By: T. Jeffersonian
Chicago’s Democratic Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, reported today, on February 4, 2021, that she no longer has patience for Chicago Teachers Union and wants an agreement to re-open Chicago schools now. Today also marks just 14 days since President Joe Biden’s Inauguration. One day after his Inauguration, President Biden released a plan that affirmed the United States’ commitment to ensuring that students and educators can resume safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible to get a majority of K-8 schools across the country open within the Administration’s first 100 days.
What has changed other than the seating of a new Democratic Administration? Nothing. School children and teachers have not received vaccinations. There is no herd immunity established throughout the country, let alone in the classrooms. Today, only 34 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered, with 6.4 million being second doses and 27.6 million being first doses. Dr. Anthony Fauci has personally said that between 70-85 percent of the American population must take both doses to create herd immunity. 70-85 percent of American people equates to 230 million doses or 660 million doses when including the second shots. Based on the number of vaccines that have already been administered to date, we are still very far from establishing herd immunity.
In July 2020, President Donald Trump asserted his intentions for schools to re-open in Fall 2020. At that time, President Trump blasted his Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director’s initial guidance for re-opening schools, as being too severe and costly. The CDC said then, and they continue to say now that the Covid-19 transmission rate in schools is low. Based on that data, President Trump insisted that Democratic leaders refused to open the schools in the Fall because it would make their party do poorly in the November 2020 Elections. In response to President Trump’s July assertions for state and local leaders to re-open schools in the Fall, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot disregarded President Trump’s pressure to re-open schools and criticized his response to the nationwide pandemic. Then she stated that it was too early to say what Chicago Public Schools would do. She insisted the decision of when to re-open schools is the local school districts’ responsibility. In October 2020, the Chicago School District began air quality and ventilation tests of all its facilities.
The day after the 2020 Election, the Chicago School District released the results of their air quality tests, which showed 94% of school spaces and 99% of classrooms cleared for students to return. With the Election results still contested, on November 5, 2020, despite having the air quality tests results in hand, Mayor Lightfoot insisted re-opening schools was still a work in progress. At that time, she claimed that she did not want to put a specific date on the re-opening. Lightfoot reiterated that she did not want to do anything to put school children in harm’s way. However, she did say that leaders had to start thinking about a path to get the children, who were falling behind, back into school. There was a parent survey in which the results had been collected and analyzed, but not yet released around the same time as Mayor Lightfoot’s November comment. At that time, Chicago disease prevention specialists speculated that parents had reported in the survey that they were concerned with their homebound students falling behind and now had a greater desire for schools to resume.
On January 27, 2021, the new Director of The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said that teachers’ vaccination status was not a prerequisite for the safe resumption of attending school in-person. Dr. Walensky became the CDC Director on January 20, 2021 – the same day as Joe Biden’s Inauguration. The new Director cited CDC data showing that social distancing and wearing a mask significantly reduced the virus’s spread in school settings. In the seven days following her appointment, there certainly was not enough time for the CDC to conduct new tests, analyze new data, or find divergent conclusions from the previous Administration.
The CDC used data collected during the Trump administration. Joe Biden and Lori Lightfoot are now using the same Trump Administration data to re-open schools. These schools could have been opened in Fall 2020! The schools were not opened in the Fall. The country has shown recovery and was given hopeful optimism before the 2020 Elections. Our children were purposefully placed further behind academically so that Democrats could have a higher probability of winning the November election. Democrats used our children as political pawns to win the 2020 Elections. We should educate ourselves and vote so that this never happens again.