there's nothing nefarious about doing this kind of work. And frankly, y'know, we have said to the CDC everyone should have—parents should be— they should be communicating with parents. They should be communicating with educators. They have to communicate with those who actually are impacted by their policies.
"The science tells you what where the pandemic is going [sic]. The impact, the logistics, are something one has to do. There was nothing that, everything we said privately, we've been saying publicly," she said, not addressing the ethics of the teachers' unions, who are not scientists, giving their input about feelings and non-science-based priorities.
The link between the teachers' unions and the Biden administration has been apparent since Joe Biden walked home with the election victory in November 2020. At that time, the National Education Association issued a "playbook" for getting kids back to school.