A group of GOP senators is demanding answers from the Biden administration on how powerful teachers unions may have influenced school reopening guidelines as coronavirus cases declined.
The senators say the “close coordination” between the teachers unions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on drafting language on school reopening guidelines “raises serious concern” about the “scientific integrity” of the underlying guidance.
They point to recently uncovered emails between the CDC and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) that show union officials were involved in the development of the new school guidelines released on Feb. 12.
“Recently released emails show close coordination between the CDC and teachers unions on the language of school reopening guidance,” the senators wrote Wednesday in a letter to the leaders of the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “Political interference from administration-friendly special interest groups that is divorced from science harms children who have been lacking in-person instruction for prolonged periods of time.”
UNITED STATES – DECEMBER 16: Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., talks with a reporter before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled Examining Irregularities in the 2020 Election, in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. Johnson is demanding answers from the CDC and HHS on the influence teachers unions had on new school reopening guidelines. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Rick Scott of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri joined together on the letter, which was first reported by the Daily Caller. They are asking CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra for further details about communications with the AFT and NEA on the school guidelines.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM CDC ON SEEMINGLY COZY RELATIONSHIP WITH TEACHERS UNIONS
The CDC and the White House have defended the contact with the teachers unions on the reopening guidelines as part of a longstanding best practice to consult with many organizations and groups that will implement the rules.
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