March 21, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-21, Schuylerville, led 24 of her colleagues in sending a letter to Joe Biden calling on him to immediately rescind the rule imposing mask mandates on toddlers and young children participating in the Head Start program.

Even after the CDC revised its guidance to no longer recommend masking for most of the country, the Biden Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has refused to lift a rule requiring universal masking in Head Start programs for individuals aged two or older.

“Young children should never have been forced to wear masks, as they are at the least risk of serious complications from COVID-19 and could suffer the greatest developmental harm from having their faces covered. Yet your administration’s authoritarian drive to impose mask and vaccine mandates on the American people included the issuing of a rule which requires universal masking in Head Start programs for all individuals aged two years and older,” Stefanik and the lawmakers wrote.

“In your State of the Union address, you said, ‘Most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free’ and ‘COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.’ While you attempt to declare victory over the pandemic, it is unconscionable that your administration continues to impose its harmful mask mandate on two-year-old children who participate in Head Start. We urge you to fix this immediately and direct ACF to rescind the rule mandating masks for Head Start participants,” Stefanik and the lawmakers continued.

Stefanik has consistently advocated against government mandated masking and has pointed out the detrimental impacts to children’s development for forced masking in schools.

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