FILE – In this Thursday, June 21, 2018, file photo, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks alongside a group of other U.S. mayors during a news conference outside a holding facility for immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas, near the Mexico border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is alleging that de Blasio illegally crossed from Mexico into the U.S. while visiting the El Paso, Texas, area in June, an accusation the mayor’s office flatly denies. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
Previously, RedState’s Nick Arama wrote about the condemnation of Mayor Bill de Blasio in his mishandling of the coronavirus. Here’s a stunning example.
While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being touted on social media as the potential Democratic nominee (see here), the Big Apple mayor’s getting blasted by city teachers.
As reported by the New York Post, at least five Brooklyn Technical High School teachers separately contacted their union chapter leader to report they’d tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite the information, the Brooklyn Department of Education still ordered 350 staff — not to mention 6,000 students — to report to the school last week.
Concerned union head Nate Bonheimer confirmed:
“The DOE did not close the school for any of the cases.”
On March 9th, the state Education Department issued an order including “the requirement for schools to close for 24 hours if a student or staff member attended school prior to being confirmed as a positive COVID-19 patient.”
But, as pointed out by Nate, at each notification of infection, the city stalled:
“They did not alert the people who needed to know the most to protect themselves, their families and everyone else they came into contact with.”
More from the Post:
One infected teacher was so torn by the secrecy he took it upon himself to personally let all his students know his condition.
Teachers and administrators are outraged that Bill — along with Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza — failed to follow the directive.
In fact, some have taken to calling the coronavirus the “Carranzavirus.”
🧐 #carranzavirus @MirandaBarbot @NYCDOE_Teachers @BxEU4J @MyPayMySay @The74 @ManhattanInst @uft wonder if the lack if action will have teachers up and start to opt out.. @AFTunion @nysut pic.twitter.com/NG3DdQuszN
— NYC_DOE Commentary (@NYC_SchooIs) March 22, 2020
One administrator compared the campus environment to a petri dish:
“You say equity and excellence, but every other school district closed before you did. You had these kids like petri dishes spreading this to their families.”
What’s more, some employees believe the policy was ignored in order to keep under wraps the Wuhan infection rate.
DOE staffers think the two city leaders tried to cover up the cases because they wanted to keep the 1.1-million-student system running despite increasing pressure to shut it down.
The Post acquired an email from Chancellor Carranza dated March 10th telling city health officials keep the lid on cases among students and school employees.
Astonishingly, Carranza purportedly wrote the following:
“At the moment, there is no reason for any school to call [the Health Department] to report potential or confirmed cases.”
The email explained that the Department of Health would collect lab results and instructed education staff to assist in the fight “by keeping their phones clear.”
According to whistleblowers, multiple employees across several schools had tested positive while staffers, students, and their families were kept unaware.
One instructor who fell ill had just come back from China:
At the Grand Street campus in Williamsburg, which houses three high schools, a teacher returned from a trip to China over the February break. Despite reports of the outbreak, the teacher did not self-quarantine, but returned to teach kids in all three schools Feb. 26 through Feb. 29, a staffer said.
The teacher then became sick and stopped working. The school was not closed, and employees were not notified, insiders said.
Up to four other staffers have since become sick, they said.
The teacher did not return a message, but a relative said Friday, “He’s very ill, and so is his entire staff,” before declining to comment further.
The finer points seem a bit hard to come by.
Following an announcement last week that at least one case had been confirmed on the three-school Jamaica High campus, DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot declined to provide details:
“The city is no longer confirming information about individual cases due to the volume, but we support any school that wants to notify their community of a self-confirmed case.”
On March 12th, as per workers at Grace Dodge High in the Bronx, one teacher self-reported a positive diagnosis. Nonetheless, the school remained open until de Blasio — with Cuomo about to do it himself — declared an across-the-board closure starting on the 16th (the shutdown will last until at least April 20th).
Teachers received a letter from Carranza confirming the reported infection; however, the school wasn’t closed while teachers worked their last week.
As conveyed by Carranza, no one should be concerned — the building had been “disinfected.”
Nevertheless, last week at the Bronx’s Alfred E. Smith campus, it was a surreal sight:
“Ten minutes before the end of the last day, the union rep walked through the hall and said, ‘You’re free to leave,’” a teacher said. She asked why.
As custodians arrived in Hazmat suits, the union rep replied, “There’s coronavirus in the building.”
Railing against de Blasio and Carranza, one NYC school staffer put it bluntly:
“The blood is on their hands.”
How in the world could they have ignored the state at a time when information and care were critical? It’s a powerful reminder: In every governmental post across America, it really does matter who’s in office.
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