Press Release

AFT's Weingarten on Trump's Abandonment of Stimulus Talks

For Release: 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after President Donald Trump walked away from stimulus talks to focus on ramming through a far-right Supreme Court pick, with the country in crisis just weeks before a general election.

“Clearly, the American people are not a priority for this president. The consequences of COVID-19 have disproportionately hit poor and middle-class Americans: small business owners, workers who have been laid off, and families worried about whether they can pay the rent; pay for food, healthcare, prescription drugs and child care; and send their kids safely to school.

“Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell warned today that the country is confronting an economic tragedy—and now we've added farce to the script. The real-world consequences of the administration’s inaction and ignorance are staggering: Without a stimulus, the AFT estimates the loss of 1.4 million jobs in education alone. The coronavirus will continue to spread unchecked, and our death toll of 211,000 and case count of 7.5 million will grow. And for what? The chance to hold a Supreme Court hearing the majority of Americans think should wait until after the election.

“The president again opts for what he thinks will help him politically rather than what will help everyday Americans. His willful display of indifference is one more betrayal of voters who are paying close attention: If the polls are any indication, they will rebuke his callous disregard for their suffering on Nov. 3.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.