Stefanik, congressional Republicans hammer Biden for 'mask mandate on toddlers' in Head Start programs
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, reflects on President Biden's 'reckless' first year in office on 'Fox & Friends.'NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
FIRST ON FOX: Congressional Republicans have whipped together a unified front in opposition to President Biden's ongoing federal mask mandates for students in the Head Start program.
The letter, spearheaded by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, demands the White House order the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to cease all mask mandates nationwide.
The letter cites the February decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise mask guidelines for indoor activities for the majority of the country due to declining rates of COVID-19 infection.
Following the CDC's guidance, the ACF communicated to officials in Head Start – a free early childhood education program for low-income families – that they would no longer be evaluating mask mandate compliance. However, the messaging came without giving a clear end of the mandates, and many Head Start programs across the country continue to enforce the mask rule.
"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," Stefanik's letter reads. "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 2 years and older."
Rep. Elise Stefanik spearheaded a letter to President Biden over mask mandates in the Head Start program. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
"While you attempt to declare victory over the pandemic, it is unconscionable that your administration continues to impose its harmful mask mandate on 2-year-old children who participate in Head Start," the letter concludes. "We urge you to fix this immediately and direct ACF to rescind the rule mandating masks for Head Start participants."
Mask mandates for children have led to political backlash against Democrats across the country. (Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)
"Toddlers should never have been forced to wear masks. Joe Biden’s administration is failing to recognize the science and keeping forced mask mandates on young children in Head Start programs at the expense of their development. I’m calling on Joe Biden to reverse this wrong and harmful policy more rooted in politics than science," Stefanik told Fox News in an exclusive statement.
"Joe Biden must put children above politics, and let parents decide what is best for their children," she added.
The letter boasts strong support from Republican lawmakers and is co-signed by Reps. Virginia Foxx, Madison Cawthorn, Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas McClintock, Brian Mast, Guy Reschenthaler, Chris Jacobs, Cliff Bentz, Lisa McClain, Jake LaTurner, Beth Van Duyne, Lee Zeldin, Michelle Steel, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ralph Norman, Rick Allen, John Moolenaar, John Rutherford, GT Thompson, Jason Smith, Dusty Johnson, Warren Davidson, Darrell Issa, and Tim Walberg.