Randi Weingarten, president of the powerful American Federation of Teachers (AFT), backed a call by the Atlantic on Monday to declare an “amnesty” for those who pursued mistaken policies on COVID-19 that led, among other things, to harm to children.
The article, by economist Emily Oster, notes that policymakers were operating in a challenging environment: “Given the amount of uncertainty, almost every position was taken on every topic. And on every topic, someone was eventually proved right, and someone else was proved wrong.”
Oster has unique credibility on this topic, since she compiled her own data set on schools and the pandemic when the federal government declined to do so.
However, her call for amnesty — right before an election in which voters are about to deliver a verdict on Democrats’ aggressive pandemic policies, among other issues — triggered outrage and ridicule on social media.
Hey I'm sorry we scared the hell out of you & lied for years & persecuted & censored anyone who disagreed but there was an election going on & we really wanted to beat Donald Trump so it was important to radically politicize the science even if it destroyed your children's lives.
— Matthew J. Peterson (@docMJP) October 31, 2022
One who embraced the idea, however, was Weingarten, who enthusiastically tweeted her support for forgiving bad policy decisions:
— Randi Weingarten 🇺🇺🇸💪🏿👩🎓 (@rweingarten) October 31, 2022
Weingarten supported extensive school closures, forced masking for children, and mandatory vaccinations, among other policies pushed largely by Democratic elected officials.
A new report by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) revealed: “While 57 percent of teachers are either Republican or independent, nearly 100 percent of political spending from the $575 million in dues to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) was funneled into far-left politics.”
Schools have been the focus of voters’ ire, after Democrats have imposed Critical Race Theory and transgender ideology on children, and as testing results have revealed the shocking extent to which children suffered educational harm while their schools were closed.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.