Last year during a Critical Race Theory town hall, Prince William County School Superintendent Dr. LaTanya McDade told Virginia mom Merianne Jensen that her hands were tied regarding mask mandates due to then-Governor Ralph Northam’s executive mask order.
Earlier this week, Jensen returned to a school board town hall to lay out the facts about useless mask mandates and call out McDade directly. Of all the fiery parent testimonies in school board meetings since COVID began, Jensen’s might just be the best yet.
Jensen began her remarks with a common-sense message that so many American parents – and data – align with. Masks have done nothing to stop the spread in schools, she says, and the controlling desire to segregate children based on vaccination status regardless proves this:
“I know there are many educators who want to protect children. This goal is not different from my own. Our implementation preferences may differ, but we want the same thing: to get through COVID without harm. Unfortunately, politics leads us to believe there is only one solution: masks. Yet thousands of schools across the country have been open during the entire pandemic, without masks, yet there have been no corresponding rises in COVID.
We are forcing healthy children home for exposure, despite them wearing masks. And we are separating children by vaccination status and religious exemption status, despite the wearing of masks. So I ask you, if masks work, why don’t they?”
After a brief pause amidst roaring applause, Jensen then dove into the facts about masks and the non-risk that COVID poses to our youngest citizens:
“I’d now like to cover the facts. Not policy is determined by the White House, not CDC recommendations which I remind you is still policy, policy I might add that changes by the day without any basis in science at all. So here are the facts, they are available to any one of you.
Over the course of the pandemic, 49,000 children have died of all causes. 331 of those were Covid-related. yet we have turned kids’ lives upside down at school for what is essentially a non-risk. Let’s put that risk into context. Last year, fewer kids died of COVID-19 than of heart disease, cancerous tumors, suicide, homicide, and drownings.
Have the schools stopped serving hamburgers and french fries? Have we put up tin foil on the ceilings to block power lines? Do we even address the growing instances of suicide during the pandemic? NO! We play politics with kids’ faces by placing restrictive fabric over their noses and mouths, that the CDC itself has said don’t do anything, and it’s for their safety! This is asinine. This is blatant political theater, and it needs to END.”
Delivering her remarks’ conclusion, Jensen reminded superintendent McDade of her comments made in November about Governor Northam’s mask mandate, which she suggested made her powerless:
“Finally, regarding that end, I need to point something out that has been bothering me. On November 15th of last year, I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. McDade for 10 minutes following the CRT town hall meeting. During that discussion which was friendly and cordial, I asked her what she could do to as superintendent to get kids out of masks. Dr. McDade told me she would if she could, but her hands were tied by then-Governor Northam’s executive order requiring mandating face coverings. And if it weren’t for that, things would be different.
Well tonight, things are different. And I’d like to ask you Dr. McDade tonight, what has changed, and what do you plan on doing now that your hands are untied? In fact, I am asking all of you to step up the way other leaders have and are ending covid restrictions by the day.”
When will you? What will it take? You are on the losing side of history and it’s time to make that right before these children now.”