Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic as collateral damage while speaking at an event on Wednesday.
Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, blamed “divisiveness in society” and people on social media for creating an “understandable confusion” about his guidance during the pandemic. He went on to justify the harsh COVID-19 mandates imposed by the federal government under his guidance, including lockdowns, vaccinations, and mandatory masking, by stating that hospitals were being “overrun” and he was forced to take “draconian” steps.
In May 2020, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Fauci for the federal policy to keep schools closed and deprive children of in-person education despite data showing that COVID-19 was not overwhelmingly fatal, particularly among children. Fauci had continued to insist on schools remaining closed.
Combating COVID-19 School MandatesThe Biden administration is still attempting to impose COVID-19 mandates in schools, with the GOP challenging such policies.
For instance, Head Start is a federal grant program aimed at helping children from low-income households prepare for school. In November last year, the Biden administration issued a rule stating that any child over the age of two who is enrolled in Head Start must wear masks indoors.
Florida’s Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a lawsuit against the rule and got the court to issue a preliminary injunction against the mandate. The Biden administration continues to fight the injunction.
Recently, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill designed to protect children in Washington D.C. public schools from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. It seeks to block a 2021 bill that listed COVID-19 vaccines as a requirement for children.
“D.C. public schools are blatantly discriminating against black students in our nation’s capital. The rate of vaccination for black students between the ages of 12 and 15 in Washington, D.C. is 60 percent—far lower than the city average,” Cruz said.