CNN has long been a refuge for Democrats and their allies; however, this week, it afforded no shelter to the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
AFT president Randi Weingarten, deemed the "most dangerous person in the world" by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appeared on a "CNN Tonight" panel discussion Thursday evening after testifying the previous day before House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
While Weingarten has previously made headlines for opposing parental rights, spreading falsehoods about Republicans, and flouting the same rules she expected others to follow, the union boss is presently battling accusations that she colluded with the Biden administration to shutter schools, thereby adversely impacting children nationwide.
CNN political commentator Scott Jennings, who previously worked in the Bush administration, was also on the panel and seized upon the opportunity to unload on Weingarten.
"Speaking on behalf of millions of American parents — I have four at home, I had to teach them at home, my wife had to teach them at home — I am stunned at what you have said this week about your claiming to have wanted to reopen schools," said Jennings.
"I think you’ll find that most parents believe you were the tip of the spear of school closures," continued the CNN commentator. "There are numerous statements you made over the summer of ’20 scaring people to death about the possibility of opening schools."
The New York Times reported that Weingarten exploited the pandemic to "push for broader policy changes that [the AFT] had long favored."
For instance, the AFT held schools for ransom lest they receive "personal protective equipment, new cleaning and sanitization regimens in school buildings, a temporary suspension of formal teacher performance evaluations, a limit on student testing, a cancellation of student-loan debt and a $750 billion federal aid package to help schools prepare to reopen safely and facilitate 'a real recovery for all our communities.'"
Jennings added, "And I hear no remorse whatsoever about the generational damage that’s been done to these ki — I have two kids with learning differences. Do you know how hard it is for them to learn at home, and not in a classroom that was designed for them? And for you to sit in front of Congress and the American people and say, 'What? I wanted to open them the whole time.' I am shocked, I am stunned. I am stunned. And there are millions of parents who feel the exact same way."
Weingarten responded, "I knew and understood the importance of reopening the schools and the importance of making sure that people were safe. And poll after poll that we did of parents, and I spent a lot of time with parents, said that they basically understood and supported that we needed to do both."
When the union boss invoked Jennings' kids, he immediately cut her off.
"You think parents wanted to keep the kids? You think parents supported you in keeping kids? Why did we fail? How did Europe and the rest of the civilized world get this right and we failed?" Jennings asked.
Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic similarly shredded Weingarten over her culpability in possibly stunting a generation of American kids, reported National Review.
"The effect on children has been vast and to have no remorse on closing schools and keeping them closed for the length of time is unconscionable," said Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), herself a medical doctor and former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Miller-Meeks grilled Weingarten over the scientific data, underscoring how at the time decisions were being made about whether to keep schools open or close them, zero children in the relevant age groups at died from COVID.
"The fact is schools were relatively safe places for both students and educators. These are scientific questions that a scientific organization should be able to study and answer. The AFT is not a scientific organization," said Miller-Meeks. "The AFT was out of its league in this regard."
TheBlaze previously reported that the AFT leaned on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get its way in terms of parameterizing the national school reopening scheme and dictated select language in the reopening guidance.
During the pandemic, the AFT and other teachers' unions exerted their influence to shut down schools. The primary reason cited for this unprecedented move was the need to protect teachers' and students' health — to stop the spread of the virus.
In addition to psychological and physiological impacts, school closures have also been linked to a drastic drop in academic ability of American children nationwide.
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