Candidate for Governor also renews call for an immediate end to school masking and for a study of mask effects on students
BOSTON, MA – Geoff Diehl, Republican candidate for Governor, renewed his call today for an end to mask mandates in Massachusetts schools, and additionally suggested that Governor Baker send a spending proposal to buy additional masks for schools back to the Legislature for further consideration.
“The Massachusetts school mask mandate should end for all students statewide, immediately,” Diehl said. “Recent reports confirm what parents have known all along — that there was no reason for kids, as a population with minimal vulnerability to COVID, to be masked at school. It’s time for us to see our kids’ faces in schools once again.”
Diehl said he is skeptical about legislative spending for masks contained in a supplemental budget appropriation, passed by the Legislature and now awaiting the Governor’s approval. “At the same time many other states are ending their mask mandates, the Massachusetts Legislature is doubling down and calling for the state to spend $25 million on more masks, including N95 masks for schools, to be distributed by the end of this month,” Diehl said. “I support people having resources they need to fight COVID, but I question the timing of this spending. Do we plan to end the school mask mandate on February 28? If the mandate ends, why are we buying masks? Are we buying masks to reimpose a mandate next fall? It seems like we’re spending money without a plan. I am hoping the Governor will veto this provision of spending for masks in school and send it back to the Legislature for its further consideration.”
In addition to calling for a reconsideration of spending decisions, Diehl called for the creation of a special commission to study the effects of masking children in Massachusetts schools in recent months. “Like many other parents, I fear the damage relative to mental health, impeded learning, and breathing issues for student athletes will be something the youth of Massachusetts will have to contend with for years to come. I would like experts to study these issues and report their findings back to the people of Massachusetts prior to the start of school in the fall. I am confident they will find that masking kids in schools is detrimental to public health, emotional wellness, and education, and that it should not be repeated.”
Diehl has consistently advocated against mandates during his campaign for Governor, arguing that kids should not be required to wear a mask in school, that workers (especially first responders) should not be required to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment, and that citizens should not be required to show proof of vaccination (“vaccine passports”).