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By Ari Kaufman,

Last week, a Washington Post story — with three bylines — lamented that “A few schools mandated masks. Conservatives hit back hard.”

The piece is pure conjecture, yet tellingly labeled news, replete with fearmongering while downplaying the return of COVID-19 restrictions.

Conservatives “have seized on the issue,” the authors claim, and “experts worry people are more susceptible to getting the virus” because most people haven’t received updated booster shots.

An elementary school in an opulent Maryland suburb outside Washington D.C. sent a Sept. 5 note telling parents that all children would be required to wear masks indefinitely because three students tested positive for COVID.

Do not be fooled into thinking this is an isolated incident. If schools start requiring masks for tiny outbreaks — of a virus where children were safe even before the entire population acquired immunity and had access to vaccines — you can expect increased mask mandates throughout cold and flu season.

Mask mandates act like a virus; they spread if not contained. Masks are a talisman to Montgomery County denizens, who consider themselves superior and lead Washington-based governance. They are the so-called experts. The school district was among the most locked-down and masked in America. If this “progressive” cabal restores mandates, others will undeniably follow.

Private colleges in Atlanta and New Orleans already mandated masks for the academic year. Joe Biden is masking up again, albeit inconsistently.

The elites discarded science and data in the past and now want their power back. Can facts stop them?

Mask mandates do not curb the spread of COVID-19 to any meaningful degree. Yes, well-fitted, high-quality masks appropriately worn can decrease the spread of respiratory viruses, but that doesn’t mean mandating them is important or that they don’t cause accompanying harm. The preponderance of research does not show any good effect for masks, especially among school children.

We know liberal politicians didn’t believe masks mattered because those who supported them also flouted them. Recall the photo of maskless Stacy Abrams posing before young, masked school children. They ought to have permanently ended mandates in schools.

Meanwhile, mask mandates harm children and communities. Learning speech and reading requires teachers and students to see one another’s faces. Masks also take away individuality in classrooms and on the street, thus exacerbating the loneliness epidemic that plagues our country and produces much of the anti-social behavior seen in youth crime waves infesting many left-leaning locales.

Governors, state legislators, and city councils should act now to protect school children by pre-emptively banning mask mandates in their areas. Do not let teachers’ unions coordinate policy with the White House to hurt vulnerable kids and pilfer more taxpayer money.

Three-and-a-half years ago, it was sensible to let local governments decide on COVID mitigation measures. We knew little about how the virus would affect children or how it spread; now we know much more.

A mask mandate has no scientific justification and is nothing more than another harmful expansion of government power and an assault on individual liberty. The government already kowtowed to rogue teachers’ unions, and they, along with our corporate media, owe families an apology. As more school districts ignore reality or their past foibles and consider forcing children into masks, let’s act quickly to protect children before our failing public schools further ruin their lives.

Ari Kaufman is a correspondent for several U.S. newspapers and magazines from Minnesota and Ohio to Tennessee and Virginia. He taught school and served as a military historian before beginning his journalism career. He is the author of three books and a frequent guest on radio programs, and contributes to Israel National News and here at The Lid.

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