House Minority Whip and Republican Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise is urging President Joe Biden to “do everything in [his] power” to keep schools open amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Scalise cites school closures in Chicago prompted by a teachers’ union strike, as well as widespread learning loss and mental health disorders, particularly among low income and minority students, as the impetus for his letter, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller. Schools have received $189 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds, although large portions of that money have not yet been spent. In addition to the Chicago strike, major school districts in Democrat-run cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Detroit have been shut down.
Studies have repeatedly shown that schools have lower rates of COVID-19 transmission than their surrounding communities, and that children are not at significant risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.
Throughout Biden’s time in office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has waffled on its recommendations for managing COVID-19. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in early February that teachers would not need to be vaccinated in order for schools to safely re-open, but reversed herself after White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that she was only speaking in her personal capacity. As a Harvard professor, Walensky claimed that students should only be required to sit three feet apart to limit the spread of the disease, but revised her estimation to six feet after entering the Biden administration.
The Biden administration and teachers’ unions repeatedly coordinated on school reopening plans, emails obtained by the watchdog group Americans for Public Trust revealed. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Senate Republicans Demand Answers From Biden Admin About Coordinating Reopening Guidance With Teachers Unions)
“President Biden says he believes schools should remain open but he has yet to stand up to the radical teachers unions. Throughout the pandemic, President Biden has put union bosses first and America’s students last. The Biden Administration allowed a teachers union to dictate CDC guidance effectively keeping schools shuttered and has not taken bold action to reopen all of America’s classrooms. It’s past time for President Biden to stand up to the union bosses and advocate for our nation’s children who are suffering from unnecessary, unscientific school closures,” Scalise told the Daily Caller.
Read the letter here: