Public schools

Everybody Except Teachers Unions Loves the CDC's Revised School Distancing Guidelines

By moving the recommended distance from six feet to three feet, the CDC brings the U.S. back in line with science, and hastens full school reopening.

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As foreshadowed last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday morning shortened its recommended distance between K-12 students from six feet to three feet, a change that could hasten full-time schooling for millions of remote and hybrid learners.

"We don't really have the evidence that 6 feet is required in order to maintain low spread," CDC Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force leader Greta Massetti told the Associated Press.

The funny thing is, they didn't really have that evidence five weeks ago, either, yet that didn't prevent the CDC from issuing a global outlier of a school reopening guidance that, if followed to the letter, would have kept most American public schools half-open at best well into the fall.

The negative reaction to that teachers union–influenced February 12 document, not just from outspoken school-opening advocates such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis but also scientists, left-leaning media outlets, and some Democratic-run polities, undermined the CDC's credibility, and led directly to several school districts delaying or even reversing plans to reopen.

The new recommendations include bringing down plastic barriers ("We don't have a lot of evidence of their effectiveness," Massetti told the A.P.), maintaining six feet of distance in middle and high schools in high-spread communities, and having everyone wear masks.

The revision brings the CDC closer in line with the epidemiological and pediatric researchers, the global public health community, and the professed opinion last July of its current director, Rochelle Walensky. But one category of "stakeholder," unsurprisingly, isn't happy: teachers unions.

"They are compromising the one enduring public health missive that we've gotten from the beginning of this pandemic in order to squeeze more kids into schools," American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten told The Washington Post this week. "I think that is problematic until we have real evidence in these harder-to-open places about what the effect is."

Weingarten, a frequent guest of the Biden White House, has, like other union leaders, sought to portray herself as a tireless advocate for reopening while practically throwing up one objection after another when full-time schooling gets near.

On one hand, you can understand why the unions are so chippy. Having isolated themselves on the science of school spread, alienated parents with reckless accusations of racism, and leveraged their significant influence on Democratic politicians to help make the United States a world leader in shuttered schools, the guilds are coming under increasing public criticism. Including from leading New York mayoral candidate, Democrat Andrew Yang, who took aim at the city's United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in a Politico interview this week: "I will confess to being a parent that has been frustrated by how slow our schools have been to open, and I do believe that the UFT has been a significant reason why our schools have been slow to open."

(Retorted UFT President Michael Mulgrew, lamely: "The UFT was the leading force in New York City public schools opening and opening safely, protecting students and staff. Mr. Yang needs to do his homework.")

On the other hand, unions just received a no-strings-attached $200 billion gift from the federal government via an American Rescue Plan that spends most of its K-12 component on hiring, even at a time when schools have been closed and students have been exiting public schools.

Mulgrew, and the New York City Department of Education, illustrate how even policies that are labeled as "reopening" end up with a school experience as anything but. My NYC kindergartener, who is podding a few feet away from me as I type, attends a school of more than 800 kids, where—per city policy arduously negotiated by Mulgrew—the whole institution, already operating at half-time capacity because of the six-foot rule, will shut down if there are two concurrent positive cases of COVID-19.

Weingarten has repeatedly touted New York City (as opposed to, say, the state of Florida, where schools have been open five days a week since September) as a national model. Today's long-overdue CDC revision will hopefully instead make Gotham a stingy outlier in an increasingly vaccinated K-12 world that's accelerating toward full reopening. As New York magazine's Jonathan Chait put it this week, "Just Reopen the Schools Now."

The Department of Education on Wednesday said that a whopping $122 billion from the recently passed American Rescue Plan will be disbursed to public schools by the end of March. An additional $10 billion is being spent by the Department of Health and Human Services on school COVID testing by early April. The unions got their massive payday. Time to go to work.

NEXT: The Cops Who Drew Guns and Forced an Innocent Family To Lie on the Pavement Were Dismayed by the Angry Response

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  1. “We don’t really have the evidence that 6 feet is required in order to maintain low spread,” CDC Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force leader Greta Massetti told the Associated Press.”

