Authored by Bill Pan via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
A frustrated group of more than 200 New York City parents have called the city’s mayor and public health chief to sit down and talk to them about the prolonged mask mandates for toddlers.
Under the city’s public health policy, masks remain mandatory for children aged 2 to 4 in public schools and daycare centers. Mayor Eric Adam’s order to extend the mandate beyond its March expiration was initially struck down by a Staten Island judge, who called it “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable,” but was later restored by an appeals court.
In their letter sent to the City Hall, the parents alleged that the mayor’s office has repeatedly ignored their complaints about forcing preschoolers to mask up.
“We write this letter because our hundreds of phone calls and emails, and our direct requests for meetings, have gone unanswered,” the parents wrote. “We are now publicly requesting a meeting, by May 17, with both Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Ashwin Vasan to discuss NYC’s Toddler Mask Mandate.”
Specifically, the parents wanted the mayor and his health team to explain the reasoning behind the decision, including how exactly continuing to mask the youngest New Yorkers does more benefits than harm.
“We want to review the city’s analysis of how the benefits of covering the faces of babies who are still in diapers outweighs the harms,” the letter read. “We want to know why our young children continue to be masked even as every other resident of this city is given the option to unmask, regardless of vaccination status.”
In a statement to The New York Post, which first reported the matter, Adams said that he’s willing to unmask the children, but only when “the science says it is safe to do so.”
“My team of health experts and I will continue to evaluate the data, day after day, and we will continue to communicate with New Yorkers with additional updates,” the mayor told The Post.
Among the co-signers of the letter is Danyela Souza Egorov, a Manhattan-based mother of two. She told The Epoch Times that the parents have yet to receive any response from City Hall regarding their request.
“The parents are very frustrated because we don’t know which metrics are being used to decide this for us, or when, if ever, our toddlers will be able to take the masks off,” Egorov said, adding that wearing a mask may impede a child’s speech and language development. “At this point, I think the risk of COVID is very low for this particular group, but the risk of not being ready for kindergarten is very high.”
Egorov, who is running for New York State Senate as a Democrat, said parents should be able to decide whether their children wear masks.
“It’s very important to give the option to people—families who feel that they should continue using masks should continue to use masks,” she said. “Families who feel that at this point, the masks are causing more problems than benefits for their children, should have the right to unmask.”
The Epoch Times also reached out to the New York City Department of Health to ask whether Vasan or Adams are planning to meet the petitioning parents. In response, a spokesperson for the department directed The Epoch Times to the mayor’s statement to The Post.
“The Health Department has participated in approximately 2,000 community conversations and hundreds more community events and briefings with stakeholders,” the spokesperson added. “We will continue to dialogue with New Yorkers, but, in the meantime, we will continue to implement policies that protect children from contracting COVID-19.”