Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said during an interview Sunday that she believes teachers should work with employers on vaccine mandates.
Weingarten also said his organization is reviewing the issue of vaccine mandates for teachers, as parts of the nation see an increase in coronavirus cases instigated by the fast-spreading delta variant.
The AFT has not supported such mandates before, but Weingarten said the union was willing to work with employers to try to find solutions, calling the increase in cases across the country “alarming.”
“As a matter of personal conscience, I think we have to work with our employers, not oppose them on vaccine mandates,” he said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press” with the host. Chuck toddCharles (Chuck) David Todd Chuck Todd is Completely Wrong: Liberal Bias Defines Modern Journalism The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Officials Relate January 6 Horror NFL Network’s Rich Eisen Says He Has COVID-19 Despite of being vaccinated MORE.
“And so I said last week that I wanted to join my leadership, and this week we’re going to, you know, review and reconsider our policy that we passed in October on volunteering, that the best way to do it was to do it voluntarily,” he said.
The union chief acknowledged that most of its member teachers, about 90 percent, have “stepped up” and received the vaccine.
“But I believe that circumstances have changed and that vaccination is a responsibility of the community,” he quickly added, “and I am very sorry that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated.”
“I have really watched, particularly in Florida and Missouri. I was in St. Louis yesterday. I was in Florida on Saturday and you see this, and we have to counter… the misinformation, ”he said.
His comments come weeks after the governor. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisCNN’s Jim Acosta on the delta variant: ‘Why not call it the DeSantis variant?’ Sunday Show Preview: US Dealing With Rising COVID-19 Cases Radio Host Urges Friends To Get Vaccinated Shortly Before Dying From COVID-19 MORE (R) has threatened to cut funding to schools with mask mandates, as the state has been setting record levels for the cases. The ban has drawn criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and has already faced legal challenges.
“This is a public health crisis and politics is infecting it. But I felt the need, you know, to bring people together and stand up and say this as a matter of personal conscience, “he said.
“Vaccines are the most important way to deal with COVID. We have always dealt with or since 1850, we have dealt with vaccinations in schools, it is nothing new to have immunizations in schools,” he also said.