MARTINSVILLE, Ind.–Getting your children vaccinated is the best way to keep them in school, in an in-person setting, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Weingarten recently visited Martinsville and Anderson as part of a tour of school districts around the country.
“I find that there are differences ideologically, depending upon which media one watches<‘ said Weingarten, about whether people are willing to accept the vaccination for COVID for themselves and their kids.
LISTEN: Randi Weingarten talks vaccines and her recent trip to Indiana
She said the difference is not so much between rural and urban populations, but rather, in her observations, in political thinking. While she did not name the network, Weingarten said she sees more hesitancy in people who get information she believes is wrong and unscientific about the shot.
But, she said the disinformation is not limited to a particular ideology or area.
“I’ve seen these terrible, actually inaccurate videos that are focused on young Black males, to not take a vaccine, to question whether a vaccine creates infertility,” she said, adding that’s a false belief and a myth she says must be busted.
Highly critical of Pres. Trump, she said the former president made a mistake when he took the vaccine, in not getting it publicly.
“When Trump called it ‘Operation: Warp Speed’, it created a sense that it was political, not a sense that these [vaccines’ were in research for a long, long time,” she said. Weingarten said she believes the vaccines are safe, not only because of the relatively few complications out of the 200 million vaccines administered, but because the basic designs were developed before the pandemic.
Weingarten said she is a believer in both vaccines for kids and masks in school because she believes they are the best tools available to keep the coronavirus from spreading.
“What’s the most important thing to do? Keep people safe,” she said. “If that’s the most important thing to do and that’s the best way that we can do it, yes, we have these uncomfortable things, but for the time being, we need to wear masks.”