Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is hoping that President Joe Biden will grow a backbone in dealing with teachers unions over the idea of reopening schools in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg urged Biden to take a “stand” against these organizations who have successfully managed to stonewall the reopening of public schools all across the United States.
“It’s time for Joe Biden to stand up say, ‘The kids are the most important things, important players here,’” the former mayor said during an interview on MSNBC. “And the teachers just are going to have to suck it up and stand up and provide an education.”
“Teachers say, ‘Well, I don’t want to go back because it’s dangerous,’” he continued. “We have a lot of city and state and federal employees who run risks. That’s part of the job. You run risks to help America, to help your state, to help your city, to help your family. And there’s just no reason not to have the schools open.”
Bloomberg also pointed to class discrepancies exacerbated by school closures, saying virtual schooling is hurting “poor kids.”
“What we’re doing to poor kids is a disgrace,” he said. “These poor kids are not in school. They will never recover from this. … The virtual classes are a joke. It is worse than a joke. Poor people don’t have iPads. They don’t have WiFi, [and] they don’t have somebody at home to sit during the day and force the child to pay attention. And without that, the virtual learning just does not exist.”
Biden, already earning a reputation for being a spineless jellyfish in the Oval Office, received a healthy chunk of change from many different teachers unions — try $44 million — and has continued to support their positions, refusing to take a strong stance on reopening schools.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently said, “There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen. Safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely.”
So why are teachers trying so desperately to avoid opening schools? Could it be they are enjoying their new found freedom to earn a living from the comfort of home and simply don’t want to go back to the in-person classroom?
After all, children have been shown less likely to transmit COVID-19 than adults in several recently conducted studies. In fact, kids are only responsible for 4 percent of household clusters infections according to another study published in December.
There’s simply no good reason to keep schools closed. Get them open and let kids get back to living their lives and enjoying their childhoods.