Coronavirus

Randi Weingarten Says D.C. Schools Should Close for Extra Cleaning If Anybody Catches COVID-19

A perfect example of hygiene theater

|

It has been obvious for months that among the various strategies for reducing the transmission of COVID-19, frantically cleaning surfaces is not particularly useful. But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten wants schools in Washington, D.C., to reopen only on the condition that a positive COVID-19 case triggers a 24-hour shutdown to allow for sanitization.

Public health experts have understood for quite some time that COVID-19 is an airborne pathogen that spreads from breathing, talking, and singing, not from casual surface-to-surface contact. Unfortunately, many people still wipe down everything they touch—even their groceries—because they have not updated their information since the earliest days of this pandemic. The Atlantic's Derek Thompson has described this "bonanza of pointless power-scrubbing" as "hygiene theater," and rightly points out that it wastes time and money on efforts that don't contribute meaningfully to mitigation.

It's thus disappointing to learn that Weingarten—who was recently glorified in a New York Times puff piece that hailed her as the savior of the school reopening effort despite the fact that she has thus far worked passionately against it—is hung up on surface-scrubbing. Shutting down an entire school might be necessary if there's evidence of significant spread between students and teachers, but cleaning efforts that go beyond normal janitorial practices would likely be useless.

These are the kinds of disruptions that will mean that schools aren't really consistently open in practice, even if in-person learning has technically resumed. Unfortunately, the Biden administration seems less committed to its 100-day school reopening pledge than ever: At a press briefing on Tuesday, Jen Psaki said the White House would consider its goal met if half of all schools were meeting at least one day a week by April 30.

Schools that expect students to show up for school four times a month tops—and fewer times if there's mandatory extra cleaning—have not reopened in any meaningful sense.

In a recent interview with Axios, Weingarten blamed former President Donald Trump for spreading misinformation about COVID and leaving schools unprepared to reopen.

"Given all of the misinformation that the last administration did, you have a lot of fear, and we have to meet fear with facts," she said.

If Weingarten wants to counter COVID-19 disinformation, she should refrain from spreading it herself. Many schools can and have reopened safely all over the country. D.C. schools should join them—and they don't need any additional mops.

NEXT: The Zoom Cat Lawyer Used Federal Agents To Torment a Former Lover With Drug Raids and Bogus Charges

Coronavirus Public schools Teachers Unions

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

55 responses to “Randi Weingarten Says D.C. Schools Should Close for Extra Cleaning If Anybody Catches COVID-19

  1. “In a recent interview with Axios, Weingarten blamed former President Donald Trump for spreading misinformation about COVID and leaving schools unprepared to reopen.”

    We must scrub the entire country for all traces of Trump. That should do the trick.

    1. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home. I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job.HFv Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website…

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Online Jobs provid

      1. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home. WEm I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website. This is what I do…>>>>>>> USA ONLINE JOBS <<<<<<<<<

    2. After leaving my previous job 11 months ago,I’ve had some good luck to learn about this website which was a life-saver for me.They offer jobs for which people can work online from their house. My latest paycheck after working for them for 4 months was for $11600…Pihte Amazing thing about is that the only thing required is simple typing skills and access to internet.

      Read all about it here.>>>> PART TIME ONLINE JOBS

  2. Another liberal arts major turned lawyer who uses the power of government and the courts to decide matters of science. Absolutely nothing new here.

    1. Since I started freelancing I’ve been bringing in (((($)))90 bucks/h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop.NBf Th℮ best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them…

      You can do it too. Start here—— > > Online Jobs Provid

  3. It has been obvious for months that among the various strategies for reducing the transmission of COVID-19, frantically cleaning surfaces is not particularly useful.

    “Not useful”?! Think of the JOBS!!

  4. Schools are a local matter. If there is blame to be apportioned, start with local teachers unions, school boards, and governors.

    It is abundantly clear that this is bullshit from Weingarten. But what do you expect from her? She does not represent your child’s interest! She represents union interests.

    If children paid union dues, she would pay attention to them. They do not, so she does not.

  5. The New York City schools are closed down and the Washington, DC schools are closed down, so as far as the national press is concerned, all schools are closed down.

    Imagine a scenario whereby China and India have a limited exchange of nukes and then call a temporary truce to conduct talks on a peaceful resolution of their differences. Meanwhile, a co-ed at NYU strips naked, sets herself on fire and runs through Times Square to protest the treatment of squirrels in Central Park. Quick, what’s the top news story on every single cable news show in the country?

    1. Trump impeachment number (whatever we’re up to by that point), obviously.

    2. It’s frankly shocking how incurious and uninformed people are about the fucking rona. I say that as someone who would have probably been pro mask if these cocksuckers weren’t so zealously religious about them and straight lieing about their efficacy.

    3. How hot is the co-ed?

  6. ‘The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson has described this “bonanza of pointless power-scrubbing” as “hygiene theater,” and rightly points out that it wastes time and money on efforts that don’t contribute meaningfully to mitigation.’

