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Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tells "Axios on HBO" that states should prioritize teachers for vaccinations as part of reopening schools for in-person learning.

Between the lines: Weingarten declined to say whom teachers should be prioritized over.

  • "If we are saying that prioritizing in-person learning is important, the teachers and the bus drivers that are working in places that are reopening should be prioritized," she said.
  • In previous statements, Weingarten said teachers should be vaccinated alongside others in the 1-B priority group.

AFT is the country's second largest teachers union, representing 1.7 million members in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

  • Last September, Weingarten told Axios that she'd support a requirement that teachers be vaccinated before returning to classrooms.
  • She later walked that back, arguing that while she supports vaccination, she also recognizes that some teachers have been scared off by misinformation.
  • According to a recent survey, 67% of AFT teachers said they've either been vaccinated already or plan to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Sixteen percent says they either don't plan to get vaccinated or aren't yet sure.

Editor's note: This story has been updated add Weingarten's prior statements that teachers should be vaccinated in the 1-B priority group.

Go deeper

Feb 20, 2021 - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews AFT President Randi Weingarten

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO", Axios business editor Dan Primack interviews American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, February 21 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

33 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.