From the New Statewide Partnership
New York Statewide Non-Partisan Parents for Science in Schools:
Open Letter to Governor Cuomo On Mask-Gate
& Media Guide
Open Letter to Governor Cuomo from Statement from New York Statewide Non-Partisan Parents for Science in Schools On Mask-Gate
June 15, 2021
Dear Governor Cuomo,
It is time to remove the mask mandate for minors. There is no longer a legitimate, justifiable reason to mask NYS public school children. The ongoing mask mandate is unnecessary, harmful and cruel.
We are fed up. You have intentionally misled NYS public schools families, our children, educators and administrators.
On Friday, June 4th, Dr. Zucker, the New York State Health Commissioner, announced NYS intended to lift the mask mandate in schools, effective Monday, June 7th. Yet, on Sunday, families learned that the NYS Department of Education was forced to clarify that there had been no change to the school guidance at that time, and that schools must continue masking.
The DOH sent the entire educational system into a tailspin over the weekend and abdicated their responsibility to provide timely guidance to superintendents. We deserve better.
No additional data was provided by the CDC to Dr. Zucker to support continued masking of children. The mandate should be lifted.
Flip-flopping in one weekend on a decision that should be grounded in nothing but science and public health data makes it clear this decision is nothing but politics. We are tired of our children being used as pawns for politicians and lobbyists. Kids need to come first!
We watched Dr. Zucker testify before the Assembly on February 25th that new school guidance would be forthcoming in “a couple days” only to have to wait 44 days for him to follow through.
We have watched other states follow the science on school quarantines. When in school transmission was shown to be 0.7%, they adjusted their quarantine policies accordingly. New York State still quarantines students for 10 days after a covid exposure. Often, entire classrooms have been quarantined with no additional cases found. Parent groups have sent FOIA requests on student quarantine data from our respective counties and districts in an effort to stop this harmful practice. How much in person education was needlessly lost due to NYSDOH’s failure to follow science and adjust quarantine protocols for students?
We watched as you and NYSDOH failed to produce any evidence in court to demonstrate why 6 feet of distancing was necessary for secondary students at “high” rates of community transmission.
You have no scientific or rational basis to continue mandating masks for minors.
There is enough science in place to conclude that at this juncture, taking into account high vaccination rates, low community infection rates and even lower transmission rates among children, requiring children to wear masks has no meaningful impact on COVID-19 transmission.
Additionally, there is nothing safe, sound or humane about masking children when the temperatures are soaring into the 90’s. It is unnecessary, mean spirited and cruel.
It is a gross embarrassment and failure of leadership to ignore the needs of the most vulnerable, our children.
After over 16+ months of disparate solutions from school district to district without giving parents a seat at the table, we have watched our children suffer from massive learning loss and isolation. During the last hot month of the school year ahead, we are calling on you, Governor Cuomo, to do the right thing by New York state’s families and children. Parents and students should have the choice.
We demand the immediate removal of the mask mandate for all NYS school children.
On behalf of our children,
New York Statewide Non-Partisan Parents for Science in Schools
KEEP NYC SCHOOLS OPEN
Western New York Students First
Open Schools Westchester NY
Unmask the Kids - Westchester
ROC for Educational Freedom, Rochester
NY Parents and Teachers Against Distance Learning
Unmask My Child
Unmask Our Children! WNY
Moms for Liberty, Nassau
Moms for Liberty, Suffolk
FM Parents Advocating for In-Person Learning