Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Wednesday asked for unanimous consent to call up and pass his bill to effectively end forced masking in schools, pointing to the mask hypocrisy of his Democrat colleagues and noting that “the science hasn’t changed.”
“For the past two years, our nation’s kids have suffered. They’ve suffered socially, academically, and psychologically, at the hands of the Biden administration and their political bosses in the teachers’ unions,” Cotton said on the Senate floor, explaining that children have suffered perhaps the most “excessive, extreme and suffocating COVID restrictions of any population in our country.”
Throughout the pandemic, Cotton said, children, became “hostages” for teachers’ union bosses as schools remained shut down. And when children did go back, he said, children faced “insane coronavirus protocols.”
While the Republican senator said some parents believe masks work, he ultimately said every parent should be able to choose whether or not to force their child to wear a mask.
“But under the forced mask policies, parents have no choice at all,” he said, noting the “absurd policies have had severe psychological effects on our kids.”
Suicide and mental health problems have skyrocketed in the past two years. Grades have plummeted while depression has surged. And is often the case, those with the least have suffered the most. But when parents dared to complain on behalf of their kids, they were condemned by teachers’ union bosses, by Democratic politicians as anti-science and extremists. They were investigated.
“Thankfully, the tide has begun to turn,” he continued. “Sometimes I hear the phrase, the science changed. The science hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that there’s an election coming, and Democrats have seen the polling on this question.”
“Now they are running scared and they want to pretend that they didn’t force your kid to wear a mask for two years. You see it in states that are run entirely by Democrats — California, New Jersey, New York. The president’s own Delaware,” he said, noting that forced masking still remains in some areas as children as young as two are “still being forced to a hot, restricted and ineffective mask for hours on end.”
“Yes, ineffective because almost all of those kids are wearing cloth masks which don’t even work. That’s not me speaking, that’s the CDC speaking,” he added.
“I can tell you that most Democratic politicians don’t think they work either,” the Arkansas Republican remarked, providing a few examples of mask hypocrisy among Democrats. He specifically pointed to Georgia’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who recently had photos emerge of her smiling gleefully as children around her remained masked up. He also called out California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), and former President Barack Obama, the latter of whom was “standing outside on the beach without a mask while all the peons were building his multimillion-dollar beach compound were forced to wear a mask in front of him.”
Cotton also revealed that Democrat senators are also forgoing masks when the cameras are off.
“And I’ll let you in on something. The same goes for Democratic senators. I was in a hearing this week. It was in a small, closed room, not a single Democratic senator wore a mask in that hearing in that room,” he said.
“The catch is the TV cameras weren’t on so there wouldn’t be video of them sitting in a closed room without a mask on,” he said, adding that masks have largely become “symbols of control and fear, they are not instruments of public health.”
“It’s past time for the mask mandates to end and for parents across this country to have a choice. That’s why I’m asking the Senate to pass my legislation today to require schools that receive federal funding to give parents a simple choice on whether their kids should wear a mask,” Cotton said.