    LOL

    Does that mean I can finally disregard those stupid stickers on the floor in all the stores and government building?

    1. New stickers will need to be purchased and installed by Union workers.

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      2. I have, but with the same paranoid guilt as when I park in front of a fire extinguisher …. god damn …. I meant pepper spray …. fuck ….. I mean fire hydrant.

      3. It’s only manners to comply with reasonable requests, no matter how poorly reasoned.

    3. Particles bearing the virus travel a distance due to mass and velocity which can be up to 8 meters. The ability of the virus particles to inflict its damage has many factors almost impossible to deal with by law. The CDC, like the UN’s WHO is a political organization first, scientific a distant second. Each person is in reality on their own, making their own decisions.

    4. The FDA, CDC, Big Pharma and politicians came up with the scientific evidence standard of the very expensive double blind human trial, so lacking that evidence they shouldn’t be saying anything unless they’re going to admit other scientific evidence of merit exists without that expensive trial. But then, that brings to question all their standards, including the question of why we’re paying for them.

  2. Watch Sen. Rand Paul give Tony Fauci and America a long deserved lesson in viral immunology, pointing out that virtually all covid infections and vaccines have conferred immunity with an extremely low risk of reinfection.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3I5uqaMzd0

    Fauci refused to answer Rand Paul’s question asking him to cite any study that has found a covid reinfection rate above 1% (as both Paul and Fauci knows that no studies exist).

    1. Fox News interviews Rand Paul about covid immunity, where he points out the fact that virtually nobody who was previously infected with covid has been reinfected, and virtually nobody who has received a vaccine has subsequently become infected.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkShz1zF2qk

      1. 9.1% of Americans have tested positive for covid, and CDC estimates 4.6 times more Americans have been infected (than have tested positive). Thus, CDC estimates 42.2% of Americans already have been infected.

        Since there are just 11 known cases of covid reinfection in America (and 65 worldwide), virtually all previously infected Americans remain immune. Therefore, previous covid infections have already conferred immunity to an estimated 42.2% of Americans.

        Since 22.2% of Americans have received a 1st covid vaccine dose, since 42.2% of Americans were already immune (due to past infection), and since the 1st vaccine dose appears 90% effective, 1st doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to about 11.5% of Americans (.222 x .578 x .9 = .115).

        And since 12.0% of Americans have received a 2nd covid vaccine dose, since 42.2% of them were already immune (due to past infection), and since 2nd vaccine doses only confer immunity to about 10% of 2nd dose recipients (who didn’t become immune from the 1st dose), 2nd doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to just 0.7% of Americans (.12 x .578 x .1 = .0069)

        In sum, based on CNC data and infection rate estimate, 54.6% of Americans are now immune from covid (42.2% + 11.5% + 0.7% = 54.6%), and most states are close to achieving herd immunity.

        Rand Paul is correct, while Tony Fauci is a public health fraud.

        1. CDC’s estimate that 4.6 times more Americans were infected with covid than those who tested positive for covid is at
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html

          Amazingly, nobody in the national news media and nobody at Reason has ever cited this critically important CDC document.
          And yet, Reason has published dozens of articles on covid transmissions and herd immunity.

          1. There are still only 11 known cases of covid reinfection occurring in America (and just 65 cases worldwide). This is the evidence Rand Paul should be citing.
            https://bnonews.com/index.php/2020/08/covid-19-reinfection-tracker/

            1. Ironically, the states last to achieve herd immunity from covid will almost certainly be the states (virtually all of which are Dark Blue) with the lowest covid rates (i.e. % of population testing positive), which include:
              HI – 2.0%
              VT – 2.7%
              ME – 3.5%
              OR – 3.8%
              WA – 4.6%
              NH – 5.8%
              DC – 6.0%
              MD – 6.5%
              MI – 6.8%
              VA – 7.0%

              9.1% of all Americans have tested positive for covid so far.

              1. According to 3/17/2021 estimates by Worldometers,
                – 32 states will experience >50% declines in new covid infections during the next month,
                – 17 states (AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NY, NC, OH, VA) will experience 25% – 50% declines, and
                – 2 states (SC, VT) will experience <25% declines.

