Last month, everyone in New York City was allowed to stop wearing masks – except for children under five years old, even though they have one of the lowest risks for contracting and spreading COVID-19.
On Friday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city would continue to force children aged two to four to continue wearing masks, claiming the decision was about “children’s health and safety.” Earlier that same day, a judge on Staten Island had issued an order to invalidate the mandate, which the city appealed. Adams announced later on Friday that an appellate judge had ruled in the city’s favor.
Adams then took to Twitter to say that “Children between 2 and 4 should continue to wear their masks in school and daycare come Monday.”
Every decision we make is with our children’s health and safety in mind.
Children between 2 and 4 should continue to wear their masks in school and daycare come Monday.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) April 1, 2022
Dr. Ashwin Vasan, New York City’s health commissioner, said at a news conference that the city was “recommending to wait a little bit longer before making masks optional for this age group,” The New York Times reported.
The outlet noted that Adams had previously announced that he would end the mandate for toddlers to continue masking, but rescinded after daily case numbers – not hospitalizations or deaths – started rising again. The decision was also made because preschoolers are too young to receive the vaccine.
The Times even acknowledged that “Hospitalizations have remained low in New York City over the last month and are currently at about 13 per day, although hospitalizations are often a lagging indicator. There were about 1,000 hospitalizations a day in January, when cases last soared.”
The seven-day average for deaths in New York City is five. The highest seven-day average in January, which the Times used as its marker, was 155.
The decision to continue masking toddlers against evidence showing that masks cause more harm than the limited protection they provide was met with swift condemnation. Karol Markowicz, a New York Post columnist who moved to Florida to escape the harm done to her children by New York’s policies, took Vasan and Adams to task for the decision on Friday.
“NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan is the person recommending toddler masking, in the face of absolutely all evidence showing it to be unnecessary and harmful. Don’t forget his name. There are people who purposely hurt children during this pandemic and he is one of them,” Markowicz tweeted. “Mayor Eric Adams is the absolute weakling taking Commissioner Vasan’s awful, ignorant, advice. There are politicians who stood by while kids were actively harmed with stupid, pointless, masking policies that added absolutely no benefit to fighting COVID. Adams is one of them.”
Mayor Eric Adams is the absolute weakling taking Commissioner Vasan’s awful, ignorant, advice. There are politicians who stood by while kids were actively harmed with stupid, pointless, masking policies that added absolutely no benefit to fighting COVID. Adams is one of them.
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) April 2, 2022
As The Daily Wire reported in early March, Adams announced he would end a slew of COVID-19 restrictions, including the “vaccine passport system for gyms, restaurants, and entertainment areas will end on Monday, along with K-12 school mask requirements.” While everyone else was allowed to ditch their restrictions, children under five were not.