    That’s not quite true. People who obsessively disinfect everything in sight are weakening their own immune systems, thus meaningfully contributing to the spread of disease.

    1. you know what else weakens your immune system? avoiding other people, staying indoors, not getting enough sunlight or exercise…

  7. Just close them down permanently.
    If it saves even one child…

  8. “Public health experts have understood for quite some time that COVID-19 is an airborne pathogen that spreads from breathing, talking, and singing, not from casual surface-to-surface contact.”

    Where are the peer-reviewed studies here? ‘Cause the term “airborne” still includes those particles that settle on services. It just means they traveled through the air at some point. In fact, it’s still a heavy debate whether or not infection by inhalation is in any way significant. The particles that linger in the air are generally too small to carry an infectious dose of virions, even with covid.

    Statistically, you need exposure to millions of virus particles at once for enough to “stick” to cause infection. An inhaled particle could carry less than 100 virions of covid max, and less than 20% of those particles get deposited in the respiratory tract due to air dynamics. The argument is when competing against non-infected particles and the body’s defenses, infection by inhalation is very unlikely.

    Large spit drops from sneezes and coughing, certainly can carry an infectious dose, however they are too heavy to linger in the air, making surfaces they land on the likely source of contact. So color me skeptical.

    Now of course I’m on my phone, so call me hypocrite for not linking my citations lol.

    1. So, you only ever inhale one particle at a time?

      1. No, the millions of particles your are inhaling are a mix of water particles, animal allergens, pollen, dust, fecal matter, and virions. Most get exhaled again, so at worst you’re inhaling a dilute mix of all sorts of shit.

        1. Can’t forget mites and bacteria.**

    2. But according to the prog priests of scientism, inhaling a single particle of cigarette smoke or vehicle exhaust can kill you.

    3. We are in the midst of the burning book stages of modern virology. It’s honestly so mind numbingly retarded and devoid of any type of sense. It’s enough to make one question their sanity.

      1. ^^^This^^^^

    4. You seem to be arguing that it’s not possible to catch any virus by inhaling it, no?

      Manifestly untrue, no?

      The airborne-transmission theory is based on empirical evidence, not head-scratching and modelizing.

      The evolution of science is literally the story of why we went from ignoring empirical evidence when it contradicted the head-scratching and modelizing (the natural human tendency) to prioritizing the empirical evidence and questioning the head-scratching and modelizing when it is contradicted. (i.e. the Scientific Method).

      William of Ockham is a good starting place for this study.

      1. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying the relevance of the possibility is still highly debated because there are so many factors, and the flow of empirical evidence includes contradicting experiments and statistics. That’s life.

        Many common cold studies/flu studies are forced to cause infection using highly concentrated aerosols. Indeed the airborne spread of tuberculosis was confirmed through an experiment with guinea pigs in an enclosed ventilation system. But note these guinea pigs were coughing and sneezing in an enclosed space.

        Neither case perfectly reflects reality. Someone breathing near me is not the same as coughing on my food or in my face.

        That doesn’t mean it’s bad science. It means there are limitations to the conclusions that can be made because carefully designed experiments should target single variables.

        Just because it is possible, does not mean it is likely.

  9. According to CDC data, 27.8 million Americans have tested positive for covid.

    But according to a recent CDC estimate (that Reason hasn’t even informed readers about), 4.6 times more Americans have been infected with covid (than have tested positive for covid), indicating that 127.9 million Americans (i.e. 38.75%) have been infected with covid.
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html#anchor_1607017301754

    1. Since more than 99.99% of those who were infected with covid continue to remain immune from the virus (as only 5 Americans out of 27.8 million who were infected have been reinfected with the virus), 38.75% of Americans are immune from covid (i.e. they cannot contract or transmit the virus).

      Amazingly (or not), an NBC article exposing that just 1 out of every 5 million Americans who were infected with covid became reinfected was deceitfully titled and written to make gullible readers believe that reinfection with covid was very common.
      https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/covid-reinfections-may-be-more-common-realized-why-isn-t-n1256898

      Perhaps even more amazingly (or not), last night on Fox News, Anthony Fauci was asked by Bret Baier what percentage of people who have been infected with covid are now immune, Fauci falsely claimed “we don’t know”, and then began talking about expanding vaccines.

      Fauci is lying again, as he knows that previously virus infections virtually always result in immunity. But Fauci and his friends at Big Pharma, Big Medicine and Big Tech want to give all Americans vaccines.

      1. I’ve had a huge problem with the 90-95% supposed efficacy of these vaccines. They did not do an exposure trial, and everyone who got one was taking all the normal precautions anyway. So we will soon find out that their efficacy is probably much more like 50% and decreasing because of mutations. They will continue to roll out new vaccines for these new strains, but will face the same problem again and again.

        1. The NFL trials show the same amount of positive rates as the vaccines. 262 positives in 98k tests.

        2. You don’t understand how the trials were done, obviously. They’re not saying 90-95% of them didn’t get sick. They’re saying they were 90-95% less likely to get sick than the control group

        3. This is never going to end until we are all broke or people decide they’ve had enough.

          1. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a ton of people who loudly want this to go away.

