The American Federation of Teachers, one of the largest teachers’ unions in the U.S., issued a resolution on Tuesday saying it will support any local chapter that decides to strike over reopening plans. The group, which represents 1.7 million school employees, says school buildings should open only in areas where coronavirus infections are low below 5%, transmission rates are below 1% and if schools implement certain safety measures.
Union president Randi Weingarten criticized Trump for ordering schools to reopen even as virus cases continue to swell, calling his response “chaotic and catastrophic.”
“We will fight on all fronts for the safety of our students and their educators,” Weingarten said at the group’s online annual convention. “But if authorities don’t protect the safety and health of those we represent and those we serve, as our executive council voted last week, nothing is off the table.”
In her speech, Weingarten added that children need in-person instruction and that remote learning is not an adequate substitute for it. But, she said, teachers need to know they’ll be kept safe.
Many of the country’s largest districts have announced plans to start the school year online, including in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston. Some are offering a mix of online and in-person instruction to limit the number of students in school buildings at one time.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump again advocated for the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, as an effective treatment for coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration has recently withdrawn an order that permitted the emergency use of the drug in the treatment of Covid-19. One retweet included a video of a Nigerian doctor claiming to have treated hundreds of patients successfully by using the drug. He also shared a Twitter post by right-wing operative Steve Bannon, accusing Dr. Anthony Fauci of misleading the public over the anti-malaria drug.
In response to Trump’s tweets on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Fauci said he agrees with the FDA’s findings that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating the coronavirus. In response to Trump’s attack on his credibility, Fauci said that he’ll press ahead “no matter what.”
Citing concerns over the pandemic, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana announced it will no longer host the first presidential debate on September 29. Indiana reported its highest number of coronavirus cases last week, hitting over 62.000 infections statewide.
In a battle over a mask mandate to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp withdrew a request for an emergency hearing in a lawsuit that aims to block the city of Atlanta from ordering people to wear masks in public.
On July 16, the governor sued Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City Council, arguing local leaders cannot impose safety measures that are more or less restrictive than those he put into place.
The two sides met for court-ordered mediation Monday. Although the request for an emergency hearing was withdrawn, the lawsuit remains.
One month after being hospitalized for Covid-19, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain remains at an Atlanta-area hospital. The co-chair of Blacks For Trump attended a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma in early June, but a spokesperson for Cain does not attribute his virus infection to the event, saying the 74-year-old traveled frequently leading up to the rally. Cain was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer in 2006.
Citizens in Jackson, New Jersey are on alert after a house party of approximately 700 attendees was shut down by police. The party that took place at a rented Airbnb home grew so big that it took police officers five hours to clear the home. Both the homeowner and two party hosts were each given a summons. The governor issued an executive order limiting indoor gatherings to 100 people and outdoor gatherings to 500.
The Miami Marlins baseball is reporting an additional four coronavirus cases among its team and staff, bringing the total to 11 players and two coaches. Within the last week, ESPN reports that the team has had 17 people test positive.
New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower announced he will be sitting out the 2020 season out of concern for the health of his fiancée and newborn child. Hightower’s decision makes six Patriots who will not be playing this season due to the pandemic.
Hightower was drafted by New England in 2012 and is scheduled to make an $8 million base salary this season.
Twenty-nine-year-old David Hines of Florida has been arrested and charged with fraud and other criminal offenses after being approved for $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds and using the money to purchase several luxury items, including a $318,000 Lamborghini. A statement by the Department of Justice said Hines lied on loan applications, claiming to have paid employees millions of dollars in salaries earlier this year, and claiming to have more employees than what is on state records.