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Michael Bloomberg: Pres. Biden needs to ‘stand up’ to teachers unions



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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to “stand up” to teachers unions, as states and cities across the country try to move toward reopening schools while many teachers refuse to teach in person until they start receiving vaccines in large numbers.

“It’s time for Joe Biden to stand up and to say, the kids are the most important things, important players here,” Bloomberg said in a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. “And the teachers just are going to have to suck it up and stand up and provide an education.”

“What we’re doing to poor kids is a disgrace,” the billionaire philanthropist also said. “These poor kids are not in school, they will never recover from this—and they had a bad education experience anyways. We have not had good schools for poor kids and this now is just so much worse.”

“Teachers say, ‘Well, I don’t want to go back because it’s dangerous,’” he added. “We have a lot of city and state and federal employees who run risks, that’s part of the job. You run risks to help America, to help your state, to help your city, to help your family and there’s just no reason not to have the schools open.”

Further, the former 2020 Democratic candidate for president blasted virtual schooling, calling it “a joke—worse than a joke.”

“Poor people don’t have iPads, they don’t have WiFi, they don’t have somebody at home to sit during the day and force the child to pay attention and without that, the virtual learning just does not exist,” he said.

“The president has to stand up to the unions,” Bloomberg added.

On Wednesday the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told reporters that there “is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated.”

RELATED: CDC Director: Vaccinating teachers ‘not a prerequisite’ for safely reopening schools

Last week, Bloomberg wrote an opinion piece for Bloomberg Opinion citing CDC data that found a scant spread of COVID-19 within schools and said that data “should send a clear message to governors, mayors and teachers union leaders: It’s time to open the schools.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal



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In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.

Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.

Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.

Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.

Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.

Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.

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