Day 101: Unions Are Writing the School Reopening Rulebook.


On Day 101, Freedom of Information Act records indicated that Biden’s Center for Disease Control allowed a powerful teachers union to help develop public health guidance.

Kamala Harris, Space Czar?

The onetime border czar and current “root causes” czar is moving on to new frontiers: Vice President Kamala Harris announced Saturday that she will be leading the National Space Council, a role that was also held by the vice president under former President Donald Trump.

“The council’s basic objectives — national security, basic science, technological development, contributions to U.S. economic growth and the commercial sector — will all be maintained,” a White House official told Axios—but Harris will reportedly be adding personal trademarks such as STEM, sustainable development, and climate change.

Biden’s CDC Let Teachers Union Help Write Guidance.

In February, Biden’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) granted significant influence to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on the language that would be included in CDC guidance for school reopenings, the New York Post reported on Saturday. The AFT’s input included the suggestion that guidance could be rolled back at any time, and a provision that teachers with additional risk factors—or household members with risk factors—should be permitted to keep working remotely.

Emails obtained by the Post through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that language suggestions from the union were ultimately implemented by the CDC in the supposedly science-based guidelines. The Post reports:

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 messaging on school reopening was jumbled throughout President Joe Biden’s agencies in February, with statements by the president or administration officials, including CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, being regularly undermined or walked back by the White House. 

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

Staff Writer

The National Pulse is a part of the American Principles Project.

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