Democratic Mayor-elect Eric Adams appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. While appearing, he announced he hopes to end mask mandates in school this year. Children as young as five years old are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Adams cautioned, “We’re going to do it with science.”
Adams recognized the power of seeing a child’s smile. He said:
“I think part of the development and socialization of a child is that smile. I cannot tell you. I look for that smile when I go visit schools. Not being able to see the smiles of our children, I believe it has a major impact, and not only that, not being able to identify the child.”
He added again that the decision and way to eliminate masks would be made with science. He looks forward to a safe way to eliminate masks without needing to shut the city down.
The current Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, does not share the mayor elect’s sentiment.
During his press briefing, De Blasio announced, “Out of an abundance of caution, I would keep the masks in place. I would keep the masks in place, at least in the short term because they’ve worked, because the kids have adapted to them well, the adults have adapted to them well.”
He added that he looks forward to a day when masks are not needed, but people need to be certain it is the right time.
New York City officials, including the mayor, have not specified how or when to end masking in schools. Adams is a staunch believer in mandates but has said he is willing to listen to people who disagree with him and the mask policies.
Adams acknowledged there are legitimate reasons for people not wanting to be vaccinated. One woman he spoke to had religious exemptions for all her kids throughout their public school career. In response to her Covid vaccine exemption request, he responded, “So, why are we all of a sudden telling her we are no longer going to respect that?
In regards to the mandates, he said, “And so, if there are real health care issues, real religious exemptions, we need to look at that and weed that out of those who are just on the street trying to bring about disorder in our city.”