ABC, CBS, and NBC appear to be looking the other way on a bombshell report that a top teachers union influenced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over school reopenings.
The New York Post on Saturday revealed communications between the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s second-largest teachers union, the CDC and the White House demonstrating the union suggested guidance on whether to roll back school restrictions.
"The broadcast networks had three days to give airtime to what was uncovered in The Post’s report and they utterly refused to. Once again, they were prioritizing the protection of the Biden administration over telling the truth to their viewers," NewsBusters news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro wrote on Tuesday.
"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," Reason Foundation's Corey DeAngelis told Fox News on Monday.
Communications obtained by the Post through a Freedom of Information Act request by conservative group Americans for Public Trust showed numerous emails between top CDC officials and the union in February just before the agency released school reopening guidelines.
"Thank you again for Friday’s rich discussion about forthcoming CDC guidance and for your openness to the suggestions made by our president, Randi Weingarten, and the AFT," senior director for health issues with the AFT, Kelly Trautner, said in a Feb. 1 email to the CDC.
"We were able to review a copy of the draft guidance document over the weekend and were able to provide some initial feedback to several staff this morning about possible ways to strengthen the document," Trautner added. "We believe our experiences on the ground can inform and enrich thinking around what is practicable and prudent in future guidance documents."
The lobbying efforts were a reported success as the Post found at least two instances when "suggestions" were used nearly word-for-word within the CDC’s guidelines.
In a statement to Fox News, AFT acknowledged it has been "in regular touch with the agencies setting policy that affect their work and lives, including the CDC."
"In fact, we contacted the agency more in 2020 during the Trump administration than we have during the Biden administration in 2021 – requesting additional guidance, questioning policy, providing testimony and offering an educator and healthcare worker perspective," said Weingarten.
"And while we have at times been concerned about their conclusions – as we were initially with the change in classroom physical distancing rules – we respect deeply that the CDC career staff has always taken its responsibility seriously. We appreciate that under Dr. Walensky's leadership, the CDC welcomes stakeholder feedback, as opposed to ignoring it."
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