Biden: Schools should fully reopen in fall -- vaccinations or not

Did Joe Biden run this one past Randi Weingarten? The argument he uses in this answer on Today doesn’t just apply to the fall, after all. Many public schools remain closed now on the basis that children aren’t getting vaccinated yet, but as Biden points out, the risk from children has always been minimal.

So why not fully reopen now?

That science formed the basis of his pledge before taking office that schools would fully reopen in the first 100 days of his presidency. That science hasn’t changed, either, and Biden took the further step of pressing states to prioritize teachers for vaccinations. The vaccine manufacturers haven’t yet completed testing for safety and efficacy among those under 16 years of age, but US and global data shows that schools simply aren’t vectors for spreading COVID-19.

And yet, more than 100 days into his term, many public school districts remain either closed altogether or greatly restricted. The teachers’ unions refuse to go back into classrooms, even while private schools have almost entirely reopened without any suggestion of increased risk. Even liberal politicians and media outlets have been frantically demanding a return to full in-person education to no avail.

Rep. Virginia Foxx rips Biden for allowing Weingarten to dictate policy over the science, noting that only 46% of American students are back in classrooms full-time. And that has repercussions far beyond the classroom, Foxx points out:

When talking about the Biden administration’s first 100 days, that is the number we should be focusing on: Forty-six percent of students are receiving a full-time, in-person education. Joe Biden’s failure to deliver on the promise that schools would fully reopen by the end of April provides a window into who this president truly serves — teachers unions and liberal activists. …

Our economy cannot regain its pre-pandemic prosperity on the backs of parents who have left the workforce and a new generation of undereducated workers. A recent survey conducted by the Financial Times found that “two out of five working mothers have withdrawn from the workforce or contemplated doing it.” Even worse, women’s labor force participation hit its lowest mark since 1988 earlier this year at 57 percent, largely due to nationwide school closures.

On top of a deteriorating workforce, Democratic elitists are ignoring students’ needs, succumbing to the will of teachers unions and holding our children’s education hostage. The United Teachers Los Angeles union demanded “Medicare for All,” defunding the police, wealth and millionaire taxes, and other radical, left-wing proposals as their conditions for reopening schools. School board leaders are distracted by their phones while parents cry out for help and then are mocked by the school board members during private meetings.

If schools can fully reopen in September without vaccinating children, they can fully reopen now. For some reason, Today didn’t follow up on that obvious point. Perhaps other reporters will follow that up themselves, rather than write absurd analyses that claim Biden kept this pledge.