New York, Massachusetts and other blue states have joined the ranks of several others that recently removed face-mask mandates. New York Governor Kathy Hochul is a Democrat. She said that companies will no longer have to require masking unvaccinated patients. The mandate was set to expire this Thursday. It will not be renewed. Massachusetts Governor. Charlie Baker (a Republican) said that he would let the state’s mandate for school masks expire at end of month.
These moves follow the similar actions taken Monday by five states with Democratic governors. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy stated that the state will no longer require students or teachers to wear masks starting March 7. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont stated that the state would lift the mandate to remove school masks at February’s end. Delaware Governor. John Carney announced that the state’s mandate to use masks in indoor business will come to an end on Friday. The school mandate, however, will remain in effect until March. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the universal indoor mask mandate for California will be lifted next week. Oregon Health Authority stated that a similar obligation will be eliminated by March.
This week’s flurry of rule relaxations defies the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which still recommends “universal masking” in K–12 schools and day care centers. If they are in an area with high or substantial virus transmission, the CDC recommends adults wear masks “indoors public places”, regardless of vaccination status.
Direct Rochelle Walensky, director of CDC said yesterday that the CDC’s guidance had not been altered. “We support universal masking in schools.” Walensky stated that “now isn’t the time” to remove mask mandates. Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, backed Walensky on Monday. Psaki stated that she advised every school district to follow public health guidelines. “The CDC is advising that masks can delay, reduce transmission….That still remains our recommendation.”
Democratic governors have decided that it’s not in their best interests to enforce mask mandates. These are the New York Times Reports state that Murphy’s advisors were stunned at the narrow victory in November and ordered a series focus groups to find out why they weren’t happy with Murphy. The “Across-the-board” survey found that the majority of respondents were satisfied with Murphy’s reelection victory. TimesAccording to Murphy, voters shared their frustrations with public health measures and felt a pessimism over the future. They also wanted to feel some normalcy. Murphy was influenced by this research to decide to loosen restrictions when the omicron surge in winter began to recede.
The Times says Murphy and other governors tried to persuade the Biden administration that it should support the “move from the crisis footing of a pandemic to a recognition that the virus was here to stay—and that it could be managed without completely upending daily life.” However, as Walensky and Psaki reflect, this effort failed.
New evidence indicates that Murphy and co. But they have better insight into what the voters will tolerate. Yesterday, Virginia’s Democrat-controlled Senate passed an amendment to allow parents to choose not participate in school mask regulations beginning July. This amendment was supported and signed by 10 Democrats as well as 19 Republicans.
Republican Governor. Glenn Youngkin’s surprise win in November was primarily driven by parental anger over their child’s lack of control over public school education. He wants it to be lifted sooner. However, Democrats now argue with him over whether or not the mandate should end. This is a sign of a growing realization that it’s increasingly difficult to justify its burdens.
Northern Virginia is a region where strong support has been shown for COVID-19 mitigation. This is a letter he sent to the superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools on Monday, state Sen. J. Chapman Petersen (D–Fairfax), one of the legislators who supported the amendment approved yesterday, expresses his dismay at the district’s continued obeisance to the CDC.
Petersen states that “to the best of my knowledge, no scientific basis has been ever offered for Forced Masking.” Instead, parents are asked to believe this policy “saves lives”. The data about student masking has been compiled over a period of one year and is quite overwhelming. There is no evidence that forced masking affects community health.
Petersen questions whether the school district is correct to maintain the mandate for masks because they are “popular with parents.” Petersen writes: “By wearing masks in public places, one can convey a political message. “I care about others,” or “I voted for Biden” or “I am vaccinated.” Our First Amendment is about communicating a message. However, coercing other people to adopt that statement is a violation of their rights, particularly if they are students in public schools.
Petersen claims that for two years the “lifes of our children have been disrupted by a pandemic which posed no threat or little to their physical health.” Political expediency has influenced too many children’s decisions. “I’m tired of being a parent.”
Petersen points out that the science behind school masks is not strong and there are no compelling reasons to keep them. Children have never experienced life-threatening illnesses, even though the Omicron variant is extremely transmissible, but it tends to be milder. Children and adults are protected by vaccines that significantly reduce their risk of developing severe illness. However, immunocompromised patients who don’t have the mandates can still wear high-quality masks to protect themselves. But the omicron spike is rapidly fading: In the United States, the average seven-day count of new cases has dropped precipitously from December through January.
Although the CDC insisted that masks should not be required for children under 2 years old did not stop states such as New Jersey or Massachusetts from lifting state mandates, their recommendations will still influence district policy. Although New York no longer requires adults to wear masks out in public places, the state’s health department will likely renew its mandate for school masks, which expired on February 21. California has also decided that masks must be mandatory in schools, but not for businesses. While these states will let those in high-risk groups make the decision whether or not to wear masks, they insist that all children who are at greatest risk should be covered, regardless of their parent’s wishes.
Walensky states that there is no evidence “universal concealing” occurs in day care centers and schools. However, Walensky does not believe that this will change the course of events. What time will it be? I believe it will happen after the CDC is no longer being watched.