House Republicans demand answers from CDC on seemingly cozy relationship with teachers unions

GOP leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are raising alarms over newly released emails that show a flurry of communication between CDC Director Dr. ロシェル・ワレンスキー, her top advisors and teachers union officials. The emails revealed that the powerful teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), was making language suggestions for the CDC’s latest school reopening guidelines released on Feb. 12.

The emailsraise significant concerns about whether you, as the Director of the CDC, are putting politics over science and Biden-Harris campaign donors over children,” 担当者. キャシーマクモリスロジャース, R-ウォッシュ。, wrote Walensky on Wednesday in a letter obtained first by Fox News.

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Such revelations also raise serious questions as to whether you are honoring your pledge to ensure CDC guidance is evidence-based and free from politics.

我ら. 担当者. キャシーマクモリスロジャース, R-Spokane, who is being challenged by Democrat Lisa Brown, speaks during a debate, 水曜日, 9月. 19, 2018, in Spokane, 洗う. McMorris Rodgers is questioning the CDC school reopening guidelines. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

我ら. 担当者. キャシーマクモリスロジャース, R-Spokane, who is being challenged by Democrat Lisa Brown, speaks during a debate, 水曜日, 9月. 19, 2018, in Spokane, 洗う. McMorris Rodgers is questioning the CDC school reopening guidelines. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Rodgers is the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She was joined in the letter by Morgan Griffith, R-Va。, and Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., who also serve on the committee that has oversight over healthcare matters.

The Republicans tell Walensky that the emailsshed new light on your public about-faceon her stance on whether schools can safely reopen without teachers first being vaccinated.

Walensky initially said in early February that data suggests schools can safely reopeneven without teachers needing to be vaccinated. But the White House later undermined Walensky’s comment and emails revealed that AFT President Randi Weingarten had a phone conversation with Walensky, あまりにも. その後, Walensky’s public statements changed to encouraging states to give teachers priority in vaccinations, the letter states.

The AFT’s priority is not focused on getting kids back to school, despite studies showing, with appropriate measures in place, in-person learning is safe,” the lawmakers wrote. “しかしながら, as the Director of the CDC, your decisions should be guided by science, not political interest groups.

The members are demanding answers on the scope of the communication between the CDC and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) and more information on how the powerful teachers unions influenced the union-approved ガイドライン.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - 行進 30: CDCディレクター博士. Rochelle Walensky speaks to the press after visiting the Hynes Convention Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston, マサチューセッツ. 博士. Walensky recently said she had a sense of "impending doom" as the rate of coronavirus infection has recently been rising across the U.S. (Photo by Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – 行進 30: CDCディレクター博士. Rochelle Walensky speaks to the press after visiting the Hynes Convention Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston, マサチューセッツ. 博士. Walensky recently said she had a sense ofimpending doomas the rate of coronavirus infection has recently been rising across the U.S. (Photo by Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images) (ゲッティイメージズ)

The Republicans also allegethe CDC was not forthcomingwith the Energy and Commerce Committee when members previously asked for names of any stakeholders engaged by the CDC during the preparation of the updated guidance. 行進に 17, 2021, the CDC sent a response but did not provide information on this item, the letter states.

The emails between the CDC and the teachers unions were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust and provided to The New York Post.

The CDC defended its conversations with the unions as routine.

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As part of long-standing best practices, CDC has traditionally engaged with organizations and groups that are impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency,” Jason McDonald, a spokesman for Walensky, told The Post. “We do so to ensure our recommendations are feasible to implement and they adequately address the safety and wellbeing of individuals the guidance is aimed to protect. These informative and helpful interactions often result in beneficial feedback that we consider in our final revisions to ensure clarity and usability.

But Sen. トム・コットン, R-アーク。, said the emails between the CDC and the teachers union show politics at play. Teachers unions are major political donors to Democrats, including to President Biden.

We shouldn’t have a politicized public health bureaucracy like the CDC answering at the beck and call of the teachersunions,” Cotton told Fox News earlier this week.

The White House Tuesday defended the CDC conversations with the unions when pressed by Fox News and rejected the notion that the health agency is politicized.

Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, 話す, along with Everett Kelley, 左, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, 間に "Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" protest against racism and police brutality, 8月に 28, 2020, ワシントンで, DC. Weingarten has been in touch with the CDC about school reopening guidelines, emails show.<br><br> ​​​​(Photo by Jacquelyn Martin / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, 話す, along with Everett Kelley, 左, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, 間に “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necksprotest against racism and police brutality, 8月に 28, 2020, ワシントンで, DC. Weingarten has been in touch with the CDC about school reopening guidelines, emails show.<br><br> ​​​​(Photo by Jacquelyn Martin / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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