One of the grimmer threads I’ve ever seen on social media. Click here and start reading. I’m taking it on faith, without proof, that Ann Bauer’s account of the meeting she observed is accurate; for what it’s worth, she’s a well-known writer. Her conclusion is as stark as stark gets:
My advice to every parent in MN tonight — and remember I'm raw and on edge and probably not in my calmest state — MOVE. Kids are going to in-person school in FL and TX and PA and MA. We're one of the few places that is this broken. Go. I would. But tell @GovTimWalz when you do.
— Ann Bauer (@annbauerwriter) February 5, 2021
Lotta talk in the thread about children supposedly being depressed to the point of suicidal ideations from not being in school. That’s not hard to believe.
The teachers unions don’t care and our president and his administration are a wholly owned subsidiary of those unions, it seems. Fortunately, some of their allies in media have begun to get fidgety about the White House’s obeisance. Outlets like WaPo and CNN noticed Jen Psaki’s bizarre insistence yesterday that CDC chief Rochelle Walensky was speaking in her “personal capacity” a few days ago when she said — at a White House briefing — that schools could reopen safely without teachers being vaccinated. Walensky actually reiterated her position on television last night, notes Aaron Blake:
It’s also worth noting that Maddow challenged Walensky on the unions’ stance, and Walensky seemed to double down.
“I also think that the science tells us that if we can do the proper mitigation measures — and I would emphasize, if we have the funding to do the proper mitigation measures as is put forth in the American Rescue Plan — that we can reopen schools safely, even if all of the teachers are not vaccinated,” Walensky said.
If this wasn’t the administration’s message, and Walensky was just speaking in her personal capacity, how did it get repeated again in an interview in which she was representing the administration?
Jake Tapper also noticed the White House being weaselly on reopening schools:
9/ Sometimes, however, even if the debates are complicated, there are binary choices.
I’ve yet to see any evidence the Biden administration disagrees with teachers unions. Even when THEIR OWN health officials are saying something different.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 5, 2021
Psaki was asked again about Walensky’s comments at today’s briefing and didn’t appreciate the question:
Today in the Biden WH siding with unions over students…@SteveNNelson10: "Will President Biden use the power of the bully pit to help cajole teachers who are unwilling to go back to school to go back?"
Psaki: "Well, one, I'm going to reject the premise of the question." pic.twitter.com/onlPz8SJ1S
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 5, 2021
We’re nearing a moment of truth for the unions considering that, with 50 Senate Dems seemingly willing and able to rubber-stamp Biden’s COVID plan, they’re going to get the money for additional safety precautions that they requested. “Vaccinations go from a priority to essential if you can’t do some of these basic mitigation strategies,” AFT president Randi Weingarten told PBS. Well, those mitigation strategies will be implemented soon. With Walensky insisting that they’re sufficient to make schools safe, Weingarten will be out of leverage to continue to keep classrooms closed. Biden may not want a confrontation with the unions but the fact that his party momentarily enjoys total control of government makes it inescapable.
Exit question: Did we elect the wrong center-left geriatric?
EXCLUSIVE: @MikeBloomberg tells @SRuhle "It's time for Joe Biden to stand up and say the kids are the most important things…and teachers just are going to have to suck it up and stand up and provide an education. Otherwise these kids have no chance whatsoever."@MSNBC pic.twitter.com/UYSSvQeh6W
— MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle (@RuhleOnMSNBC) February 3, 2021