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Union poll: 81% of teachers vaccinated or scheduled to

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At least 81% of teachers as of April 1 had been vaccinated for COVID-19 or have appointments to receive their shots, according to data from a new poll of teachers by the country’s second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers. The data was shared with CBS News by the union.

This follows President Joe Biden’s March 2 call to prioritize vaccinating teachers by April 1 and increasing calls to reopen schools in more parts of the U.S.

“Let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is,” Biden said March 2. “And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, child-care workers — get them vaccinated immediately. They’re essential workers.”

“We want every educator, school staff member, childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March,” the president added.

At that time, 30 states were already prioritizing teachers for vaccinations.

Of the 18% of teachers who have not yet been vaccinated or have yet to schedule an appointment, 48% say they do not plan to get a dose, according to the poll carried out by Hart Research. They brought up hesitancy about vaccines, lack of research, or wanting more information, according to CBS News.

The poll of American Federation of Teachers members, carried out by Hart Research, also found that 85% of teachers are engaged in some form of in-person instruction—either full or part time—with 14% saying they continue to only teach remotely.

“There is still a race between the vaccine and the variants,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement, per CBS News. “But this polling shows AFT members know the importance of in school learning. They want to return, the roadmap to reopening is robust and if we instill trust and meet fear with facts we can finally end this national nightmare.”

Notably, 60% of teachers surveyed also said their schools had a COVID-19 testing program.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.

After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.

Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”

“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”

A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”

Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.

In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”

 

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