When the COVID pandemic began, Americans understandably looked to the CDC for sound, science-based guidance. It didn’t take long to realize that maybe it wasn’t the best idea.
The CDC has shown itself to be as corruptible as any other government entity. And the more we learn, the less inclined we are to view the CDC as any sort of authority on health or anything else:
Republicans expose ‘uncommon’ CDC, teachers’ union ties on COVID school reopening guidance in reporthttps://t.co/xEkiSjF48n
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 30, 2022
The report, published Wednesday, states that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky shared the draft guidance with the American Federation of Teachers.
After sharing that draft, the union asked Walensky to clarify in the guidance that schools should close automatically if Covid-19 positivity rates reach a certain threshold.
“The emails revealed that Walensky forwarded the [teachers union] email to Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response, who then revised the guidance in accordance with AFT’s request.” https://t.co/m0zMCu63FL
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 30, 2022
According to Fox News:
“Republican lawmakers who sit on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis are releasing a report Wednesday revealing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official’s testimony claiming that the agency coordinated with teachers’ unions at an extraordinary level in crafting its school reopening guidance, despite the agency’s earlier claims that such coordination was routine and nonpolitical,
In the interim report, exclusively reviewed by Fox News Digital, Republicans wrote that emails between the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the White House, and the CDC showed that the AFT’s ‘cozy relationship with the Biden administration’s political leadership at the CDC positioned the union to impose line-by-line edits’ to the reopening guidance, despite the CDC’s ‘past practice to keep draft guidance confidential’.”
“On Feb. 11, 2021 one day before the CDC publicly posted the guidance, AFT’s senior director of health issues, Kelly Trautner, emailed CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky asking her to insert the line: ‘In the event high-community transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary’.”
Walensky forwarded the email to Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response, who then revised the guidance in accordance with AFT’s request,” adding that the emails also revealed that “CDC officials coordinated an early release of the final guidance to the AFT before releasing it to the public.”
“Documents and testimony show, however, that Director Walensky downplayed the degree to which CDC departed from past practice to allow AFT to affect the policymaking process. In fact, CDC allowed AFT to insert language into the Operational Guidance that made it more likely schools across the country would remain closed after February 2021.”
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist says the agency sending draft school reopening guidance to a powerful teachers union was unusual.
“It’s uncommon,” Dr. Henry Walke, who directs the CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response, said.
It is also not common for the CDC to incorporate line-by-line edits from outside groups into its guidance, Walke added.
The career government scientist was speaking in February to staff members on the House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Portions of the interview were released on March 30.
Earlier releases showed the CDC used language provided by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second-largest teachers union in the United States, in the guidance offered in February 2021 to safely reopen schools.
That included a 123-word paragraph that included a possible trigger for school closures if community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 increased and the recommendation that school districts let teachers or other staff members deemed at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 work remotely or do another job that would limit their risk.
The proposed edits that were later incorporated were provided after the CDC provided the full draft of its guidance to the AFT.
Republicans on the select committee, investigating the government’s response, found that action was “contrary to the CDC’s longstanding practice of keeping draft guidance documents confidential.”