ABC’s Karl Refuses to Admit Biden Is Beholden to Uncaring Teachers’ Unions

Between Sunday’s Good Morning America and This Week, ABC News and chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl tried to frame the Biden’s administration’s aversion to the science-driven reopening of schools as just a problem with messaging, and avoided the fact Biden was beholden to uncaring teachers’ unions. Karl even got into an argument with Republican Congressman Steve Scalise (LA), over whether Biden should be applying pressure to reopen schools.

Responding to a question from GMA co-anchor Dan Harris about “inconstant messaging” from the White House, Karl noted that they had moved to goalpost around significantly but there was particular confusion about their position on vaccinating teachers first.

“And then there’s the question of, do teachers need to be vaccinated first? The official position from the CDC is that’s not necessary. Fauci has said it’s not necessary. But it’s interesting, Biden and Harris have both had a hard time asking that question directly,” he said.

His first interview on This Week, where he was filling in as host, was with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. He began by meekly questioning her about what the goal was for reopening grades. “Is this realistic? Are we going to see the majority of schools open in this country by April,” he wondered.

 

 

Karl actually got a little bit forceful when he questioned her about why Biden and Vice President Harris weren’t as firm as she was with saying teachers didn’t need to be vaccinated to reopen schools:

So, I know, I’ve heard you addressed this and say flatly that you don’t believe that teachers, all teachers need to be vaccinated to reopen schools, that’s the CDC guidance, it’s unnecessary, Fauci has said it’s impractical. But why is it that the President and the Vice President have seemed to have had such a hard time saying it as clearly as you have?

After playing a soundbite of Harris floundering around on NBC’s Today, he wanted to know, “why can’t she just say what you said?! That you believe that teachers, all teachers need to be vaccinated for schools to reopen.”

And in his interview with Scalise, Karl was far more argumentative and defensive of Biden. “You’ve been highly critical of how the administration has handled this, but ultimately the decisions on when to reopen schools are local decisions, what exactly do you want the administration, the President, to be doing,” he scoffed.

Speaking of inconsistent messaging, Karl’s position did a 180 flip when grilling Scalise on Biden using pressure to reopen schools. “But, Congressman, the White House is not mandating that the states do anything on this, they have issued guidance from the CDC. Are you suggesting that the President should be effectively ordering local school districts to reopen? I mean, what are you saying,” he decried.

Wasn’t that what you were asking Psaki about, Jon?

The closest Karl came to putting Biden and the teachers’ unions together was when he depicted them as opposing forces that had not yet met. “Is Biden going to have to confront the teachers’ unions on this,” he asked his “powerhouse roundtable.”

Of course, when former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) called out Biden for being beholden, Karl chided it as a political talking point, saying: “Clearly, the Republicans see an opening.”

ABC’s defense of Biden, distancing him from the special interests he’s beholden to, was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Fisher Investments and Vick’s. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
February 21, 2021
8:16:25 a.m. Eastern

(…)

DAN HARRIS: Another question about Joe Biden and his administration. Are you seeing consistent messaging on when we’re going to return to normal post-COVID? If there’s such a thing. Especially when it comes to schools.

JON KARL: Well, not really. But, you know, to be fair, Biden has said from the beginning that science was going to drive this. But there has been inconsistent messaging on schools. At first, he said he said he wanted the majority of all schools open for all in-person learning by the end of his first 100 days. So, by April. Then it became, well schools K to 8.

And then there’s the question of: do teachers need to be vaccinated first? The official position from the CDC is that’s not necessary. Fauci has said it’s not necessary. But it’s interesting, Biden and Harris have both had a hard time asking that question directly.

(…)

This Week
9:07:30 a.m.

KARL (Speaking to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki): I want to turn to the question of schools reopening. Obviously, President Biden first had said he wanted to see the majority of schools reopened by the end of his first 100 days. That would be April. Now the goal is K through 8, five days a week. Is this realistic? Are we going to see the majority of schools open in this country by April?

(…)

KARL: Does the President support the idea of making that funding and the America Rescue Plan contingent on schools reopening? So, a requirement. You receive funding, you bring students back.

(…)

KARL: As you know some teachers’ unions are saying that they don’t want to see schools reopen until every teacher is vaccinated. That’s the message out of the teachers union out of Los Angeles and Sacramento. And in Beaverton, Oregon, they’ve actually prioritized teachers and the union there actually isn’t comfortable yet with schools reopening even with teachers vaccinated.

So, I know, I’ve heard you addressed this and say flatly that you don’t believe that teachers, all teachers need to be vaccinated to reopen schools, that’s the CDC guidance, it’s unnecessary, Fauci has said it’s impractical. But why is it that the President and the Vice President have seem to have had such a hard time saying it as clearly as you have?

I want to play what Vice President Harris had to say on the Today show.

[Cuts to video]

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Can you reassure teachers who are listening right now that it is safe for them to go back to school even if they are not vaccinated.

[Transition]

VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: Teachers should be a priority.

[Transition]

GUTHRIE: I know there are teachers listening and the CDC has said they don’t have to be vaccinated to go back to school —

HARRIS: We think they should be a priority.

[Cuts back to live]

KARL: I mean, why can’t she just say what you said?! That you believe that teachers, all teachers need to be vaccinated for schools to reopen.

(…)

KARL: So, a number of states, including New Hampshire and Iowa, have mandated local school districts to reopen in the coming weeks. Other states including, with Democratic governors, Minnesota and Virginia, have urged this strongly. Is the White House okay with that, is the President okay with governors mandating local school districts reopen schools, in-person learning in the coming weeks?

(…)

9:15:04 a.m. Eastern

KARL (Speaking to Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA): I want to pick up on that question of schools, You’ve been highly critical of how the administration has handled this, but ultimately the decisions on when to reopen schools are local decisions, what exactly do you want the administration, the President, to be doing?

(…)

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): The question is, is the will there for some politicians in Washington who are bowing to the teachers’ unions right now? The first priority should be the kids. The science says they can be and need to be–

KARL (Interrupting): Okay.

SCALISE: — in the classroom. There’s devastating impact.

KARL: But, Congressman, the White house is not mandating that the states do anything on this, they have issued guidance from the CDC. Are you suggesting that the President should be effectively ordering local school districts to reopen? I mean, what are you saying? I assume you agree. I’ve heard you many times over the years say that education decisions are local. I mean, they aren’t mandating one way or the other, the President is leaving it up to the localities on this.

(…)

9:37:00 a.m. Eastern

KARL (Speaking to Leah Wright Rigueur): I want to get to this question of COVID and the schools. How is Biden handling this? I mean, clearly, they’ve had a hard time with the messaging. They’ve had a hard time with setting the goals, with what exactly the guidelines are, what’s your sense on this?

(…)

KARL: Isn’t there an issue with teachers’ unions here? I mean, when you have teachers’ unions in LA and Sacramento that are saying every teacher needs to be vaccinated before schools reopen. In Beaverton, it’s even if they’re vaccinated we’ve got issues. I mean, isn’t there a problem? Is Biden facing — is Biden going to have to confront the teachers’ unions on this?

(…)

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