Sorry Joe, Governor Abbott says no mask mandates for schools, or anywhere else

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Joe Biden said in his disastrous performance during CNN’s town hall last night that the CDC will likely recommend that school children under the age of twelve wear face masks when they return to classrooms. The push is on from bureaucrats to convince everyone, including young children, to mask up for the near future.

When the topic came up, Joe delivered the party line and dutifully tossed the CDC under the bus. It’s not him, you see, recommending face masks for everyone, even the kids, it’s the CDC. Grandpa Joe isn’t going to take the fall for this decision. He fell in line with the American Association of Pediatrics and the State of California.

“The CDC is going to say that what you should do is, everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing masks in school,” Biden said during the event in Cincinnati, Ohio. “That’s probably what’s going to happen.”

That comes just days after the American Association of Pediatrics issued new recommendations for the reopening of schools, including a suggestion that “everyone older than age 2 wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.” California already issued—and then quickly reversed—a statewide mandate for masking in schools. And The Washington Post reports that top coronavirus officials at the White House and CDC met this week to discuss whether new masking guidelines are necessary as the number of COVID-19 infections rises due to the new Delta variant.

Here’s the thing – there is still little, if any, evidence that children under the age of twelve are at risk. The sainted CDC has never provided any data that argues that point one way or the other. Children under the age of twelve are not eligible for COVID-19 vaccines with vaccines for them still under development. In schools that have been in session during the past school year, mostly private schools but some public schools, there have been absolutely no reports of the pandemic spreading throughout those schools. Most teachers are vaccinated which protects them from any virus germs the kids may bring in from outside school. Kids are walking germ magnets and developing their immune systems. This is why teachers were offered the vaccines early on, to get life back to normal as soon as possible. We know that teachers’ unions had other ideas and kept the majority of public schools closed anyway.

The 2021-22 school year begins in a matter of weeks in most places. In Texas, Governor Abbott has clarified things for parents. His executive order ruling out mask mandates will stand.

“There will be no mask mandate imposed. And the reason for that is very clear, there are so many people who have immunities,” he said on Wednesday, July 21.

In the place of masks, comes other safety protocols.

School districts in the state may not have uniform policies but there are plenty of protocols in place to protect children and allow them to get back to classrooms. Some school districts are offering only in-person teaching, like Fort Worth ISD, one of the state’s largest school districts. Others, like HISD in Houston, the last I read, will offer a mix of in-person and online learning. Some school districts are using numerous entrances, three feet of distancing in classes, and notifying all potential close contacts of those who test positive for Covid-19. Others are not doing any of that. The point is, we have to get back to a more normal way of life and what works best for individual school districts is what will be put into place.

The effects of the last school year will be with us for a long time. Children have suffered greatly from the lack of choices and forced homeschooling. Many students have fallen behind. Others are suffering from mental health issues. This is the perfect storm for conservatives to push school choice and it is beyond frustrating that local leaders around the country are not doing so. The teacher union leaders have been exposed as selfish, greedy, socialists who are not the least bit interested in the well-being of those they are charged with educating. It’s past time to put them out of business.

The messaging on wearing face masks for both adults and children remains mixed. That’s been a problem throughout the pandemic. The CDC currently advises that people who have been fully vaccinated do not need to wear a face mask indoors but the WHO still encourages everyone to wear a mask.

There is concern about the Delta variant and the latest, the lambda variant, both more contagious than the novel coronavirus but vaccinated people seem to cope well with them, the vaccines are working well. If a breakthrough happens with a fully vaccinated person, the symptoms are manageable and often not even felt. The people being hospitalized now and those who are dying are unvaccinated.

Governor Abbott rightly points to the fact that it is wrong to mandate people to wear face masks when so many people have immunity

“There will be no mask mandate imposed, and the reasons for that are very clear,” Abbott told KPRC in Houston on Tuesday. “There are so many people who have immunities to COVID, whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it, which would be acquired immunity.”

It would be “inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask,” Abbott said.

“Kids will not be forced by government or by schools to wear masks in school,” Abbott said. “They can by parental choice wear a mask, but there will be no government mandate requiring masks.”

It’s time to understand that the coronavirus is here to stay. We just have to learn to live with it, as with other viruses, and protect ourselves accordingly. We are free to wear a face mask or not. For the sake of kids across the country, let’s hope that they aren’t forced to wear face masks in classrooms this year and that they are allowed to get back to school as normal as possible. They’ve been put through enough.