On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton tore into Democrats who are doing an about-face on various COVID restrictions in recent days.
Cotton made his remarks on the Senate floor, touting his legislation that would pull federal funds from any school that has a mask mandate in place.
“For the past two years, our nation’s kids have suffered,” Cotton railed from the Senate floor. “They’ve suffered socially, academically, and psychologically, at the hands of the Biden administration and their political bosses in the teachers’ unions.”
“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.”
The Republican then charged that Democrats wanting to end mask mandates has more to do with politics than science.
“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.”
On that point, even the New York Times seems to agree. Writing yesterday, the Times makes clear that the decisions are driven by electoral concerns:
Driving these decisions are the growing numbers of voters signaling that they are prepared to live with the virus as it is now, and political calculations about looming midterm elections that already have Democrats on the defensive.
“Now they are running scared and they want to pretend that they didn’t force your kid to wear a mask for two years,” Cotton said. “You see it in states that are run entirely by Democrats — California, New Jersey, New York. The president’s own Delaware.”
Cotton noted that in some areas, children as young as two are “still being forced to a hot, restricted and ineffective mask for hours on end.”
The senator brought up Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who recently took a photo while maskless among children wearing masks.
“It’s past time for the mask mandates to end and for parents across this country to have a choice,” Cotton wound down. “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.”
Democrats ended up blocking Cotton’s bill.
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