Smith: Mask Mandate for Kids Is ‘Silly’

Assemblyman Doug Smith (R,C,I-Holbrook) blasted the recent mandate for kids as young as two years old to wear masks in public spaces when not eating or sleeping. The mandate comes as a response to the planned reopening of several daycare and overnight summer camp operations, but is also a direct contradiction to last year’s recommendations concerning kids in summer camps. With a rapid decline in positive COVID cases and an ever-increasing number of people having at least one vaccination dose, Smith sees little value in imposing this mandate.

​“This mandate comes at an odd time in our fight against the pandemic, and as a result, feels silly,” Smith said. “Not one year ago, the state only recommended older kids wear a mask when at summer camp; today, they’re recommending enforced, consistent mask wearing for toddlers. With the progress we’ve made as both a state and a country, and understanding that kids are not the primary carriers of the virus, I think we can make some more sensible decisions rather than enforce yet another restriction.”

“As a parent with a two-year old myself, I feel the frustrations of parents to get their toddler to wear a mask,” Smith explained. “It’s confusing for the child and frustrating for the parents.”