Here’s an interesting photo, just farted out all casual-like onto Twitter.com last night
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) April 9, 2021
That’s the head of the American Federation of Teachers crowded around a table indoors with some pals. The same person who sent a letter to the CDC not three weeks ago complaining that the agency’s new rule, which allows students to be separated by three feet instead of six feet in class, is based on questionable science and that they should stick with the six-foot guidance. Even though it would mean many thousands of students being forced back into remote learning due to space constraints.
If Weingarten and her colleagues aren’t all vaccinated, what are they doing sitting together indoors grouped much more tightly together than three feet?
And if they are all vaccinated, why isn’t it just as safe for schools to bring vaccinated teachers back to class immediately? No more whining about poor ventilation systems or cramped classrooms. Nearly 80 percent of teachers and other school staff have already received their first dose. If Weingarten can sit around gladhanding cronies because she’s had her shots, teachers who’ve had theirs can get back to in-person instruction.
It’s time, writes Karol Markowicz:
Teachers in many of these states have been at the front of the line for vaccines for months. Yet unions and local governments refuse to reveal — or even keep track of — the percentage of teachers who have been vaccinated. It’s a con job. Because if teachers are vaccinated, and all of them should be by now, what excuse can there be now for refusing to do their jobs?
It’s been over a year. This is abuse. Open the schools.
It’s not about safety. According to the Burbio tracker, Florida has 100 percent of its schools open for full-time in-person education yet has not seen outbreaks in their schools. A piece in the Wall Street Journal last month noted, “Florida schools have avoided major outbreaks of COVID-19 and maintained case rates lower than those in the wider community.”
It makes logical sense that kids spending all their time in a classroom with the same kids every day will transmit COVID at lower levels than kids dispersed throughout a city in various childcare situations with different groups of kids. According to the CDC, lack of outbreaks in schools has been the case throughout the country and the world. But no one in charge cares about the science whatsoever.
Imagine the sense of impunity Weingarten must feel to have posted a photo of herself at any indoor gathering, without a care in the world for whether it’d be scrutinized by critics to see if she’s following the same rules she insists on for kids and teachers. “Why are your in-person meetings essential? Is Zoom good enough for kids, but not union leaders?” asks Guy Benson. What’s the answer?
I’ll leave you with this glass half full/empty data point. Half full: The trend is in the right direction. Half empty: Fully a year after the start of the pandemic, with most teachers already partially immunized, nearly a third of American schools remain closed despite the lessons from Florida and private schools across the country that in-class learning isn’t especially risky. God help our children.
New data for March 2021: Schools in the U.S. are reopening. The share of schools that are closed fell from 40.2% to 31.4% from Feb to March. This is the lowest rate since the start of the pandemic (excluding summer months). See the @NatureHumBehav link below to download our data. https://t.co/AdRMVqmRiv pic.twitter.com/YlA5gUczo3
— Zach Parolin (@ZParolin) April 9, 2021