Denver Gazette Runs Blankley Fellow Hadley Heath Manning’s Op-Ed on Masking

DPS mask mandate harms our kids

Hadley Heath Manning |  

Mayor Michael Hancock is doing the right thing to allow Denver’s public health order to expire today and to entrust adults with the choice to mask or unmask. The omicron wave is passing. Cases and positivity rates are in a nosedive.

But like other Denver parents, I continue to send my 5- and 3-year-old children to school wearing masks. This is unscientific, unfair to kids, and at this point, purely political.

Supporters of masking kids point to authorities like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which supports the masking of kids primarily out of a concern for keeping school outbreaks to a minimum and thus keeping schools open. Denver Department of Public Health Director Bob McDonald has pointed to the state’s guidelines on quarantining unmasked COVID exposures as reason for continued masking — to keep more kids at school.

Keeping kids in school for in-person learning is critical. But many U.S. states and other countries have managed to keep schools open without mandatory masking. And now other schools in Colorado, like Cherry Creek Schools and others governed by Tri-County Health, are making masks optional. These districts live under the same state rules for quarantining. Somehow they can make it work, why not Denver?

Read the full op-ed in the Denver Gazette


February 4, 2022