Republican bill would ban schools in Michigan from mandating masks as COVID-19 cases increase among children


State bill would ban schools from requiring masks for students. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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  • State bill would ban schools from requiring masks for students.

As an alarming number of children are getting infected with COVID-19, a Republican lawmaker on Tuesday introduced a bill that would bar local school districts in Michigan from requiring students to wear masks.

Rep. John Damoose, of Harbor Springs, said parents should decide whether their children should wear a mask.

The bill would prohibit school districts and charter schools from imposing mask mandates.

“This plan is simple: Empower parents — not the government — to decide whether students wear masks at school,” Damoose said in a statement. “Parents know their own children’s needs best, and our schools should be supporting parents rather than undermining them.”

Health experts say masks are important to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health, warned about a sharp increase in the number of pediatric cases from the more powerful "Delta" variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

“That's very worrisome. I think traditionally people kind of considered, ‘Well, you know, kids aren't going to get that sick with this.’ More than 400 children have died of COVID-19. And right now we have almost 2,000 kids in the hospital, many of them in ICU, some of them under the age of four,” Collins told Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

“So anybody who tries to tell you, ‘Well, don't worry about the kids, the virus won't really bother them,’ that's not the evidence. And especially with Delta being so contagious, kids are very seriously at risk. And it's up to all of us to do everything we can to protect them, as well as we're trying to protect everybody else at the same time.”

Many school districts haven't yet decided whether they're going to require masks. Detroit Public Schools Community District was one of the first to require students and staff to wear masks.

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