When the National Education Association tells the Biden administration to jump, the bureaucrats ask, “How high?”
There is something slightly nauseating about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grovels in obeisance to the mighty teachers’ unions. It appears that the teachers are the CDC’s only clients. And the agency responsible for guiding us through the pandemic seems far more concerned about assisting the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union in its bid to exert influence and control than about helping America slough off the effects of the pandemic and get back to normal.
In May, we learned that the NEA dictated to the CDC and the White House the conditions by which the schools could reopen. They obediently complied.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was heavily lobbied by the nation’s second-largest teachers union on when to reopen America’s schools, emails obtained by the New York Post show. There was extensive communication between the American Federation of Teachers, the CDC, and the White House in the lead up to the release of school reopening guidelines in February.
Now, emails released on Wednesday from the watchdog group Americans for Public Trust reveal that the NEA forced the White House to change their masking guidelines. The CDC originally held that only unvaccinated people need wear a mask indoors. But when the NEA threatened to release a harsh letter critical of the CDC for their relaxed masking guidelines, the White House genuflected and got the CDC to change the guidelines.
On May 13, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans need not wear a mask indoors. Just a day later, the White House reported pushback from the teachers.
One day later, on May 14, Erika Dinkel-Smith, the White House director of labor engagement, said she stopped the NEA from releasing a critical statement that had called for immediate clarification.
“Would you know when Dr. Wolensky would be able to call NEA-Pres. Becky Pringle?” Dinkel-Smith wrote in the email. “They’ve gotten significant incoming and are getting targeted for a response from the media. I’ve gotten them to hold on their statement calling for clarification.”
The NEA was complaining that the mask guidelines were released without specific updates for school. And despite the fact that children under 12 are not considered “vulnerable” to contracting a serious case of COVID-19, the teachers demanded that the CDC require the use of masks in schools anyway.
“We appreciate the developing nature of the science and its implications for guidance, but releasing the guidance without accompanying school-related updates creates confusion and fuels the internal politicization of this basic health and safety issue,” the draft statement read. “CDC has consistently said, and studies support, that mitigation measures, including to protect the most vulnerable, remain necessary in schools and institutions of higher education – particularly because no elementary or middle school students, and few high school students, have been vaccinated.”
“This will also make it hard for school boards and leaders of institutions of higher education to do the right thing by maintaining mitigation measures,” it continued. “We need CDC clarification right away.”
Needless to say, it was amazing to see how quickly the White House and CDC responded to the teachers’ orders.
The next day, on May 15, the CDC updated its masking guidance to indicate that all people should wear a mask at school regardless of vaccination status.
“This batch of emails came just weeks after we already exposed the teachers unions influenced the CDC on school openings,” Americans for Public Trust Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland told Fox News. “Lo and behold, less than two weeks later, they’re at it again, but this time in relation to mask guidance.”
It will be difficult for any politician to stand up to this kind of pressure and influence. If these emails show anything, it’s that the NEA is a bunch of bullies throwing their weight around to get weak-willed Democrats like Joe Biden to do their bidding.