Democrats Lifting Mask Mandates Are Following ‘Political Science’: Rep. Buddy Carter

By Harry Lee
Harry Lee
Harry Lee
Harry Lee is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
and Steve Lance
Steve Lance
Steve Lance
Steve Lance is the host of Capitol Report, a political news show based in Washington aimed at providing a direct channel to the voices and people who shape policy in America. Capitol Report features all of the political news of the day with expert interviews and analysis.
February 10, 2022Updated: February 10, 2022

From Monday, a group of Democrat-led states or municipalities have announced plans to drop or ease mask mandates. According to Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), these Democrats are not following science, but political science.

“There’s no question in my mind it’s the political science,” Carter told NTD’s “Capitol Report” in a Feb. 10 interview. “I find it very disingenuous that all of a sudden, as we get closer to the elections and the midterms that they decide to follow the science. They’re following political science.”

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy announced that his state wouldn’t require students and teachers to wear masks from the second week of March. California, Oregon, Delaware, and Connecticut announced plans to lift some mask mandates within hours.

On Wednesday, Rhode Island and Massachusetts said they would end school mask mandates. New York and Illinois announced to lift mask mandates for indoor businesses, but the requirement for schools are still in place.

“Now we see New York and California lifting mask mandates when they should have been lifted months ago, and the only reason they’re doing it now is because of politics. That’s just unfortunate,” Carter said.

The New York Times reported that Murphy announced to drop the mask mandate without the White House’s support, and in defiance of CDC’s current guidance, after he was stunned by the November election which almost ousted him in the traditionally blue state. Murphy’s advisers found voters are frustrated over the government’s COVID-19 responses and have a deep desire to return to normal.

A Jan. 31 Monmouth University Poll found that 70 percent of Americans agree that “it’s time we accept that COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives.”

Some of those Democrat governors said their decision was based on high vaccination rates, declining cases, and hospitalizations. Some governors stressed constituents’ desire to live in a normal way.

“The administration, the Democrats, they want to control you. And this is about control. That’s what the lockdowns are about. That’s what the mask mandates are about. It’s not about science. They’re not following science. They’re just trying to control you. And that’s despicable,” the four-term GOP Congressman said.

Carter said he and others spoke against the lockdowns almost a year ago, and a recent study from Johns Hopkins University proves that they were right.

A January study (pdf) by Johns Hopkins University showed that the lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality—reducing mortality by 0.2 percent on average.

Carter said lockdowns, along with the southern border crisis, lead to over 100,000 overdose deaths last year. Lockdowns made people turn to drugs and alcohol and caused mental health problems.

Carter also expressed concern that mask mandates for children might have long-term negative consequences.

“My six-year-old grandson has been wearing masks for the last two years in Virginia, and the facial expressions that you learn and that you interpret, that’s missing,” Carter said. “This is going to have a long-term impact on their psyche, and I really am concerned about that.”

A study published on Monday showed that children “struggle to recognize masked faces.”

Epoch Times Photo
A student adjusts her facemask at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, Calif., on Nov. 16, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hasn’t changed its guidance on masks in school. It’s still recommending universal indoor masking by all students (ages 2 years and older) and school employees, regardless of vaccination status.

During Wednesday’s press briefing by the White House COVID-⁠19 Response Team, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency continued to recommend indoor masking “in areas of high and substantial transmission,” which is “much of the country right now.”

“We’re, of course, taking a close look at this in real-time, and we’re evaluating rates of transmission as well as rates of severe outcomes as we look at updating and reviewing our guidance,” added Walensky.

During Wednesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Democrat states that have dropped the mask mandates “have given more flexibility to communities.” When asked why blue states haven’t been criticized by the administration for doing so, she said “there is a distinct difference” between what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did and what the Democrat-run states are doing.

“There’s a difference between standing in the way of it, threatening to pull back funding, and allowing for local school districts to make choices, which is what a number of these states are doing,” Psaki said.

Florida was one of the earliest states to end COVID restrictions and DeSantis on July 30 issued an executive order to block mask mandates in schools.