House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Republican lawmakers called on District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser to end D.C.’s mask mandate requiring masks at schools, childcare facilities, and libraries. The lawmakers emphasize mask mandates harm children’s development and provide no health benefit.
“Next month, masks will no longer be required for many businesses. However, you are continuing to require masks in ‘schools, childcare facilities, and libraries.’ This is unfair and unhealthy for children. Children are least likely to be harmed by COVID-19 and the most vulnerable to the consequences of masking and other extreme COVID mitigation policies. Committee Republicans urge you to abandon these failed policies and allow children to enter their schools, daycares, and libraries without masks,” wrote the Republican lawmakers.
Mayor Bowser recently announced the District’s indoor mask requirements for restaurants, bars, sports venue, and gyms will end on March 1, 2022. While this new policy is a step in the right direction, it leaves behind children, who are the least likely to be harmed by the virus but the most harmed by mask-wearing. The repercussions of masking children for two years are just beginning to be understood, but numerous scientific papers indicate mask wearing harms children’s development.
“It is unclear why D.C. children will continue to be subjected to policies that have failed to reduce transmission but pose risks to children’s speech, social development, and education,” continued the Republican lawmakers. “To this day, there is no credible randomized study to demonstrate the efficacy of masking children. There is zero benefit to their health or well-being. Moreover, there seems to be no logic behind the District’s COVID-19 policies. It makes no sense for adults to patronize bars or watch sporting events without masks while children are required to go to school with them. The District should immediately do away with requiring masks for children in school and allow them to return to normal.”
On January 10, Oversight Committee Republicans wrote to Mayor Bowser calling on her to withdraw her vaccine passport program. Mayor Bowser withdrew it on February 14.
Their letter to Mayor Bowser can be found here.