Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Launch Probe Into Massive Teachers Union’s Influence On CDC, Demand Communications

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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A group of over 20 House Republicans sent a Tuesday letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying they will be launching a probe into improper outside influence on the CDC school reopening guidance by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

The letter, first obtained by Daily Caller, demanded that the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, hand over communications about the February decision on school reopening. The decision provided a list of things for schools to consider before reopening, such as using masks, social distancing, handwashing and much more.

The letter was spearheaded by Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer.

The letter also demanded any communications between CDC employees and AFT employees. The AFT political action committee (PAC) donated $1.6 million in 2020 to mainly Democratic politicians and candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Roll Call.

“We are conducting oversight over reported improper outside influence on the [CDC]  guidance entitled ‘Operational Strategy’ … by the [AFT] … The AFT does not represent scientists and is a political group, not a group committed to medical science,” the letter states.

Here Is What The Republican Lawmakers Requested From The CDC: 

  • All communications sent or received by Director Walensky regarding the February 12, 2021 guidance entitled “Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention” released by CDC
  • All communications sent or received between any employee of the CDC and any employee of the AFT
  • All drafts of the Operational Strategy including, but not limited to, any draft provided to non-federal government entities or CDC stakeholders for comment
  • A complete list of all non-federal government entities or CDC stakeholders that were provided a draft or pre-release copy of the Operational Strategy
  • All documents and communications in preparation for, and resulting from, any phone call between Director Walensky and the AFT
  • A complete list, including name, date, and full list of attendees, of all non-federal government entities or CDC stakeholders that met with Director Walensky or any employee of the CDC regarding the Operational Strategy

READ THE LETTER HERE: 

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) Hou… by Henry Rodgers

The Republicans also requested a staff-level briefing on the creation and publication of the February 12, 2021 version of the Operational Strategy by no later than May 18, 2021. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Call On Biden Administration To Investigate CDC’s Alleged ‘Collusion’ With Massive Teachers Union)

On Monday, over two dozen Republicans sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting it to investigate allegations if the CDC acted on behalf of the AFT in refusing to reopen schools.

The GOP lawmakers argued reopening schools without these mitigation strategies is safe and that attending schools barely contributes to community transmission and much more.