It’s a great day for America’s kids.
A great day for the GOP too. But an especially great day for children.
That’s because this brainless photo op by the Democrats’ brightest young star will leave her and her party with little choice but to start backing away from school mask mandates. There’s no way to spin it, and it’ll be used in a million Republican ads this fall. And not just in Georgia either.
The only elegant way out is to concede that mask mandates in schools have gone on too long. How about it, Stacey?
This is maddening. pic.twitter.com/czzI359yhM
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) February 6, 2022
She’s the only person in that room not wearing a mask. And given her weight, she’s almost certainly the person who’s most at risk of severe illness if she’s infected.
In case she resorts to claiming that she had her mask off only for the brief moment when the photo was taken (holding her breath?), be advised that that would be a lie:
For anyone thinking she was only maskless for this photo op, she was maskless in all the photos from the original tweet. Since she deleted the tweet, here they are: pic.twitter.com/huXWHVZRRW
— Kelley K 😀 * covid-georgia.com (@KelleyKga) February 5, 2022
The craziest part? Abrams posted the photo herself. Democrats are so oblivious to their double standard about VIPs going unmasked while kids bear the burden of covering up, even with conservatives already running attack ads about it, that Team Stacey simply didn’t see the political peril in posting it.
Brian Kemp and the entirety of conservative social media are educating them about it this afternoon:
Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children.
But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op. https://t.co/A7H8U6eXKS
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) February 6, 2022
He’s going to grind her face in that picture every day from now until Election Day. Doing so will be a public service too, since the political pain it causes Democrats will leave them scrambling to get right with the sort of swing voters who flipped a Biden +10 state because they were exasperated at endless school closures. In fact, I’d guess that the backlash to hypercaution in schools has only deepened since Glenn Youngkin’s victory since that came before Omicron emerged. Americans are now resigned to the fact that there’s no way to avoid being exposed to an ultra-contagious variant that almost certainly won’t kill you if you’re vaccinated and almost certainly won’t kill your children even if they aren’t.
Democrats don’t care about indefinitely burdening kids with COVID precautions which they don’t follow themselves but they do care about losing elections. Which, as I say, makes Abrams’s own-goal a great day for the children.
If cloth masks don’t do much to prevent infection by Omicron and if kids aren’t getting very sick even when they catch it, what’s the point of school mask mandates at this stage? If we’re not going to make five-year-olds wear N95s, and we’re not, why make them wear anything? A doctor who lives in Virginia made the case in Time magazine this weekend that it’s time to leave the kids alone:
Many parts of the U.S. issued mask mandates in 2020 when COVID-19 was new and poorly understood. It was sensible to take maximum precautions in a chaotic and frightening situation; many thought it a small sacrifice to make while scientists toiled to gain a greater understanding of the virus and to develop vaccines. But two years later we know much more about the virus and how to stop it, including abundant evidence showing the lack of efficacy of some of these measures (cleaning surfaces, masking in schools). Lifesaving vaccines are now also widely available. As a physician, I’m well aware that medical knowledge is constantly changing. As our understanding grows, our practice changes. This should be a time to peel back layers of mitigation that we now know to be ineffective, yet many school districts are doubling down…
Masking in schools was intended to be temporary, and there needs to be an exit ramp from these policies. Children have been suffering from mask effects for two years, and enough is enough. At this point, teachers and other adults have all had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and if they feel uncomfortable or are at higher risk, they can wear a mask. Likewise, if parents do not yet feel comfortable with their children going maskless, or their child is at higher risk medically, they are free to continue masking.
Other Democrats have gotten in trouble for posing maskless with masked children but doing so post-Omicron, when a supermajority of the population has moved to a “learn to live with it” outlook on COVID, is mind-boggling. Abrams should treat her blunder as an opportunity for her and the party to get right on a matter where they’re badly out of sync with public opinion. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s wisely taken an off-ramp on a losing issue, after all.
Here’s Scott Gottlieb sounding optimistic about rolling back school mask mandates.
“I think you’re going to see governors start to do that,” @ScottGottliebMD says about lifting mask requirements in schools where prevalence is low. “A lot of kids haven’t known a normal school day for two years. We need to try to lean forward aggressively to try to restore that.” pic.twitter.com/A3OTbBRfGt
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 6, 2022
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