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Rep. Good Demands Investigation into Biden Admin Politicizing Reopening Schools

May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON –Today, U.S. Representative Bob Good (VA-05) led a letter with 25 other Republican House members to the Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS IG) requesting they investigate allegations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acted politically on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in refusing to reopen America’s schools.

“Putting our students’ education in the middle of a political debate is totally unacceptable. Recent reports have alleged that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used its unchecked regulatory authority to further politicize the reopening of schools. America’s public health decisions must be based on science and data, not political pressure or favors to special interests. --U.S. Representative Bob Good (VA-05)

Original cosigners (25) include, Reps Foxx (R-NC), Budd (R-NC), Bishop (R-NC) Banks (R-IN), Spartz (R- IN), Miller (R-IL), Buck (R-CO) Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Steube (R-FL), Allen (R-GA), Loudermilk (R-GA), Perry (R-PA), Green (R-TN), Harshbarger (R-TN), Jackson (R-TX), Roy (R-TX), Babin (R-TX), Weber (R-TX), McClintock (R-CA), Biggs (R-AZ), Lesko (R-AZ), Gosar (R-AZ) Harris (R-MD), Davis (R-IL), and Mann (R-KS).

See letter HERE.

See full letter text to HHS IG below:

We request that you investigate immediately allegations of collusion and political influence in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s correspondence between the CDC and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in regard to the development of the February 12, 2021 CDC guidance on reopening schools.

Many had anticipated in February that the CDC would recommend in-school instruction nationwide, as studies, including one published by CDC researchers, indicate that school attendance contributes little to community transmission and students are largely safe with in-person instruction. Instead, the resulting guidance was contradictory and ambiguous, stating that it was safe for schools to be open if mitigation techniques were employed, but that schools in areas with high transmission could choose not to employ mitigation techniques in the classroom and instead remain closed. Emails between AFT and CDC officials just days before the release of the February guidance show that two AFT requests restricting reopening were adopted almost verbatim in the final guidance.

Parents across the country have long been suspicious about the inordinate union influence in the school reopening debate. For this reason, Republicans have called for greater accountability from teacher unions regarding school reopening. Americans rightly expect the CDC to make public health decisions based on science and data, not political pressure or favors to special interests. In this instance, it seems that students and families were caught in the middle of a political debate that should have never been politicized. 

We recognize that this year has been difficult for many Americans, especially students, parents, and teachers. While it seems clear that the AFT remains willing to put union interests before students, the public must know if the CDC has been acting in good faith to protect the physical and developmental health of America’s students.

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