Youngkin’s executive order to end school mask mandates gets pushback

The language of EO 2 seems clear, but Norfolk, VB, IOW, Northampton, Richmond, Fairfax, and Arlington have all said mask mandates will remain in place. I wonder what the rationale is. Maybe their legal departments think they have a defendable case if (when) it comes to that?

38 thoughts on “Youngkin’s executive order to end school mask mandates gets pushback

  1. Allowing locals to make decisions is a stance the GOP usually defends. This seems to go against that premise. And all for political gain, not for common sense protections for students, staff and faculty.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Uh, no. Parents do not get to endanger the children of other parents.

        Believe it or not, we are a community, and we have certain minimal obligations to other members of the community. Does that make us “commies”, I wonder.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. It is obvious that masks cut down on the transmission of respiratory diseases. You claimed as much when defending Trump’s sorry leadership in 2020. You have ZERO evidence to the contrary once you understand that YOUR distrust of the CDC is not evidence. So where is YOUR evidence that “trumps” the CDC’s best guidance?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. The CDC’s guidance is to use cloth masks only as a last resort as they are less than 10% effective at containing aerosol droplets.

            N and KN 95 masks are not available in children’s sizes and there is zero chance they would wear them all day if they were.

            Try wearing one for more than 2 hours. A school day would require 3 oer day.

            https://www.shorenewsnetwork.com/2022/01/01/cdc-doubts-effectiveness-of-cloth-face-masks-says-use-only-as-last-resort/

            https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/data-do-not-back-cloth-masks-limit-covid-19-experts-say

            In addition, I have seen, but cannot locate, a video showing a saturated cloth mask creating a cloud of aerosols when coughed into.

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          3. “In addition, I have seen, but cannot locate, a video showing a saturated cloth mask creating a cloud of aerosols when coughed into.”

            I am sure you have. It is easy to imagine. However, it would take quite a few serious coughs to saturate a mask to that extent. Where my grandsons go to school, they wear masks all day. The kids handle it well. A child coughing is removed from the classroom and parents sent for BEFORE that saturation scenario of your imagination becomes a factor.

            I am happy to agree that there are differing qualities in masks. But the CDC is not saying that a cloth mask is worse than no mask it all. They are saying -if that is all you have, use it.

            Have you lost your faith in the free enterprise system? The “problem” of no child size KN95 masks is one that the market is there to tackle. Right?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Have you ever actually seen a child with a mask?

            My grandchildren come home from school every day with their masks saturated. They don’t need to be coughing, breathing will do it in an hour, and they have them on for 6.

            Further, the masks are not just useless, they are harmful. My granddaughter has speech problems and can’t see her teacher or classmates lips moving or facial expressions. All of the children are having communication problems because they can’t see facial expressions that are part of our unconscious communication.

            So, with the developmental harm and absence of real benefit, my daughter should have the choice of whether her children mask or not.

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          5. “This is an advocacy group, not a professional organization, per their website”

            Yes, they are an advocacy group advocating for healthier children.

            If there was ANY serious disagreement in the pediatric community about this simple advice, then this “advocacy group” would not be issuing such a document. Unless, of course, they are corrupt.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. https://www.wsj.com/articles/masks-children-parenting-schools-mandates-covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic-biden-administration-cdc-11628432716?st=k6bpjpcheyc4rb0&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

            “When asked to assign one of six emotions to each face, the children were correct about uncovered faces 66% of the time, the researchers found. When faces were covered by masks, the children had trouble but were able to correctly identify sadness roughly 28% of the time, anger 27% and fear 18%, which was more than the odds (about 17%) of correctly guessing one emotion from the six labels.”

            Given the extremely low risk of hospitalization for children, the ineffectiveness f cloth masks in the context in which children wear them and the measurable developmental harm they do, especially when continued for years. there is not justification for denying parents the option.

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          7. “Have you ever actually seen a child with a mask?”

            Yes. I spent two weeks in the fall caring for my three-year old grandson. Delivered him to and picked him up from nursery school which required him to be masked all day. For whatever reason, his mask did not end up saturated and he had no trouble doing what his school required him to do. He even had to be reminded that he could take it off.

            It is astounding the kind of about face you are capable of. A few months back Trump’s relative failure was because we do not have a culture of wearing masks. Now masks are not only useless, but they are also harmful.

