by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kyle Smith writes for National Review Online about a major shift in mask requirements in deep-blue America.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she is dropping the statewide school-masking mandate as of Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Why not now? What might change between now and Wednesday? Who knows? The whole process continues to be arbitrary and opaque.
As for New York City, which not only has a school-masking mandate but also requires proof of vaccination to participate in virtually any indoor activity open to the public, Mayor Eric Adams says he will lift both restrictions starting Monday, March 7 . . . provided there is no upward spike in cases.
Funny how all of these changes in settled science are being announced in the days and hours preceding the presidential State of the Union Address that Democrats perhaps hope will reverse people’s opinions of Democrats. Reminder that all of this is happening while more people are dying from COVID in the United States than in any period except for the worst few weeks of last winter, before widespread vaccination. Death is no longer an important scientific category, I guess? Or will we ever get an acknowledgment that vaccine mandates and masking requirements did little or nothing to stop the spread and were almost certainly not worth the substantial cost imposed on society in the bluest parts of the country and in the schools?
The Democrats hope we will all forget about two years of largely Democrat-engineered restrictions with little evidentiary basis that had disastrous effects on our children’s development. But we will never forget.
Perhaps New York Democrats have been paying attention to public opinion.
The shift started as people across the country, including medical professionals, realized that demanding children wear masks in school has had significant downsides. In the last two weeks alone, legacy media organizations have published op-eds or stories reconsidering the value of mask mandates in schools. Just days ago, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that it is time to consider dumping school mask mandates altogether.