In a bid to encourage schools to reopen for in-person learning in the fall semester, the White House formally designated teachers as essential workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Vice President Mike Pence told governors of the nonbinding classification during a phone call last week, CNN first reported.
In an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo, Pence emphasized that there is “no mandate” in the decision.
“What that is, is when you’re declared an essential it means you’re going to be prioritized for things like PPE and support. But we want to get our kids back to school but we also want our teachers to know that we’re going to make the resources available so that their schools can be a safe environment,” the vice president told Bartiromo, later adding, “My wife’s going to be back in the classroom teaching next week.”
Karen Pence teaches art two days a week at Immanuel Christian School, a private school in Northern Virginia.
CNN notes of the designation:
Under Department of Homeland Security guidance issued this week, teachers are now considered “critical infrastructure workers” and are subject to the same kinds of advisories as other workers who have borne that label — such as doctors and law enforcement officers.
The guidance for essential workers states that they can continue to work even after exposure to a confirmed case of Covid-19, provided they remain asymptomatic. Schools’ contribution to community spread has already been a top concern for districts making the decision to open or close, so pushing teachers to continue working after potential exposure could prove controversial.
The Trump administration is also advising teachers who have been exposed to the virus but who do not exhibit symptoms to remain at work.
The American Federation of Teachers (ATF), the second-largest teacher’s union in the United States, fired back at the president for wanting educators to return to the classroom. ATF President Randi Weingarten accused him of trying to “threaten, bully and coerce” teachers:
If the President really saw us as essential, he’d act like it. Teachers are and always have been essential workers — but not essential enough, it seems, for the Trump administration to commit the resources necessary to keep them safe in the classroom. Rather than fund these protections, create a plan and guidance for how to ensure that school buildings can reopen safely, and follow the science.
The Trump administration will always try to change the rules to threaten, bully and coerce. No doubt this new “guidance” will be used as a pretext by Trump-supporting governors to force students and educators into unsafe buildings to serve the president’s political agenda.
The mainstream media continues to sound the hysterical alarm bell about the supposed dangers of COVID-19 for children. Establishment outlet Fox News cited the CDC as saying that the infection rate for minors 17 and under is increasing, as well as Korean studies that claim individuals between 10 and 19 spread the virus more than adults. Fox also pointed to news of schools and camps in which the virus “tore” through the young population after opening.
What all of this fails to point out is the difference between “infection”/testing positive for COVID-19 and actually being infirm and endangered by the virus.
Fox News excoriates President Trump for stating that children are “almost immune” from the virus. While the president’s comment is not technically correct in the sense that children are able to be infected with this coronavirus, the idea he was trying to communicate is that kids generally do not get seriously ill even when they have COVID-19 because they have strong immune systems.
The narrative out of Fox is right in line with the overall media narrative, which has been to focus hysterically on “infections” and “cases” while downplaying actual deaths.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has delivered a statement encouraging government officials and school administrators to allow students to return to class regardless of the pandemic.
“The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of inperson learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020,” the statement from AAP read.
The “preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection,” the Academy further noted.
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Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.