A Chicago Teachers Union leader has landed herself in a storm of controversy by vociferously campaigning to keep schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic while she soaks up the sun on holiday in the Caribbean.
Union area vice president Sarah Chambers has been claiming that re-opening Chicago’s public schools next Monday would put students, teachers and the wider public at risk due to widespread Covid-19 infections.
But these apparent concerns for public health didn’t stop her jetting off to Puerto Rico, despite the small Caribbean island racking up over 110,000 cases of the coronavirus disease.
The union activist shared photos on her Instagram page showing her lounging by the pool as palm trees picturesquely sway in the breeze. Chambers subsequently took her Instagram account offline but not before her snaps drew the attention of local news sites including WGN-TV.
“We have the whole pool to ourselves. Then, we are going to old San Juan to get some yummy seafood mofongo,” Chambers reportedly said in the caption of one of the images.
Screengrabs documenting Chambers’ holiday were widely shared on social media and she was branded a “hypocrite” for jetting off to the sun while claiming it was “unsafe” for her to be teaching school children.
You should have vacationed remotely! You could have watched a video of the Caribbean! Total hypocrisy.
— Nancy Reid (@eyewonit) January 1, 2021
“Sarah Chambers went on vacation to Puerto Rico while saying schools aren’t safe and advocating for remote learning. Hypocrisy at its finest! I hope her district sees this and fires her,” one irate commenter wrote. Another added: “Sarah Chambers should be forced to resign or be fired. She celebrates our children’s suffering.”
But the educator isn’t taking it lying down. She defended her actions on Twitter, writing: “I got 4 covid tests (2 rapid, 2 PCR) b4 coming here & wore 2 masks (N95). Scientists said airplanes are safer than grocery stores bc airplanes have ICU level filtration & everyone wears masks.”
I got 4 covid tests (2 rapid, 2 PCR) b4 coming here & wore 2 masks (N95). Scientists said airplanes are safer than grocery stores bc airplanes have ICU level filtration & everyone wears masks.
My doc said it’s extremely unlikely for me to get Covid again since I had it so badly
— Sar L (@Sarah4Justice) January 1, 2021
She added: “My doc said it’s extremely unlikely for me to get Covid again since I had it so badly.”
These comments fly in the face of advice issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which states that Americans should “avoid all travel to Puerto Rico” because of the island’s “very high levels of Covid.”
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