May 3, 2023

USA: President of the American Federation of Teachers Now Claims She Tried To Do Everything To Reopen Schools When In Fact She Did The Opposite Influencing The CDC To Keep Schools Closed.

The Daily Wire
written by Ben Zeisloft
Wednesday April 26, 2023

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten contended that her union neither extended the lockdowns which shuttered government schools for several months nor improperly helped the CDC draft their pandemic response policies.

Weingarten, who is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic about her organization’s conduct amid the pandemic, said in prepared remarks that the entire hearing is based on a “faulty” and “patently false” assertion that the union wielded its influence with Democrats to keep schools closed even after data indicated that young children were at minimal risk from COVID.

“Even before COVID-19, we knew that kids learn best in person, and that remote, hybrid and simultaneous instruction are not adequate substitutes,” she told lawmakers. “Being in school is essential to children’s academic, social and emotional well-being. We know this not as a matter for study or the grist for a congressional investigation. We know this because we live it every day.”

Weingarten claimed that the AFT “acted quickly” to implement “science-based measures needed to resume in-person schooling safely.” The union, however, threatened a strike days ahead of a planned reopening of District of Columbia Public Schools in February 2021, even as Weingarten insisted that her organization was “not trying to stand in the way of reopening.” As late as July 2021, Weingarten remained cagey on school lockdowns and insisted that increasing vaccination rates was necessary to “keep kids safe” and “keep our members safe.”

She instead blamed former President Donald Trump, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, suggesting that those officials were responsible for school closures in her Wednesday remarks because they did not implement the health measures the AFT deemed necessary.

“We knew that the safety protocols we advocated for were not an obstacle to reopening schools, as some officials claimed at the time,” she continued. “Health and safety protocols were the pathway for students and staff to get back to school and stay in school and to create trust throughout the school community.”

Weingarten additionally claimed that polls now show parents believe “schools acted appropriately in pivoting to remote and hybrid learning and back to in-person learning.” The school lockdowns, however, drove unprecedented learning loss among children who attended government schools: average reading scores plummeted five points and average mathematics scores dropped seven points among 9-year-olds who took the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Parents have since responded to disruptions in the nation’s education system, which also included the spread of radical gender theory and other Left-wing ideologies, over the past three years by homeschooling their children at record levels, a phenomenon which Weingarten called an “extremist scheme” to “erode trust in public schools by stoking fear and division.”

The AFT also provoked controversy after House Republicans revealed that the CDC offered Weingarten and other union officials “unprecedented access” to view and shape pandemic response guidelines, a privilege that the officials reportedly used to implement a “trigger” provision that would cause schools to automatically close should COVID test positivity rates reach certain thresholds. Weingarten claimed on Wednesday that the involvement of the AFT in crafting public health policies was “completely fitting and proper” since the CDC should be expected to “consult with education groups.”

“Not surprisingly, the CDC would want to consult with the leadership of the country’s largest teachers union to consider our insights, expertise and suggestions on a strategy that would directly affect our membership in matters of life and death,” she asserted. “AFT leadership was keenly aware of the hopes and fears of our members, whose trust and acceptance were necessary for the success of any operational strategy.”

๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ‘‡ LET US FLASHBACK TO 2021 ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿšจ
Fox News published December 18, 2021: Parent panel calls Randi Weingarten 'biggest gaslighter' of 2021. Parent panel Karol Markowicz, Quisha King and Asra Nomani react to the Biden administration prioritizing teachers unions before issuing their guidance to reopen.
New York Post
written by Jon Levine
Saturday May 1, 2021

The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on, and even suggested language for, the federal agency’s school-reopening guidance released in February.

The powerful teachers union’s full-court press preceded the federal agency putting the brakes on a full re-opening of in-person classrooms, emails between top CDC, AFT and White House officials show.

The emails were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust and provided to The Post.

The documents show a flurry of activity between CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, her top advisors and union officials — with Biden brass being looped in at the White House — in the days before the highly-anticipated Feb. 12 announcement on school-reopening guidelines.

“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,” wrote AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner in a Feb 1 email — which described the union as the CDC’s “thought partner.”

“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 continued. “… We believe our experiences on the ground can inform and enrich thinking around what is practicable and prudent in future guidance documents.”

Walensky wasn’t on the Feb 1 email, but it was forwarded to her by Carole Johnson, the White House coronavirus testing coordinator. Many emails included Will McIntee, an associate director of public engagement at The White House.

“We are immensely grateful for your genuine desire to earn our confidence and your committment to partnership,” Trautner said in another email to Walensky on Feb 3.

Emails show a call between Walensky and Weingarten — the former boss of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers — was arranged for Feb 7.

The lobbying paid off. In at least two instances, language “suggestions” offered by the union were adopted nearly verbatim into the final text of the CDC document.

With the CDC preparing to write that schools could provide in-person instruction regardless of community spread of the virus, Trautner argued for the inclusion of a line reading “In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.” That language appeared on page 22 of the final CDC guidance.

The AFT also demanded special remote work concessions for teachers “who have documented high-risk conditions or who are at increased risk for … COVID-19,” and that similar arrangements should extend to “staff who have a household member” with similar risks. A lengthy provision for that made it into the text of the final guidance.

The final CDC guidance won high praise from the AFT. “Today, the CDC met fear of the pandemic with facts and evidence,” the union said in a Feb 12 press release.

Many others, however, were puzzled and angered by what they saw as the CDC willfully ignoring the science and slow-walking a return to in-person learning even as mounting evidence showed schools were not a primary source of coronavirus infections as long as they followed mitigation strategies.