        2. But Tony said it’s the variants – the variants – THE VARIANTS

          1. 4th wave!

          2. “But Tony said it’s the variants – the variants – THE VARIANTS”

            And the TDS-addled shit WK now claims it was the pepper spray!!!
            Straw-grasping with tiny hands.

        3. He truly deserves to get his teeth knocked out of his skull more than any government official of my lifetime.

    2. You know I feel like Anthony would be all in line with Batty’s quote from Bladerunner as his true answer “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.”

  3. Why are libertarians pimping public schools?

    1. Because pimpin’ ain’t easy, but it’s necessary.

    2. Remember, Welch admitted that, if he actually had to choose between Biden and Trump in a state that could have swung either way, he would have chosen Biden. But, since he was in New York, a deep blue state, he voted for Jo Jorgensen — just for shits and giggles.

      This puts Welch in league with Eric “I will vote strategically and reluctantly for Biden” Boehm, C.J. “Stephen Miller is a white nationalist” Ciaramella, and former staffer Shikha “There is no bigger libertarian cause right now than to prevent Donald J. Trump from getting re-elected” Dalmia.

      Reason is about as libertarian as Meghan Markle is black and oppressed.

      1. Yes, I’ve seen how when Ken Shultz argues that we all have to vote for one of the major party candidates, that you jump in there and argue against Ken, sticking up for those of us who vote Libertarian.

        Oh, wait, you’ve never argued against Ken when he says that, because Ken is on the Trump team and that’s what really matters to you.

        1. Do you want to fuck Ken, or what?

          1. Poor Ken!

        2. Lol. Saying he is team trump shows how fucking stupidly partisan you are. Realizing what the left was promising open and reacting against it isnt supporting trump, it is seeing the biggest threat to liberty and acting against it.

          1. He has such a hard on for Ken — probably because Ken can write cogent sentences without beclowning himself at every turn.

            1. He has a hard on for submission to authority whether it is Reason’s editors or the authoritarian left.

        3. “Yes, I’ve seen how when Ken Shultz argues that we all have to vote for one of the major party candidates, that you jump in there and argue against Ken, sticking up for those of us who vote Libertarian.”

          TDS-addled lefty shit forever argue against the strawman in their head rather than the point being made.
          Fuck off and die, you dishonest pile of lefty shit.

      2. Why not vote Libertarian Party in a deep blue state? It won’t affect who is President and shows support for the cause. Future politicians would be less likely to ignore a 15% voting block.

    3. It’s not so much pimping public schools as it is a much deserved dumping on the teachers’ unions.

    4. Because Welsh has chosen to live in a blue state hellhole without the wealth to live as a noble instead of a serf.

    5. There is a difference between pimping public schools and saying they can safely reopen.

      It’s like saying it’s safe to smoke weed, or to vape nicotine, but not making a recommendation that you start.

  4. Notice that @mattwelch not once questions whether the mandates themselves are OK !

    One has to conclude that he supports the concept OR decides not to mention his opposition as a way to avoid handling principles in his articles

  5. On the other hand, unions just received a no-strings-attached $200 billion gift from the federal government via an American Rescue Plan that spends most of its K-12 component on hiring, even at a time when schools have been closed and students have been exiting public schools.

    It’s like watching the slow kids in the class begin to realize how this game works.

    Oh, and in fairness to the Unions, what about the variants! THERE ARE VARIANTS!

    1. I think it’s nice that they got this gift from the government. Heck, I like it so much that I think the American taxpayer might want to pitch in a few bucks as well.

    2. Doctors in Porto Alegre say that young people are getting sick!

    3. Safety starts with giving WFH teachers who have averaged less than 60% of normal school hours bonuses as they fight to stay out of classrooms.

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/california-schools-use-covid-relief-payments-for-teacher-bonuses/ar-BB1eAkcP

      1. Because people who are getting paid big bucks for doing nothing need more.

      2. But they can’t give a property tax rebate to the taxpayers that had to pay taxes for a full year of no school.

  6. Sort of off topic I wonder how many heads will explode with that news Canelo – Saunders fight having 60k in attendance?

