Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced last week that she is leading 22 other state attorneys general in demanding the end of the Head Start program’s mask mandate.
In November, President Joe Biden and his administration announced the forced masking of children and toddlers as young as two years old—even outdoors—in participating schools and daycares. Last December, Moody filed a lawsuit to end Biden’s vaccine and mask mandate for the Head Start program and won. The decision stands and has yet to be appealed by the Biden administration.
We challenged these unlawful, federal mandates in court and won. Now, the Biden administration is ignoring the law and continuing to force children as young as two years old to wear masks while playing outside. As a mother, I believe this will have lasting developmental effects. It is far past time for the president to abandon this unlawful policy,” Moody said.
In a letter to Biden, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Administration for Children and Families Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary JooYeun Chang and Office of Head Start Director Bernadine Futrell, Moody and 22 other attorneys general argue that the Head Start mask mandate is unnecessary. The letter states: “Your mask mandate was wrong from the beginning. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund agree: ‘Children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child’…mask use should be limited because of the ‘potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development.’”
The letter also points out that even the states with some of the most restrictive COVID-19 policies are now lifting indoor mask mandates at schools. If the mandate remains in place, the staff, children and toddlers at Head Start programs will soon be among the only people in the country forced to wear masks.
In addition to Attorney General Moody, the attorneys general of the following states signed on to the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
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