Carr Demands Biden Administration Rescind Head Start Mask Mandate
ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr and 22 of his colleagues today sent a letter demanding the Biden administration immediately rescind its mask mandate for all programs funded by Head Start, including some programs administered by Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning. Specifically, the mandate requires masks be worn by all Head Start children two years of age and older, even when outdoors.
“As we have said time and again, the President does not have the authority to implement this type of widespread public health policy and to target our children makes it even more egregious,” said Attorney General Carr. “For legal and practical reasons, the Biden administration should immediately rescind this rule rather than continue with its short-sighted attempt to mask children as young as two years old. It is past time for this administration to acknowledge the concerns of families across Georgia and around the nation who are speaking out and asking for a sense of normalcy.”
"In Georgia, we’ve been working to protect the rights and choices of our families, especially when it comes to our youngest citizens,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “While we have been successful in legal efforts to temporarily enjoin this particularly egregious federal mandate, the mandate is one in a long list of overreaches by the Biden Administration, and they should immediately acknowledge their mistake by formally rescinding it.”
This request follows a string of related developments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has walked back its masking guidance, the White House itself has ended its masking requirement and states with some of the most restrictive COVID-19 policies are lifting indoor mask mandates in schools, including the President’s home state of Delaware. If this mandate remains in place, Head Start children and staff will soon be among the only people in the country forced to wear masks.
In response to a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Carr and Governor Kemp, a federal court in Louisiana temporarily stopped the mandate in Georgia and 23 other states.
The letter was sent to President Joe Biden, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Administration for Children and Families Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary JooYeun Chang and the Office of Head Start Director Bernadine Futrell. In addition to Georgia, the following states joined in signing the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
Read a copy of the letter .