On Wednesday, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) called for CDC director Rochelle Walensky to resign after emails were revealed indicating the CDC changed its school reopening guidelines in response to pressure from teachers’ unions. “As a practicing physician, I believe that any physician whoMore
On Wednesday, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) called for CDC director Rochelle Walensky to resign after emails were revealed indicating the CDC changed its school reopening guidelines in response to pressure from teachers’ unions.
“As a practicing physician, I believe that any physician who puts the influence of political organizations before the well-being of our children has violated the Hippocratic Oath and does not belong in public service,” Murphy told the Washington Free Beacon. “These actions are unconscionable, and so I am calling on Dr. Walensky to resign immediately.”
“The CDC is supposed to be occupied by scientists who do not bow to political influence,” Murphy added. “This obviously is not the case under Dr. Walensky’s leadership. As one of the most important public health officials in America, she should have had the fortitude to reject AFT’s influence in the CDC’s recommendations.”
The American Federation of Teachers, a teachers union led by Randi Weingarten, appears to have successfully pressured the CDC into editing its guidance, with the CDC adding “suggestions” from the AFT “nearly verbatim” to their reopening plan for schools, according to emails obtained by the New York Post.
“Emails show a call between Walensky and Weingarten — the former boss of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers — was arranged for Feb 7,” the New York Post reported. “The lobbying paid off. In at least two instances, language ‘suggestions’ offered by the union were adopted nearly verbatim into the final text of the CDC document.”
“With the CDC preparing to write that schools could provide in-person instruction regardless of community spread of the virus, Trautner argued for the inclusion of a line reading ‘In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.’ That language appeared on page 22 of the final CDC guidance,” the Post added.
Numerous studies on the spread of COVID-19 in schools have shown that “school closures did not have a major impact on slowing the pandemic,” and that the academic costs of school closures has been about $2 trillion.
Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine who has been extensively researching COVID-19, told the New York Post that the emails were “very, very troubling.”
“What seems strange to me here is there would be this very intimate back and forth including phone calls where this political group gets to help formulate scientific guidance for our major public health organization in the United State,” Gandhi said. “This is not how science-based guidelines should work or be put together.”
On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told unemployed Floridians that May will be the last month they can collect unemployment benefits without proving they are looking for a job.
“Governor Ron DeSantis lifted the requirement that people receiving benefits look for work early in the pandemic when unemployment was rising and few were hiring,” CBS Miami reported. “But DeSantis has lifted restrictions on businesses, and the unemployment rate is below the national average.”
“Normally when you’re getting unemployment, the whole idea is that it’s temporary, and you need to be looking for work to be able to get off unemployment,” DeSantis said. “It was a disaster, so we suspended those job search requirements. I think it’s pretty clear now — we have an abundance of job openings.”
“We absolutely can put more people to work,” he continued. “The demand is there. Businesses want to hire more people, and I think we can go in that direction very soon.”
“I think now we’re in just a different situation, you have a surplus of jobs, particularly in restaurant, lodging, hospitality, that people want to hire,” DeSantis said. “I mean, you see the signs all over the place. Look, that’s a good problem to have. But we also just want to make sure, like, look, if you’re really unemployed, can’t get a job, that’s one thing. But making sure that you’re doing your due diligence to look for work, and making sure those incentives align, better.”
The unemployment rate has been rapidly decreasing in Florida. The Miami Herald reported in March that Florida’s unemployment rate had reached “the lowest among any large state in the nation.” However, the state’s overall labor force, which is both employed and unemployed workers, has decreased 3.7% since pre-pandemic levels – a result of people deciding to live off the government and stop looking for a job.
Democrat President Joe Biden has announced a travel ban on India after two months of a resurgence of COVID-19.
“Biden is expected to impose new travel restrictions on India starting Tuesday in light of the COVID-19 epidemic, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States,” Reuters reported. “The new restrictions are on the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are imposed ‘in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 case loads and multiple variants circulating in India.’”
Biden attacked Trump’s travel ban on Europe in March 2020, during a time when COVID-19 was rare enough for the spread to be effectively suppressed by a travel ban, calling Trump’s ban “xenophobic.”