In a widely viewed CNN interview on Feb 14, anchor Jake Tapper grilled Walensky and demanded to know why the guidelines would allow schools in areas with high coronavirus community spread — know as “red zones” — to opt out of in-person reopening, noting that 99% of US kids fell within those areas, according to a CNN analysis.

“Can you point to any scientific reason for students in the United States not to return to in person classes tomorrow?” Tapper demanded several times.

“If you’re in middle school or high school we would advocate for virtual learning for that group … We really don’t want to bring community disease into the classroom,” Walensky replied, repeatedly refusing to offer a scientific explanation for the reopening avoidance. “We also know that mask breaching is among the reasons that we have transmission within schools when it happens. Somewhere around 60% of students are reliably masking. That has to be universal. So we have work to do.”

Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco who has written extensively on coronavirus, called the CDC-AFT emails “very, very troubling,”

“What seems strange to me here is there would be this very intimate back and forth including phone calls where this political group gets to help formulate scientific guidance for our major public health organization in the United State,” Gandhi told The Post. “This is not how science-based guidelines should work or be put together.”

The close communication between the union and the feds came despite repeated assurances from CDC and Biden officials that the medical guidelines would “follow the science” and be free of political interference.

“I can assure you that this is free from political meddling,” Walensky said when the guidance was released.

The AFT and its affiliates have long been one of the most reliable and deep pocketed donor constituencies of the Democratic party, dropping almost $20 million to elect party members during the 2020 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The union defended its role in shaping federal COVID policy.

“The AFT represents 1.7 million educators, healthcare professionals and public employees who spent the last 14 months serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. So naturally, we have been in regular touch with the agencies setting policy that affect their work and lives, including the CDC,” said AFT spokeswoman Oriana Korin, adding the union also worked closely with the Trump administration.

The CDC also insisted such conversations are routine.

“As part of long-standing best practices, CDC has traditionally engaged with organizations and groups that are impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency. We do so to ensure our recommendations are feasible to implement and they adequately address the safety and wellbeing of individuals the guidance is aimed to protect. These informative and helpful interactions often result in beneficial feedback that we consider in our final revisions to ensure clarity and usability,” Jason McDonald, a spokesman for Dr. Walensky, told The Post.

McDonald said the agency had worked with a number of other non-governmental parties that would be affected by the guidance and provided them draft copies — including the National Education Association, National Association of School Nurses and National Association of State Boards of Education.
I've been sitting on this since October. It's so preposterous to me to see all of these actors and politicians who are actors throwing a concert in Ukraine, showing up for a photo-op in Ukraine. Do you remember this kind of propaganda during any other scary deadly war throughout history? Now ask yourself why would the President of the US American Federation of Teachers Union travel all the way to Ukraine at the height of a supposedly very dangerous warzone and on the verge of a nuclear global holocaust?  Listen to ahole Zelenskyy in the video she replied to say how horrible, scary, dangerous it is in Ukraine, that Russia is killing as many civilians as possible and here this woman is flying in at the invitation of the Ukrainian Teachers Union because it's business as usual? Huh?  Watch the video she posted after she arrived in Ukraine. Do you see or hear any bombs dropping around her in the video or it looking like a warzone? Do you see people casually walking around behind her in the video? (emphasis mine)
The Federalist
written by Jordan Boyd
October 11, 2023

After news broke on Monday that Russia launched missiles at several Ukrainian cities, the president of the second-largest teachers union in America announced she was “heading to the border now to assess the situation.”

“This Russian attempt to frighten civilians & the effect on children (who are learning online today) is why this [Ukraine] trip is so important,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten tweeted.

What is the woman infamous for sentencing American children to school on screens doing in Ukraine other than making herself a Franz Ferdinand-like target and possibly violating the Logan Act? Especially since the U.S. Department of State has ordered Americans “not travel to Ukraine due to Russian military invasion.”

According to the AFT, which sponsored the trip, Weingarten’s presence in Ukraine is supposed to “offer solidarity and support in the face of relentless attacks that have forced hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee the country’s east.”  

Frankly, that’s not a good enough reason to be gung-ho about celebrities such as Ben Stiller, Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Liev Schreiber, Jessica Chastain, and now leftist pawns such as Weingarten making the dangerous pilgrimage East with the hopes that they can “make a difference” in Ukraine. These American civilians have no business traveling to Eastern Europe in the midst of a conflict that is teetering on the edge of nuclear war, even if they are just trying to “do something” beyond putting the performative blue and yellow flag in their Twitter bios.

Already, American warmongers including President Joe Biden have threatened escalation if Russia continues its rampage in the East. The last thing the United States needs after funneling more than $67 billion to the Volodymyr Zelensky regime without any accountability or oversight is to have an American injured or dead thanks to their reckless travel. There’s no doubt that any incident of consequence would be used as an excuse to take U.S. involvement from proxy war to direct conflict.

In a video posted by the AFT on Monday, Weingarten confirmed that she has decided to remain in Lviv despite an increased risk of danger and death to continue showing “solidarity” for the Ukrainians.

“We’re not going to let Putin get away with terrorizing people,” Weingarten pledged.

Yet, if she is harmed while frolicking about Eastern Europe, Weingarten will be the excuse used to drag the U.S. into war. That’s problematic largely because an overwhelming number of Americans, such as myself, don’t want to be involved in what could quickly become World War III.

Under normal circumstances, I would celebrate Weingarten’s distance from the American teachers and schools she lives to indoctrinate with leftist propaganda. But when Weingarten’s desire to travel to a warzone risks America’s peace, I want her back on U.S. soil as quickly as possible.

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