Follow the science? How about follow the money? Teacher’s unions donated $35 million to Democrats in 2020 election cycle

Follow the science? How about follow the money? Teacher’s
unions donated $35 million to Democrats in 2020 election
cycle 1

WASHINGTON, DC- It’s “all about the science,” remember? More like “it’s all about the money.” At least that seems to be the case where it concerns Centers for Disease Control guidance on reopening of schools.

According to The Center Square and numerous other media sources, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) paid off Democrats to the tune of $20 million in the 2020 election, according the FEC filings.

According to federal election filings, the AFT spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 election cycle, with an overwhelming majority of those funds going to Democrats.

Among the donations made include $5,251,400 to the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and 4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, data complied by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.

Aside from donating to specific Democrat Party PACs, the AFT also donated money to soft-money groups such as “For Our Future,” a liberal organization that received over $1.5 million and celebrated Sleepy Joe’s inauguration on Twitter.

“There is so much to celebrate today. While we know there is ‘much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain.’ And we’re ready, #PresidentBIden & #KamalaHarrisVP!”

In fact, so skewed were the donations from AFT and affiliates to Democrats in 2020 that statistics showed a 99% donation rate to Democrats with only 1% going to Republicans.

In the last week or so, information has come forth that a number of the requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) directly mirrored “suggestions” from the AFT.

For example, last week the New York Post reported that emails between top White House officials, the CDC and AFT officials showed the AFT developed language and worked closely with the CDC.

In fact, the communications grew more frequent and more intensely ahead of the CDC’s Feb. 12 announcement to recommend whether schools should reopen.

Ironically (or not), the CDC guidelines pretty much sided with the teacher’s union and they held off on issuing guidance that schools should fully resume in-person classes.

Last Wednesday, Republicans serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, complaining that the AFT had been given undue influence over the agency and the White House’s response to the coronavirus where it concerns schools. Republicans cautioned Walensky, saying it appeared that the agency had “put politics over science and Biden-Harris campaign donors over children.”

“Despite prior questions on the matter, recently released emails show that the AFT and NEA [National Education Association] were able to weigh in on and lobby for changes made in the CDC’s Operational Strategy for Reopening Schools, the agency’s guidance for reopening schools around the country,” the committee said in a statement.

The AFT punted on the criticism, claiming that the CDC needed to accept input from all stakeholders in order to gather their concerns and claims it is merely representing the interests of their members, who have in general shown no interest in returning to their jobs.

“The AFT represents 1.7 million educators, healthcare professionals and public employees who spent the last 14 months serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said.

It is unknown if she said this with a straight face, but if she did, she should win an Academy Award. Front lines?

She continued, “So naturally, we have been in regular touch with the agencies setting policy that affect their work and lives, including the CDC. We appreciate that under Dr. Walensky’s leadership, the CDC welcomes stakeholder feedback, as opposed to ignoring it.”

Dropping a few million dollars for Walensky’s masters probably doesn’t hurt either.

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The AFT wasn’t the only teacher’s union dropping beaucoup amounts of cash on the doorsteps of the Democratic Party. The NEA, which also gave “input” to the CDC gave nearly $15 million to Democrats in the 2020 cycle, the majority of its spending. Both teacher’s unions {to nobody’s surprise) endorsed Biden last March.

 Besides Republicans, others were also concerned about the apparent quid pro quo between the teacher unions and the CDC and Democrats.

“The unions knew exactly what they were buying in 2020,” said Aaron Withe, CEO of the Freedom Foundation. “We now see how well that investment is paying off.

“For over a year now, we’ve been told to listen to the science and to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control,” he added. “Now we learn the government health bureaucracy we’ve been told is leading us through the pandemic is actually taking its cue from the teachers unions who’ve been holding our kids hostage to their political demands.”

Weingarten however claims her union lobbies Republicans as well as Democrats. The difference of course is they drop money on Democrats as opposed to Republicans.

“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,” Weingarten said.

“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.”

Those excuses have not satiated Republicans, some of whom have called on Walensky to resign over the controversy.

“The CDC is supposed [to] be occupied by scientists who do not bow to political influence. This obviously is not the case under Dr. Walensky’s leadership,” said Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) who is also a doctor. “As the most important public health official in America, she should have had the fortitude to reject AFT’s influence in the CDC’s recommendations.”

For her part, Walensky has been competing with media whore Dr. Anthony Fauci for who can get the most airtime on liberal networks like CNN and MSNBC. She still has a way to go to catch up to Fauci, however.

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