In an interview on Fox News, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that if it weren’t for former President Trump changing his mind about COVID-19 guidance, then more schools would have reopened earlier.
“I think the bottom line is this: if we had actually listened to Dr. Redfield and the CDC last May, and that the president, the former president hadn’t kept on changing his mind and changing these things, we would have gotten more schools back in session,” Weingarten said.
Teachers union president Randi Weingarten says Trump "kept on changing his mind and changing these things," and that's why schools aren't open yet. pic.twitter.com/0CRer1F9lx
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 10, 2021
Contrary to Weingarten’s claims, Trump started advocating for students to return to schools just months into the pandemic.
“The lower they are in age, the lower the risk,” Trump said in July 2020. “We have to remember that there’s another side to this. Keeping them out of school and keeping work closed is causing death also. Economic harm, but it’s causing death for different reasons, but death. Probably more death.”
Even when host Martha MacCallum pushed back on Weingarten’s claims and noted that teachers unions such as her AFT demanded money and delayed reopenings in the name of safety, however, the teachers union president doubled down.
“In September and October, we were getting a lot of kids back to school with the…mitigation, with the testing. The real game-changer, unfortunately, became a huge increase in COVID in November and December, that put the brakes on a bunch of it,” Weingarten said. “And then the second game-changer became the Biden administration where they look the Trump administration helped Pfizer in the data, get that vaccine done, but the Biden administration got it out to people, and that became the real game-changer.”
MacCallum pushed back once more and told Weingarten that even in the fall “transmission was very low” in schools.
“There were plenty of colleges and independent schools that were back all fall that were in the classroom,” the Fox host said.
Weingarten then switched to praising the Biden administration for “listening to parents and to teachers and administrators” and rolling out vaccines.
“It’s time for our kids to be back in school,” she concluded