Report: Emails show teachers union may have had outsized influence on CDC guidance for reopening schools

President Joe Biden seems to have given up relying on “the science” when it comes to his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

New documents obtained by the New York Post suggest a major teachers union has had an outsized influence on guidance put out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reopening schools in the wake of COVID-19.

The documents come by way of Americans for Public Trust, a conservative watchdog group that filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that revealed frequent communications between Biden CDC officials and members of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Regular communications

In a report published Saturday, the Post said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and other top Biden administration officials were in regular contact with the pro-Democrat teachers union.

Among the material cited for the report was a message from AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner, which was reportedly forwarded by Walensky to White House coronavirus testing coordinator Carole Johnson.

“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,” the email read, according to the Post.

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

That email was sent on Feb. 1, less than two weeks before Biden’s CDC announced its new guidelines regarding when schools should reopen as more and more Americans get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Earning their confidence

Trautner was said to have told Walensky in another email that her union was “immensely grateful for [the CDC’s] genuine desire to earn our confidence and your commitment to partnership.” And it seems the federal agency followed through on that “commitment.”

The Post reported that language specifically recommended by Trautner and the AFT actually went on to appear in the CDC’s guidance.

Even CNN host Jake Tapper seemed confused by the clearly-not-science-based recommendations during an interview with Walensky back on Feb. 14, asking, according to the Post: “Can you point to any scientific reason for students in the United States not to return to in-person classes tomorrow?”

In his own report on the situation, Breitbart’s Joel Pollak recalled that Biden pledged in Feb. 12 statement that he would “follow the science,” while Walensky has claimed that there had been no political interference in her decision. The Post‘s reporting, however, seems to suggest otherwise.

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