Foer: Biden Trimmed Back Plans to Get Kids Back in School During COVID, Partially to Avoid Conflict with Unions

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Franklin Foer, Staff Writer at The Atlantic and author of “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future,” discussed his reporting on President Joe Biden and stated that Biden “certainly trimmed his sails very early in his administration about getting kids back to school” during the coronavirus pandemic and did so in part to avoid conflict with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

Host Jake Tapper asked, “In your book, you touch on the price for peace, right? That Biden made with Randi Weingarten, the head of one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions on his promise, his campaign promise on getting kids back to school during COVID. ‘For the sake of avoiding conflict, especially conflict with an ally, the Biden administration trimmed its goal of returning kids to school to a fraction of what had been promised on the campaign trail…He was in effect conceding that for thousands of students, the rest of the school year would be lost to the pandemic.’ So, it’s kind of an under-the-table deal. He’s known for deal-making. And so, he got his peace, but, like, at what cost?”

Foer responded, “Yeah. Well, I’m not sure it was a deal per se. I think he was navigating a very complicated situation in the country where teachers were on the verge of strike in Chicago. There was a lot of unrest. There was a lot of anxiety everywhere. And so, he was navigating a very, very tricky issue. A lot of his campaign promises in that regard were probably overblown about some of the ease of pulling off some of the promises that he made. But he certainly trimmed his sails very early in his administration about getting kids back to school.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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