Walensky’s internal calendar shows she spoke with several union leaders before recanting masking guidance

Throughout the COVID pandemic the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) often repeated the claim that their guidance was “science-based,” but new details have emerged that support accusations that the agency more readily sought counsel from “unions for guidance instead.”

In May 2021, CDC director Rochelle Walensky appeared to submit to political pressures when she recanted her previous statement and advised that masks should be worn at schools by all only two days after declaring that fully vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear masks indoors. That turnabout had previously been reported as being heavily influenced by the National Education Association (NEA), but it now appears that the teachers’ union was not alone in applying pressure.

Americans for Public Trust, the watchdog group that filed Freedom of Information Act requests to uncover the NEA’s communications with Walensky has now come forward with her personal schedule for the day between the flip-flop. The itinerary for May 14, 2021, provided to Fox News Digital, shows the CDC director spent the afternoon coordinating with several national union bosses, furthering suggestions that the only science being followed was political.

Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, told Fox News, “At every turn, the CDC has told the American people that they have followed the science, but with every record we receive, we see further proof that the CDC keeps turning to teachers’ unions for guidance instead.”

In addition to Becky Pringle, president of the NEA, Walensky spoke with 14 organizations that included Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees president Lee Saunders, United Food and Commerical Workers International Union president Marc Perrone, National Nurses Union president Bonnie Castillo and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten.

“A supposedly science-based agency should absolutely not be consulting with union boss Randi Weingarten before making important public messaging decisions that impact the lives of children and adults alike,” Sutherland explained. “It’s been almost a year since we filed a lawsuit to force the CDC to reveal the true extent that they’ve allowed politics to influence health policy, and Americans have yet to receive full transparency.”

When the story had initially been reported, Weingarten had called it a hit piece against the NEA that her union was getting attacked for as well as she continued to promote the claim that masks were in the best interests of children despite the negative impacts that had already been demonstrated.

Jason McDonald, press secretary for Walensky, told Fox News Digital, “As part of long-standing best practices, CDC has traditionally engaged with organizations and groups that are impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency.”

“We do so to ensure our recommendations are feasible to implement and they adequately address the safety and wellbeing of individuals the guidance is aimed to protect,” he went on while deflecting suppositions of untoward behavior. “These informative and helpful interactions often result in beneficial feedback that we consider in our final revisions to ensure clarity and usability.”


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