Ed Sec Acknowledges His Own ‘Mask Fatigue,’ But Says They’re Only Way To Keep Schools Open

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona departs from a meeting in the U.S. Capitol Building on August 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate has moved on to the amendments process this week ... WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona departs from a meeting in the U.S. Capitol Building on August 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate has moved on to the amendments process this week for the legislative text of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which aims to fund improvements to roads, bridges, dams, climate resiliency and broadband internet. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Monday admitted that although he’s not fond of wearing masks like the rest of us, mask mandates are necessary to keep schools open.

Appearing on CBS, Cardona took aim at the politics surrounding mask-wearing as a mitigation strategy to reduce the spread of the coronavirus among students and staff.

“It’s sad to me that poor policies and political agendas are going to get in the way of those kids getting on the field. We need to follow the mitigation strategies that we know work,” Cardona said. “Get the politics out of this, let the education leaders do their jobs.”

Cardona then admitted that he has “mask fatigue” himself, but stressed that the mask-wearing is necessary in order to keep schools open as the Delta variant prompts spikes of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

“To be honest with you, I wish we didn’t have to wear masks. I know my own children — they don’t want to wear masks,” Cardona said. “I have mask fatigue myself, but if it means giving my children the opportunity to be in school, I’m for it.”

Cardona’s latest remarks follow President Biden’s announcement last week that the education secretary would have his department’s civil rights office probe states such as Florida and Texas that are banning school mask mandates.

Cardona reiterated the administration’s support for schools that are moving forward with mask mandates despite bans issued by Republican governors. During an interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Cardona stressed that schools “do not have to get the green light from (their) governor” to access COVID relief funds to reimburse any financial losses their districts might face for defying Republican governors’ mask mandate bans.

Despite threats from Republican governors such as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — whose office has threatened funding cuts against school districts that buck his orders — local school districts have refused to reverse course.

Even after Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an ultimatum last week to school officials in Broward and Alachua Counties — warning that they had two days to get rid of their district’s mask mandates or school board members would start losing their monthly pay — officials in both counties refused to back down on their mandatory mask requirements.

Watch Cardona’s remarks below:

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Notable Replies

  1. Why reinforce one of the many anti-vaxxer whiny points? Own goal.

  2. Avatar for erik_t erik_t says:

    Vaccines are necessary to keep schools open, and I’d be delighted to know what the fuck we’re waiting on for the 5-12s.

  3. Enough evidence that they’re safe in this age group to approve them for emergency use authorization?

  4. Avatar for noonm noonm says:

    Cardona then admitted that he has “mask fatigue” himself

    I don’t have “mask fatigue”, I have pandemic fatigue. Wearing masks will help bring the pandemic to an end sooner, so its a no-brainer to wear.

    There are also so many mask options now, its trivial to find a mask type that you can wear all day, every day:

  5. No, it’s not. Showing sympathy to the feelings of all the people who are on the fence about masks and vaccines, and then saying “doing this is better and safer”, shows that you understand their whiny complaint. That little bit of affirmation can push some people to drop their adamant refusal enough to listen to the rest of it. If all you say is “you’re a fool not to wear a mask and get vaccinated” then people will dig their heels in. It’s Psychology 101.

    The good thing is that the new FDA approval will start to cut through this stuff, hopefully enough people get the shot (either because they are more comfortable or because they have to in order to work or do something they want) that we’re just left with the hard core “freeDUMB!!!” asshats that haven’t been vaccinated, and they can spread it amongst themselves until they die or COVID burns out.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

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