Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is getting blasted by critics for suggesting that President Joe Biden tried to reopen schools quickly during the pandemic.
“Look, as you just said, kids have lost so much in the pandemic,” Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing. “This is why, when the president walked in, he made a priority to open schools”
Jean-Pierre was addressing the losses created by the shutdown of the schools because of union fears over COVID-19, which led to plummeting test scores nationwide, a school curriculum crisis and mental health challenges for students.
Critics have posted a litany of contemporary evidence showing that, in fact, the Biden administration, before and after it took office, caved into its union allies to keep schools closed.
“In the 2020 campaign, the D talking point was that opening schools was reckless and deadly and they should stay closed,” political consultant Brittany Cohen recalled, posting a link to a 2020 campaign ad by Democrats slamming Trump for trying to reopen schools, reported Fox News. “They ran ads on it.”
Biden, critics contend, helped keep schools closed longer than necessary, which created the historic learning loss from which a generation of students now suffers.
And a cursory search by The Lion shows that the White House website has been heavily edited in an attempt to rewrite history to give cover to the Jean-Pierre deception.
At WhiteHouse.gov, under the extension “priorities,” the White House said that the administration will “move quickly” to “safely reopen schools.”
But the link “Read more about the Biden-Harris plan to beat COVID-19,” has been heavily edited since Biden took office.
Currently, the link reflects a plan to keep schools open.
But under the original link, created when Biden took office, there is no mention of a plan to open schools quickly.
In fact, the White House plan mentions school lockdowns under “social distancing” and said Biden would consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to “turn the dial up or down” to open or close schools.
Specifically, it said that Biden would follow CDC recommendations as to “when to open or close schools, and what steps they need to take to make classrooms and facilities safe; appropriate restrictions on size of gatherings; when to issue stay-at-home restrictions,” according to an archive copy of the White House website from January 2021.
The administration also called upon Congress to give schools more money for reopening, which we now know was used to implement “woke” curriculum once the schools reopened, but was not used to hasten reopening.
Last month, the head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randy Weingarten, testified in front of Congress that she worked closely with the CDC to make recommendations on school re-openings.
That information first came to light when a Freedom of Information Act request disclosed that Weingarten and her team at AFT was consulted by the CDC on reopening plans and submitted editorial changes to the plan, according to Fox News.
The contemporary record also shows that AFT went to extraordinary lengths to keep schools closed during the pandemic.
In New York, for example, the AFT affiliate threatened to strike in August 2020 if schools were reopened, according to a detailed analysis of union actions on school reopening by 74 Million.
In Los Angeles, the AFT union said that reopening schools was the perpetuation of structural racism, according to the analysis.
The AFT teachers union in Chicago took that a step further and said, “The push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,” in a now deleted tweet.
That tweet came at the same time the Biden administration claims it was rushing to reopen schools and Weingarten was advising the CDC on reopening plans.