Why are Democrats ignoring science on reopening schools?

January 28, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with a new study showing there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased transmission of the coronavirus.

But teachers unions across the country are refusing to show up to work despite a “striking drop in students’ academic performance” and a surge in student suicide.

Democrats – including Joe Biden – have largely sided with teacher unions on the issue, despite the science showing schools should reopen.    

Why are Democrats ignoring the science when it comes to putting children back in school? Follow the money. Teachers unions contributed nearly $4.2 million to Democrat campaigns in 2020.   

NRCC Comment: “Democrats’ refusal to call out their special interest donors is both causing students to fall behind and threatening their well-being. Their anti-science position is downright shameful.” – NRCC Spokesman Mike Berg


White House Chief Of Staff Ron Klain defended teachers unions who refuse to go back to work. “White House chief of staff Ron Klain defended teachers unions, whose members refuse to return to the classroom despite a federal government report that schools can reopen safety during the coronavirus pandemic, denying that educators are ‘overruling studies.’” (New York Post, 1/27/21)

Speaker Pelosi: ‘We shouldn’t even be thinking’ about reopening schools without federal aid.” (The Hill, 7/13/20)

Pramila Jayapal: “I don’t think [schools] should reopen Bob.” (Washington Post, 7/14/20)

Rep. Colin Allred from Texas supports delaying reopening schools. “Protecting our kids is our top priority and we can’t reopen our schools safely yet. I know this is not easy for many, but I support the decision to delay. The House voted to provide schools with millions in help and the Senate should approve this $ ASAP.” (Twitter, 7/16/20)

Rep. Jahana Hayes from Connecticut opposes reopening schools for in-person learning. “Where is the point at which you think it would be safe to send kids back to schools? I can’t think of any other segment of the economy that even proposed reopening at full capacity. Not airlines, not restaurants, not theaters, nothing. And to have that even be a part of the conversation when it came to schools — and not be supported by the science or the data — I think is completely irresponsible.” (New York Times, 8/31/20)

Rep. Stephanie Murphy from Florida blasted Gov. Ron Desantis for reopening schools. “State leaders allowed the virus to spread unchecked, failed to implement aggressive measures to protect Floridians & are moving forward with a school reopening plan that ignores the severity of community spread. It is no surprise the result has been an unmitigated disaster.” (Twitter, 8/5/20)

Rep. Cindy Axne blasted Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for reopening schools. “President Donald Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also have pushed hard for schools to reopen for in-person classes. ‘Our teachers and our administrators need to be the ones who are making the decision about what’s right for them and what’s right for the children that they serve in those communities,’ Axne said. ‘Right now, we’re seeing teachers who are asking for living wills. Teachers are fighting back against the proclamation of the governor, because they’re scared for their own health and safety and that of their families,’ Axne said. ‘This just exacerbates the mental health issues that they’re facing.’” (Rep. Cindy Axne, 8/7/20)

Rep. Sean Casten from Illinois said reopening schools just to satisfy President Trump would only serve to kill people. “This is tragic.  If you care about our students and our teachers, don’t listen to @BetsyDeVosED until she has a plan informed by scientists and public health experts.  Reopening just to satisfy the president will serve only to kill more people.” (Twitter, 7/13/20)

In a press release, Rep. Andy Levin from Michigan blasted Republicans for trying to reopen schools. “Congressman Andy Levin (Mi-09) Blasts Trump and DeVos for Catastrophic School Reopening Demands” (Rep. Andy Levin, 7/15/20)

Rep. Angie Craig from Minnesota said we need to contain the virus before putting kids back in schools. “Despite Tyler’s claims to the contrary, protecting public health & supporting the nation’s economic recovery are not contradictory goals. In order to reopen safely & get Americans back to work, we need to get a handle on this virus. #MN02” (Twitter, 10/8/20)