Biden later tweeted that “Banning all travel from Europe – or any other part of the world – will not stop [COVID-19].”
“This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet – and we need a plan to combat it,” Biden added.
Joe Biden vs. Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/3qsX4ooBU5
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 30, 2021
Not only did Biden follow in former President Trump’s footsteps with travel bans that he has said were ineffective, Biden has also used the same manufacturing and distribution plan that the Trump administration had created while his administration has repeatedly claimed there was no plan when he entered office.
After Biden made this claim in early March, former HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir responded to it on Twitter, pointing out how the “current” plan is the exact same as “explicitly described” in Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.
“I am so tired of the continuing lies that @potus inherited a #COVID19Vaccine mess, when in fact 99% of current vaccine manufacturing and distribution is EXACTLY as planned and explicitly described by Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed,” Giroir wrote.
I am so tired of the continuing lies that @potus inherited a #COVID19Vaccine mess, when in fact 99% of current vaccine manufacturing and distribution is EXACTLY as planned and explicitly described by Trump Administration's Operation Warp Speed
— Brett Giroir (@DrGiroir) February 25, 2021
On Thursday, after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced New York City will be reopened by July 1st, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) criticized the timeline, prompting de Blasio Press Secretary Bill Neidhardt to say he doesn’t care what a “serial sexual harasser and assaulter” says “about anything.”
According to the New York Post, Cuomo was asked about de Blasio’s goal to reopen by July 1st during a press conference, to which he said, “I want it opened up on Monday. I want to open up New York City on Tuesday. I want it open on Wednesday. I want Buffalo opened up on Thursday.”
“There is no person who will safely reopen faster than myself,” Cuomo added. “I’m not going to predict the future. But if you said to me, ‘July 1,’ I’d say, ‘I hope to get there before July 1.’”
When NY1 reporter Courtney Gross asked de Blasio’s Press Secretary for comment, Neidhardt responded, “I don’t care what a serial sexual harasser and assaulter and someone who covered up the deaths of thousands of people at nursing homes has to say about anything.”
Eight women have accused Governor Cuomo of sexual assault or sexual harassment. After the first woman, Lindsey Boylan, accused Cuomo, Cuomo and his allies began “circulating an open letter” that they tried to get staff members to sign that “was a full-on attack on Ms. Boylan’s credibility” according to the New York Times.
It was also revealed earlier this year that Cuomo’s top aides rewrote a report written by state health officials to hide the true number of nursing home deaths that were a result of Cuomo’s policy to force nursing homes to accept patients who were infected with COVID-19.
“The number — more than 9,000 by that point in June — was not public, and the governor’s most senior aides wanted to keep it that way,” the Times New York Times reported. “They rewrote the report to take it out, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.”
“The extraordinary intervention, which came just as Mr. Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements, was the earliest act yet known in what critics have called a monthslong effort by the governor and his aides to obscure the full scope of nursing home deaths,” the Times added.
On Monday, Florida state health officials announced the first day of single-digit deaths from COVID-19 for the first time in seven months.
“The state health department said seven more Floridians and two additional non-residents have died due to COVID-19,” The Palm Beach Post reported on Sunday. “Over the past two weeks, daily reported COVID deaths across the state have ranged between 22 and 98, and the week-to-week reported deaths have been on a slow decline since January.”
The New York Times reported, “Florida reopened months before much of the rest of the nation, which only in recent days has begun to emerge from the better part of a year under lockdown.”
According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his decision to reopen the state before much of the country originally received “a lot of opposition from the corporate media” for going “against the grain.”
“But, our kids are in school. Parents are happy with that. Our economy is growing. People are working. And they were predicting economic doom, particularly for Florida, because we’re a tourism base and our tourism isn’t bad by any stretch,” DeSantis added.
Florida’s death per capita rate from COVID-19 still falls below the United States average, while the number of active cases plummet.
According to the New York Times, in early March 2021, “The unemployment rate [in Florida] is 5.1 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in California, 8.7 percent in New York and 6.9 percent in Texas. That debate about opening schools? It came and went months ago. Children have been in classrooms since the fall.”