            Never mind common sense. Never mind the experience of other countries you used to cite. Never mind the people charged with providing the best science-based advice they can. You people have decided that mask wearing does not prevent the spread of respiratory disease. It is obvious that nothing is going to dissuade you. Fine. But others disagree and for good reasons. The governor should have not tried to “trump” science and, at the very least, let local communities resolve the matter for themselves.

            Democrats try to mandate that communities follow the best science. Republicans try to mandate that they ignore the best science. Says a lot.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. When I backed masks, older adults had not yet had the option of vaccination.

            Now they have,

            Are you claiming we should abuse children for the sake of those who have chosen not to vaccinate?

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          9. “Are you claiming we should abuse children for the sake of those who have chosen not to vaccinate?”

            Wearing of masks is hardly abusing children.

            The penalty for stupidity need not be death. Besides, as you well know many millions of people cannot be vaccinated and frequently even the vaccinated can become infected.

            Since you have lost all perspective, let me remind you that we are currently in the throes of a serious outbreak with rates of infection and hospitalizations hitting new levels across the country. Mandating masks whereever people are in close contact indoors is an important step to dampen this thing down. When it has subsided, the masks can come off. Maybe in just a few weeks.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. Speaking of perspective

            The NUMBER of hospitalizations is increasing but the RATE is declining. Omicron is less serious than Delta.

            Per the CDC , the fatality rate for those under 18 is 0.0000249%, Hospitalization is under 1% for all variants.

            This is not being done to protect children, but they are paying the price.

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          11. “As I pointed out, they spread it every bit as well with the masks as they are worn by children.”

            Simply false.

            I know you people think in black and white terms, but in reality, there is a middle ground between blocking ALL transmission and blocking NO transmission.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. RE: “I wonder what the rationale is.”

    The way I parse EO 2, the schools can mandate whatever they want, but the parents can elect to not participate without consequence. In effect, the schools and the parents will have to work out between themselves any differences that may arise.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt any of the schools is in a position to force its mask mandate will on parents. EO 2 specifically removes that option.

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    1. I can easily remind y9ou that there are vaccines mandates for children to attend schools. Religious and medical exclusions are applied. But try and say that I won’t vax my kids against MMR because then Bill Gates will be able to track them. Get your kids vaxxed or find a private school that cares not for the well being of it’s students or staff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “I can easily remind y9ou that there are vaccines mandates for children to attend schools.”

        How is that relevant? To the extent there was a mask mandate for Virginia school children, EO 2 rescinded it.

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        1. Public health mandates exist for public health reasons. Rescinding it is just a political play by the new governor without evidence that it is good for the kids. It gives cover to parents who don’t believe that masking is a helpful tool in preventing the spread of the virus

          Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s how I read it too. I did see an explainer somewhere that said because the legislature passed an actual law containing some language about using all reasonable mitigation strategies (something to that effect), the schools might be able to make the case that they’re following the law which would supersede the EO. I guess it’ll end up in court at some point.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is hard for me to imagine how a school could be exempt from a governor’s order that specifically empowers parents.

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        1. “It is hard for me to imagine. . . .”

          The law is the law. The governor cannot unilaterally change it. If the Republicans do not want schools to use all reasonable mitigation strategies to protect students and teachers, then change the law.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The EO is not in conflict with the law. Again, schools can mandate whatever they wish. Parents are under no obligation to comply.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Again, schools can mandate whatever they wish.”
            So, you are saying that the EO is just an empty gesture to mollify the GOP base. Yeah, that seems right.

            “Parents are under no obligation to comply.”
            And schools are under no obligation to accept pupils who will not comply with school policy, either.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. RE: “And schools are under no obligation to accept pupils who will not comply with school policy, either.”

            Ah, there is the rub. The EO clears the way for the governor, through the office of the AG, to represent the parents’ interests in court. I wonder how many schools in Virginia will want to play chicken against that possibility.

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          4. Uh, is that even legal – using taxpayer money to defend some dopes who put others at risk? Even if it is, I don’t think too many people will be intimidated with these Trump-style threats.

            But, maybe we will find out if it is legal.

            And maybe the Republicans will see, if it comes to a fight in court on behalf of knuckleheads, that this silly political anti-science stunt is going to backfire on them.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. “Dopes” and “knuckleheads”– is that the best you can do?

            Your criticism of the EO is without merit.

            Like

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