‘Due To The Pandemic’: Tweet Scorches Biden For Blaming Academic Crisis On COVID

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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President Joe Biden was criticized on Twitter for blaming the academic crisis on the pandemic rather than on teachers unions keeping schools closed down despite no substantial evidence showing children were at high risk for the coronavirus.

Biden tweeted Tuesday that “due to the pandemic, kids are behind in math and reading. We know how to help bridge this gap.”

“I’m calling on schools to use American Rescue Plan funds to expand tutoring, summer learning, and after school programs and to provide 250,000 more tutors and mentors for our kids.”

Liz Wolfe, an editor at Reason, criticized Biden, saying that it was the teachers unions that kept kids out of school and stifled their education.

“I can fix this for you. ‘Due to school closures, teachers unions’ unreasonable demands that were wrongly acquiesced to, and bad CDC mask policies, kids are behind in math and reading. Now we want to throw money at the problem w/o acknowledging the role we played in getting here.”

Teachers unions set a list of demands in July of 2020 on how to safely reopen schools amid the pandemic, with their demands being criticized by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial board as “political extortion.”

“Teachers unions seem to think it’s also an opportunity — to squeeze more money from taxpayers and put their private and public charter school competition out of business,” the board wrote. “Rather than work to open schools safely, the unions are issuing ultimatums and threatening strikes until they are granted their ideological wish list.”

The United Teachers Los Angeles union made a list of demands that included a plea to defund local police departments and close charter schools, The Daily Wire reported. The union claimed charter schools “drain resources from district schools.” (RELATED: ‘Teachers First’: Fox Hosts Say Biden Relationship With Unions Priority In Reopening Schools)

Former President Donald Trump was a staunch advocate of reopening schools, saying in August of 2020 that both children and teachers are at lower risk for contracting the coronavirus and that the social costs to children and families of keeping schools closed outweigh the health risks of safely reopening in-person classes. A New York Times op-ed even backed Trump on school closures rather than Democrats and their allies.

“Trump has been demanding for months that schools reopen, and on that he seems to have been largely right,” opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote. “Schools, especially elementary schools, do not appear to have been major sources of coronavirus transmission, and remote learning is proving to be a catastrophe for many low-income children.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommended at the time that schools can reopen, citing the growing consensus among experts that schools are not a major source of transmission.

“The importance of in person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020,” the public health organization said.

“The AAP has called for safe in-person learning since its original COVID-19 school guidance released on June 24, 2020,” the organization noted.

The Biden administration worked with teachers unions to influence the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to craft policies related to reopening schools and masking guidance.

Emails show what a group of Senate Republicans described in a letter as close “partnership” with the American Federation of Teachers and a collaboration with the National Education Association (NEA) when drafting the CDC’s school reopening guidance, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

A separate FOIA request also revealed the NEA bullied the CDC and the Biden administration into creating stricter mask guidance in schools after the CDC determined fully vaccinated Americans didn’t need to wear masks indoors. One day later the CDC changed its guidance to say regardless of vaccination status everyone should wear a mask.