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WATCH: Virginia Mom Unloads On School Board Over Mask Mandates: ‘If Masks Work, Why Don’t They?’

Last updated on February 4, 2022

Virginia parent Merianne Jenson laid into the Prince William County School Board over mask mandates, claiming that schools all over the country had been open without masks and had not seen massive spikes in COVID-19 infections.


“I know there are many educators who want to protect children,” she began. “This goal is not different from my own. Our implementation preferences may differ, but we want the same thing: to get through COVID without harm.”

“Unfortunately, politics leads us to believe there is only one solution. Masks,” Jensen continued, claiming that thousands of schools had remained open without masks throughout the pandemic and the threatened spikes of serious disease had not materialized.

“There were not child coffins lined up as some educators in this county suggested would be the case. In fact, things have been going pretty much as normal. Kids are getting sick despite wearing masks. We are forcing healthy children home for ‘exposure’ despite them wearing masks. And we are segregating children by vaccination status and religious exemption status despite the wearing of masks. So I ask you, if masks work, why don’t they?”

The other parents applauded and Jensen continued, “I’d now like to cover the facts. Not policy as determined by the White House. Not CDC recommendations, which I remind you is still policy — policy, I might add, that changes by the day without any basis in science at all.”

“So here are the facts [that] are available to any one of you,” she added, saying that since the beginning of the pandemic, over 49,000 children had died of all causes — 331 of those deaths were listed as “COVID-related.”

“Yet we have turned kids’ lives upside down at school for what is essentially a non-risk,” she said, comparing the number of children who died of COVID-19 to the number who died of heart disease, cancer, suicide, homicide, and drowning.

“We play politics with kids faces by placing restrictive fabrics over their noses and mouths,” she went on, noting that no mitigation efforts had been implemented for any of the other potential risks.

“This is asinine. This is blatant political theater, and it needs to end,” she said, as parents cheered and applauded again.

Jensen concluded by claiming that the superintendent had previously said that her “hands were tied” with regard to the mask mandates because former Governor Ralph Northam (D) had imposed a statewide mandate. “Well tonight, things are different,” she concluded, asking what leadership intended to do now that the new Governor Glenn Youngkin had rolled back Northam’s executive order.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends masks for all students in an indoor setting, and also recommends social distancing whenever possible.

According to the organization’s website:

  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all* students (ages 2 years and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple prevention strategies, such as screening testing.

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