Surgeon general sucking up to teachers’ union was more than embarrassing

Surgeon general sucking up to teachers’ union was more than embarrassing

Surgeon general sucking up to teachers’ union was more than embarrassing

If we learned anything during Year One of the Joe Biden presidency, it’s that he and his henchmen believe they owe precious little to the voters in general and nothing at all — not even common courtesy — to those with the courage to oppose his disastrous policies.

But when it comes to the puppeteer actually pulling this administration’s strings — organized labor — no hyperbole is too cringeworthy to be uttered and no lie too outrageous to be swallowed whole.

We got a near-toxic overdose of both this week when Biden’s Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, spoke during a webinar hosted by the American Federation of Teachers and its bombastic president, Randi Weingarten.

Not surprisingly, Murthy’s remarks concerned the Covid-19 pandemic and the teachers’ unions’ response to it. But rather than excoriating AFT for continuing to ignore the manifest damage done to a second consecutive class of students forced out of the classroom by junk science and union opportunism, Murthy was effusive in his praise.

“There’s something I’ve always felt that both medicine and education have in common,” he gushed, “and that is that both professions are truly a calling. And what sets a calling apart in the professional landscape is that whenever we’re called — especially when it’s scary, or hard or unprecedented — we answer that call. And that’s exactly what you’ve done every day in the classroom through your work with children.”

Exactly whose call are teachers’ unions in such liberal-dominated locales like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles answering when they continue to drag their feet about reopening schools to in-class learning?

Certainly not the students, for whom studies have repeatedly shown “distance-learning” results in little or no learning at all.

Most inexcusably of all, youngsters deprived of the daily opportunity to interact in person with their friends and classmates while teachers’ union leaders preen for the cameras are the victims of an epidemic of depression, substance abuse and suicide.

Even Covid’s most ardent cheerleader, Dr. Anthony Fauci, last month pleaded with teachers’ unions to allow students back into class after the Christmas break, noting, “(I)t’s safe enough to get those kids back to school, balanced against the deleterious effects of keeping them out.”

But for leftist megalomaniacs like Weingarten, the human cost of their actions pales into insignificance when compared with the opportunity it presents.

Teachers’ union leaders in Los Angeles last summer personified Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s famous exhortation to his fellow liberals to “Let no crisis go to waste.” In its negotiations with the city’s school district, the Unified Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) demanded not only enhanced health and safety measures but also insisted on defunding local law enforcement, socialized medicine and more spending on climate change.

Later, Weingarten went on an anti-Semitic rant about Jews who disagreed with her policy — even though she herself is married to a Rabbi.

And yet Murthy somehow managed — with a straight face — to commend the AFT president for her “leadership.”

“You’ve done so much for our country over the last couple of years,” told webinar attendees, “really helping us understand how to take care of our kids during this difficult time. So I appreciate your leadership, your friendship, your partnership and for everything you’re doing for our children.”

Perhaps, like his gaffe-prone boss, Murthy simply misread the teleprompter and really meant to highlight everything Weingarten is doing to our children.

Showing courtesy for one’s host is one thing. But Murthy’s rhetorical flourishes suggest something far more sinister.

Either he and the administration for which he shills actually believe what’s good for the teachers’ unions is good for the students or, more likely, they simply don’t care.

As long as the unions keep transforming member dues into raw political power for leftists like Joe Biden and their paid shills, the students will be nothing but a pawn to be leveraged.

“We might as well just start referring to Randi Weingarten as ‘Madam President,’” said Freedom Foundation CEO Aaron Withe, “because the surgeon general’s groveling remarks confirmed what we’ve been saying for a long time — the Biden Administration takes its marching orders from the rabidly political teachers’ unions.”

Vice President for News and Information
jrhodes@freedomfoundation.com
Jeff is a native of West Virginia and a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in journalism. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis, Wash., as a broadcast journalist and has worked at a number of newspapers in West Virginia and Washington. Most recently, he spent 11 years as editor of the Port Orchard (Wash.) Independent, which earned the 2011 Washington Newspaper Publishers’ Association’s General Excellence Award as the top community newspaper in Washington. Previously, he was editor of the Business Examiner newspaper in Tacoma, Wash., for seven years. Jeff lives in Lacey; he and his wife have grown twin daughters.