  7. So….it was another lie = maintain 6′ because of the SCIENCE!

    Now we find out, not so much science as it was a desire to control.

    1. Commodus : I think I understand my own people.

      Gracchus : Then perhaps Caesar will be so good as to teach us, out of his own extensive experience?

      Commodus : I call it love, Gracchus. The people are my children, I am their father. I shall hold them to my bosom and embrace them tightly…

      Gracchus : Have you ever embraced someone dying of plague, sire?

      Commodus : No, but if you interrupt me again, I assure you that you will.

      Know your role, pleb.

      1. Historic smackdown!

      2. Those were the days…no fucking around, just tie you to a plague infested body, and watch your ass squirm!

        1. It’s called “The Cuomo”

    2. Followed by the lie that masks are needed by students. Study in Florida shows no change in infections rates between schools with mask policies and those without.

      https://redstate.com/bonchie/2021/03/18/new-data-further-calls-into-question-joe-bidens-edicts-on-mask-wearing-n345984

    3. MIT had done a study several years ago that showed a sneeze can travel 27 feet so 6 feet is basically an arbitrary number someone pulled out of their butt.

  8. Rally nice sir I like it

  9. A solution to teachers not returning to classrooms?

    Our governor here in Oregon, a very reliable lefty, has basically ordered teachers back to work (K-6 by April 1, grades 7-12 by April 15), or basically, find somewhere else to work.

    Since every teacher in the State (excepting those who refused to take the vaccine), has been fully vaccinated for a month or so now, that seems perfectly logical. (Note: k-12 has been open, on and off, for some time now, in our county, and some others).

    It could be interesting to watch if the chalk actually hits the fan.

    1. It would be interesting, but I think we all know there would be exactly zero follow-through.

      1. Maybe. On the hopeful side, I have not heard any complaints in the local media from local teachers (two of whom are my neighbors) who are holding class (but then, this is NOT Portland).

    2. Another solution (for a red state) would be to propose all ed money be rerouted to parents so they can pay for private or online ed of their choice. If the threat were credible, the teachers’ union would *demand* that publik schools reopen.

      1. “Another solution (for a red state) would be to propose all ed money be rerouted to parents so they can pay for private or online ed of their choice.

        This is the solution I prefer. But make it permanent. And make it for ALL States.

  10. None of this has been based on hard science. 90% of the studies that are being quoted are nothing more than polls and the extrapolation of questionable data.

  11. “We don’t really have the evidence that 6 feet is required in order to maintain low spread,” CDC Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force leader Greta Massetti told the Associated Press.

    “On the other hand, we totes have the evidence that 3 feet will do the trick of ‘maintaining low spread’, whatever *that* means.”

  12. I learned something today:
    “My NYC kindergartener, who is podding a few feet away from me as I type”

    podding
    in British English
    PRESENT PARTICIPLE OF VERB
    see pod1 (sense 5), pod1 (sense 6)

    pod
    in British English
    (pɒd )
    NOUN
    1.
    a. the fruit of any leguminous plant, consisting of a long two-valved case that contains seeds and splits along both sides when ripe
    b. the seedcase as distinct from the seeds
    2. any similar fruit
    3. a streamlined structure attached by a pylon to an aircraft and used to house a jet engine (podded engine), fuel tank, armament, etc
    4. an enclosed cabin suspended from a cable or a big wheel, for carrying passengers
    VERB
    Word forms: pods, podding or podded
    5. (transitive)
    to remove the pod or shell from (peas, beans, etc)
    6. (intransitive)
    (of a plant) to produce pods

    perhaps back formation from earlier podware bagged vegetables, probably from pod, variant of cod2 + ware1

  13. After this, we are going to need a new definition, or two or three, of “science”

    1. the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    2. What technocrats and politicians say it is

