Fox News hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy slammed President Joe Biden’s school reopening policy on Monday, pointing to its favoring of teachers unions and its contradiction of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) reopening guidance.
In their broadcast of “Fox and Friends,” Kilmeade began by highlighting the ongoing debate over school reopenings by reading a statement from the Chicago Teachers Union saying that the discussion on school reopening was not over. He went on to play a clip from Biden’s CBS interview where he discussed the reopening of schools. (RELATED: CNN’s Brianna Keilar Blasts ‘Confusing’ Biden Policy On Reopening Schools)
“I think it’s time for schools to reopen safely … You have to have fewer people in classroom. You have to have ventilation systems that have been reworked,” Biden said in the clip. “Our CDC commissioner is going to be coming out with science based judgment within, I think, as early as Wednesday with what the minimum requirements are.”
“Listen, we know the minimum requirements. They’re already out. They were published previously. They’re out now, by your CDC director. So he’s playing his hand close to the vest because the teachers unions funded his campaign,” Kilmeade said. “He actually was quoted as saying — I’m going to be teachers first. Can you imagine that? Your school policy is teachers first?”
Biden has made reopening schools one of his top priorities for his first 100 days in office. His plan involves the reopening of K-8 schools, but does not yet include high schools. It also calls for Congress to provide $130 billion for schools to reopen with improved safety guidelines. That money is included in the $1.9 trillion dollar economic relief package that is currently under negotiation in Congress.
The two largest teachers unions in the country, which both endorsed Biden’s presidential campaign, have opposed the immediate reopening of schools, even though the CDC has said schools are not a main driver for transmitting the coronavirus. When asked, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has dodged questions about Biden’s willingness to stand up to the unions on the issue of reopening.
Doocy jumped in saying that Biden claimed the CDC would release school reopening guidance on Wednesday, but pointed out that the CDC already released guidelines for schools last September. “They’ve been on the books for a long time. And then you’ve got his new CDC director making it very clear. Can schools reopen without everybody getting, all the teachers getting shots? On Wednesday she said ‘absolutely,'” he added.
Doocy then played a clip of Director of the CDC Rochelle Walensky saying that schools “can safely reopen” and that teacher vaccination is not a requirement for schools to reopen. He then pointed out that Psaki said in a White House press briefing that Walensky made her statement in a personal capacity, when she actually made the statement during an official CDC briefing.