      2. Not once in that article do the words “false positive” appear, the most likely explanation for so-called reinfections. Look at the first anecdote. It sounds like she had a mild flu plus a false positive.

    2. Help me out, I’m trying to understand the numbers.

      According to the CDC link, there are 83.1 million estimated infections. Where do you get the 127.9 million #?

      1. The 83.1 million was based upon the 19.7 million Americans who were infected during the year 2020. Since the number of Americans who have been infected is now up to 27.8 million, the number of infected Americans is now up to 127.9 million.

        1. Oops. I meant to write
          The 83.1 million was based upon the 19.7 million Americans who tested positive in the year 2020. Since the number of Americans who have tested positive is now up to 27.8 million, the estimated number of infected Americans is now up to 127.9 million.

          1. 8 million tested positive in 5 weeks, 40% as much as all of 2020? I find that very unlikely

            1. Well, according to this website, as of Feb 7 there were 26.7 million cases in the US, with ~847,000 in the seven days prior (to Feb 7).

              According to sciencedaily (I’ll link in another message to avoid moderation hell), there is a “severe undercounting in the # of cases” in the US:

              The model’s estimates indicate severe undercounting of cases across the U.S. and worldwide. The cumulative number of actual cases in 9 out of 50 countries is estimated to be at least five times higher than confirmed cases. Within the U.S., estimates of the cumulative number of actual cases within states were in line with the results of an antibody testing study conducted in 46 states.

              This was reported two days ago.

              So 26.7 million (as of Feb 7) x 5 == 133 million estimated cases.

    1. Field sobriety tests in the dark.

    2. he was headed to the middle.

  10. States with the highest covid case rates, and with CDC’s estimated mean infection rate (i.e. 4.6 times the case rate) and CDC’s estimated 95% range for infection rate, are:

    Case Rate – State — Estimated Mean Infection Rate (95% Range )
    12.9% – North Dakota — 59.2% (51.5% – 69.5%)
    12.4% – South Dakota — 56.9% (49.5% – 66.8%)
    11.3% – Rhode Island — 51.8% (45.1% – 60.9%
    11.1% – Utah — 51.1% (44.4% – 60.0%)
    10.9% – Tennessee — 50.4% (43.8% – 59.1)
    10.8% – Arizona — 49.8% (43.3% – 58.4%)
    10.3% – Wisconsin — 47.6% (41.4% – 55.8%)
    10.3% – Iowa — 47.6% (41.4% – 55.8%)
    10.3% – Oklahoma — 47.2% (41.0% – 55.4%)
    10.2% – Arkansas — 47.1% (40.9% – 55.2%)
    10.0% – Nebraska — 46.2% (40.2% – 54.2%)

    Since herd immunity occurs when/after two thirds of the population (of a community, county or state) have been infected, a dozen states are very close to achieving herd immunity since an additional 5% – 10% of people in states have received vaccines, which also confers immunity.

    So why won’t anyone in the news media (including Reason) even discuss this very important information?

    1. They’re hanging on fauci’s every word, and he’s upped the herd immunity threshold to 90%?

    2. States with the most significant declines in new covid cases are:
      North Dakota -98.6%
      Wyoming -93.0%
      South Dakota -92.1%
      Minnesota -89.3%
      Nebraska -88.5%
      Wisconsin -88.1%
      Iowa -87.7%
      Kansas -87.7%
      Michigan -87.3%
      New Mexico -86.1%
      Montana – 84.0%
      Illinois -82.1%
      California -78.2%
      Tennessee -78.1%
      Colorado -78.0%
      Alaska -77.9%
      Nevada -76.1%
      Indiana -75.7%
      Utah -75.0%

      Natural herd immunity is now taking place in many/most of these states.

      1. Since 38.75% of Americans are immune from covid (due to a past infection), there is no logical reason (except totalitarian control) to restrict their travel, require them to wear masks, or require them to stay six feet away from others.

        Why won’t Reason even advocate for the rights of covid recoverers?

        1. Nor of course is there any reason to vaccinate people who have tested positive ahead of those who haven’t.

  11. Our schools have been fully open since October.

    We have a handful of cases every week.

    This is just an excuse to keep the schools closed.

  12. proof Randi Weingarten is germ-free?

    1. If you were a germ, would you climb onto that?

      1. no, but is there not a germ-lid for every germ-pot?

  13. The Biden plan for school reopening was fulfilled in the fall of 2020. Do people not realize that there have been people going full time 5 days a week in classrooms all across this country? Fuck Catholic schools in VA and in DC/MD have been in person since the fall.

  14. A few years ago I dealt with her, outside of her union duties. She is as much of a miserable fuck of a human being in “real life.”

    1. People who are happy generally don’t become grifters for life.

  15. Must be difficult being a union schmuck. Nobody likes you much.

Comments are closed.