    3. What MSM says it is

    3. Whatever teachers unions blather about to keep their members from having to go back to work

  14. >>moving the recommended distance from six feet to three feet

    shows neither is real

  15. No public sector unions. Make them illegal. No collective bargaining against the taxpayer.

    1. Is this your usual one libertarian stance a week before you back to defending everything of the left as trumps fault?

      1. Team Sports Jesse!

        1. Asshole TDS-addled shit still missing the point.
          Make that asshole TDS-addled ignoramus.

        2. It’s a fair question. Though to your credit, you did say something sensible for a change.

    2. Twice a day, still broken.

      1. And only half right.
        Forbidding membership in a union(s) would be clearly unconstitutional.
        But prohibiting government from engaging in collective bargaining agreements is absolutely the/a correct answer.

        1. I should say
          “Forbidding [formation of] a union(s) would be clearly unconstitutional.”
          I suppose it’s more of a gray area if government can bar membership in a, or any particular, union as a condition for employment.

    3. I’m fine with just making them optional, and making sure that they have no role in negotiating internal discipline, other than paying for attorneys if they choose.

      Making them optional will cut way down on the money funnel to politicians and vastly reduce their influence.

  16. Check out the adoring look Kamala is giving Weingarten in the photo. I think someone’s in love.

    1. Kamala is impressed by real power, now that she no longer gets to lock up pot smokers and the parents of truants.

    2. WHY AREN’T THEY WEARING MASKS?

  17. If we’re halving the social distancing, can we halve the amount of masks we *need* to wear and go back to just one? Please, sir?

  18. MAYBE we should begin importing new virus from Europe, where those organisms are trained to not infect people that are more than only THREE feet (well, one metre, but what’s three inches amongst friends?) apart. They’ve trained the virus to pass by peolpe that remain between three and six feet distance between themselves…….

    HEY don’t these education union wonks know anything? The infection and death rates amongst children under 18 years of age, as a class of population, are so minuscule as to be non-existant. I’ve not checked since last fall, but as of about Thansgiving time the total WuFlu deaths amongst those under 18 years of age was so small I did not need all my fingers to count them!!! And they are warting about three or six feet? Hah!!! Watch them… most kids, wherever there are two or ore within eyesight of each other, are together they ARE together. As in, messing abuot as they’ve always done, no virus needed. AND they do crazy things like swap masks back and forth, or let them flop, making them only slightly more worthless than they are already, AND small faces make it all but impossible to make them SEAL correctly, so they may as well not even wear them for all the good they do.

    Nah, thise union “educators” need to all be lined up, taken out behind the woodshed, and given the educatioin they never got.

  19. Now I’m confused. Why are all those clowns in the picture not wearing masks?

    I think I’m going back to my basement, wear three masks and continue shaking like a Chihuahua in fear.

  20. Time for vouchers. Politicians should not be raising our children.

  21. Back in line with science? No, no it is not. This coronavirus is no more dangerous for children than the common cold. Any social distancing of children, even by three feet, in response to the pandemic is assuredly *not* in line with the science. In addition, it violates the basic rights and dignity of children. If kids want to hug one another to express love, how is the government forcibly stopping that not a violation if the NAP? If it is also a political message against lockdowns, then this is even a First Amendment violation you are cheering on. I expect better from a “libertarian” publication.

  22. Really, who do you think your kidding? Randi Weingarten is a jewess. Do you not see the patterns here? NSDAP WAS RIGHT AND WE FOUGHT THE WRONG ENEMY IN WWII AND WE’VE BEEN PLAYED ON A GRAND SCALE. JEWS ARE A WAR VIRUS THAT HAS INFECTED THE LAND OF THE FREE, NOW ALL WE’VE GOT IS ENDLESS WAR, ENDLESS DEBT AND ENDLESS JEWS DRAGGING US INTO THE ABYSS WHILE THEY PREPARE THEIR NEXT BUGOUT SPOT IN NEW ZEALAND. SEND 10 TRIDENT II’s please. END OF STORY

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  29. Remember when the big complaint was that Trump had provided ‘no leadership’ at the Federal level?
    Now that the CDC has given them direction, it should surprise no one that they don’t want to follow it.

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