Psaki: We just don't have the data for a school reopening plan

I never thought I would wind up saying this, and particularly not this soon after Joe Biden took office, but I’m almost starting to feel sorry for Jen Psaki. The Press Secretary is faithfully showing up for press briefings on a daily basis, but she’s not being provided with very good answers to hand out when reporters press her on a few key topics. Near the top of that list is the issue of reopening the nation’s schools. Her boss was pretty clear about wanting the schools to be reopened safely during his first 100 days in office… until he wasn’t. Psaki got hit with the question yet again yesterday and this time she managed to come up with a different answer. Joe Biden doesn’t know when it will be okay to open the schools because they just don’t have enough data to go on, you see. (Free Beacon)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed a “lack of data” has kept the Biden administration from announcing a school reopening plan, ignoring growing scientific evidence that supports reopening K-12 schools…

“One of the challenges we have is that the data is not great as it relates to schools that are open or not open, how hybrid learning is impacting kids,” Psaki said. “The data and the lack of data or effective data is part of the problem.”

The CDC is expected to release further guidance on how to safely reopen schools tomorrow.

The Biden administration walked back its promise to reopen schools by the end of April earlier this week, saying the president wants “some” students learning in person “at least one day a week.”

Well, we clearly wouldn’t want the President charging forward into some slapdash decision without having accurate data, right? This answer would be a lot more convincing if the CDC didn’t still have a full list of findings and recommendations about reopening schools on its website. And then there was the head of the CDC saying she had concluded that the schools could be safely reopened, but she was just “speaking in her personal capacity.”

Psaki claims that the CDC will be releasing “further guidance” on reopening schools today. Everyone should be keeping an eye on Rochelle Walensky. It’s only been a matter of days since she concluded that the schools could be reopened. Will she allow herself to be strongarmed into flip-flopping on that conclusion just to save Joe Biden’s political bacon? I mean, how much new and shockingly different data could have been collected in less than a week to show that it’s not safe to reopen the schools? I did a quick search for stories about major outbreaks at K-12 schools in the past seven days and aside from a few minor cases involving a relative handful of students, I’m not seeing it. Of course, it’s hard to have outbreaks in places where the teachers refuse to come back to class.

I realize we’ve pointed this out before, but it bears repeating. Nothing about this reopening process is being driven by data at this point and Joe Biden isn’t calling the shots. These decisions are going to be made by Randi Weingarten and the teachers’ unions. They don’t want to go back to work and they fund the electoral campaigns of virtually every Democrat in the country, including Joe Biden’s.

The biggest problem for the “follow the science” party (and the nation, really) is figuring out how to proceed. If Rochelle Walensky can be persuaded to come out and say that her “new conclusions” are that the schools can’t be safely reopened, then there is no reason whatsoever for Americans to have any faith in the “science” and the “data” coming out of the CDC. Alternately, if Walensky sticks to her guns and repeats her conclusion that the schools can be safely reopened following the CDC’s guidance, then Joe Biden is the one with the problem. He’ll have to decide whether to publicly disavow his own experts, making a mockery of all of his blathering about science, or risk angering one of the largest amalgamations of liberal-loving unions in the country.

But would that really be that much of a risk? What are the teachers’ unions going to do… start supporting Republicans? And it’s not as if Joe Biden has to worry about winning any more campaigns, so why should he care?