North Carolina congressman Greg Murphy called on Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky to resign after a report revealed a teachers’ union influenced the agency’s school reopening guidelines.
The report, by the New York Post, cited communications between top CDC officials and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) which suggested the union’s recommendations on reopening schools influenced the CDC’s guidance for in-person learning.
According to the Post, the communications showed the CDC was ready to allow schools to reopen, but after the AFT intervened, the agency added a provision that said, “In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.”
AFT President Randi Weingarten pushed back against the Post’s report, saying the paper was “trying to make everyday advocacy look nefarious.”
Rep. Murphy, a urologist, joined a growing list of critics who accused the CDC of making politically motivated decisions.
“As a practicing physician, I believe that any physician who puts the influence of political organizations before the well-being of our children has violated the Hippocratic Oath and does not belong in public service,” Murphy told Washington Free Beacon. “These actions are unconscionable, and so I am calling on Dr. Walensky to resign immediately.”
The White House justified the CDC’s actions as a “longstanding” practice.
“It’s actually longstanding best practice for the CDC to engage with organizations, groups that are going to be impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “It doesn’t mean they are taking everything they want, or even a percentage of what they want.”
Reason Foundation senior fellow Corey DeAngelis and Laura Zorc of Building Education for Students Together both issued separate rebukes of the CDC’s actions this week.
“The CDC bent over backwards to incorporate the demands of the special interests, namely teachers unions. Is this science? If this is the case, why did the CDC not also take input from parents in helping guide their recommendations?” Zorc told Fox News.
In an interview with Fox Business on Monday, DeAngelis said: “This really confirms what we knew all along, that the whole school reopening debate has been more to do with political partisanship and power dynamics than safety and the needs of families.”
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