Newly-surfaced emails between teachers union executives and officials working for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that the unions played a role in crafting the language of the CDC’s school reopening guidelines, The New York Post reported.
The emails show that CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky coordinated with American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on language for the guidelines, and the union even described the CDC as its “thought partner.”
“We were able to review a copy of the draft guidance document over the weekend and were able to provide some initial feedback to several staff this morning about possible ways to strengthen the document,” AFT senior director Kelly Trautner wrote in an email to coronavirus mitigation officials. “…We believe our experiences on the ground can inform and enrich thinking around what is practicable and prudent in future guidance documents.”
A spokesperson for Walensky denied any political interference in the creation of the guidelines for school reopening:
“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,” spokesperson Jason McDonald told The Post. “These informative and helpful interactions often result in beneficial feedback that we consider in our final revisions to ensure clarity and usability.”
While these interactions occurred, Congressional Democrats also enjoyed an influx of donations from teachers unions for siding with them in the debate over reopening schools.