With the CDC endorsing in-person instruction, the NJEA is officially out of excuses. This is about money and power.

With the CDC endorsing in-person instruction, the NJEA is officially out of excuses. This is about money and power.

By Matt Rooney

The CDC went all-in last week in endorsing in-person instruction for America’s school kids, Save Jerseyans, and two items stand out: (1) the CDC made a point of saying vaccinating teachers is NOT mission critical to safely reopening, and (2) the CDC director emphasized that her organization’s updated guidance was NOT politicaly-influenced

All of this comes as a major blow to teacher’s unions in places like Chicago and Montclair, New Jersey where public sector special interests are pulling out all of the stops to prevent a full return to in-person instruction. How are they going to explain away this one?

For those of you who haven’t been paying close attnetion, the NJEA position – which has relied on various excuses over time but continues to strongly oppose in-person instruction – is currently that vaccinations are essential to safely reopen schools. I’m definitely sympathetic with at least the priority angle. It’s ironic that their guy Phil Murphy, in whose political ambitions they’ve invested millions, is the one presently prioritizing smokers over teachers for vaccine doses. Murphy’s failures didn’t stop them from endorsing him (again) in October and I doubt this dust-up will change a thing but let’s not stay too far from our original topic.

The NJEA and its sister unions are run by hardcore Leftists. The hardcore Leftist position remains (1) there’s no “new normal” or any variation of normal without vaccines, and (2) we need to follow the science, but science can’t be trusted when it originates from the Trump Administration.

The Trump Administration now exists only in the history books. We now have the Biden Administration‘s CDC not only declaring that vaccines are unnecessary to return to full-time instruction, but also that this scientific guidance is a decision rooted in SCIENCE as opposed to something the Orange Man was pushing for his own ends. 

That’s it. Case closed. If the Left is truly loyal to “science”? The Left’s public sector union establishment should be leading the charge to get schools reopened.

Why aren’t they?

Good old Dr. Fauci may have provided a clue in his recent television appearances reacting to the CDC. Initially, before the CDC updated its guidelines to a more forceful reopening push, Fauci endorsed reopening. “It’s less likely for a child to get infected in the school setting than if they were just in the community,” Fauci told MSNBC back at the end of January. Fauci’s optimistic assessment came after many, many of months of taking the OPPOSITE position on the safety of in-person instruction before the November election.

Then Trump lost. He changed his tune. But by mid-February it was clear that teacher’s unions – a major Democrat constituency – did NOT want to go back to the classroom. So Fauci added an important condition to his advice over the weekend on ABC: passing a stimulus bill. That’s right! After flip-flopping on school safety based upon who occupied the White House, Fauci is now undermining his own stated premise because the teacher’s unions are demanding more taxpayer dollars. I thought schools were safer than the rest of “the community” as-is, Tony?

Murphy pulled a Fauci back in August, changing his mind at the last minute and letting school districts (e.g. local teacher’s unions) decide reopening policy after the NJEA threw a shit fit. New Jersey’s governor is comfortable dictating every other aspect of Garden State life; we’re supposed to believe this is the one instance for which he believes in “local control”?

This is about money, folks, and control. Like it always was and is today. Not the kids. Not “science.” A public sector special interest group holding our children’s future hostage is squeeze more juice from the fruits of America’s taxpayers. The Chicago example (where the union is demanding $2.4 billion over the next three years) is among the most obvious and egregious examples. They want what they want, are used to calling the shots, and are using his crisis to remind Democrat politicians who’s in charge.

Call it whatever you like. Just don’t call it a science-based safety objection. That dog won’t hunt anymore.


Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, MATT ROONEY is a nationally-noted and respected New Jersey political commentator. When he’s not on-line, radio or television advocating for conservative reform and challenging N.J. power-brokers, Matt is a practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights (Camden County).