Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody ripped the Biden administration for forcing young schoolchildren, including those as young as 2, to continue to mask up while in class.
Appearing on Fox News on Saturday, Moody called the Biden administration‘s mandate for children enrolled in the federal Head Start program “unlawful” and “immoral.”
Head Start is an early learning program that focuses largely on minority children, often those living in rural or poor areas.
Fox reported on Saturday that the mandate, which was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last November and which was reiterated last month ahead of the reopening of schools, affects more than 1 million children and 225,000 staff.
Yet this is an issue that mostly affects blue states.
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Moody recalled that Florida was among the states that fought the mandate when it was unveiled.
“When I heard that young children, as young as 2 years old, were going to have to mask all day, even while outside, I told my team we have to be at the precipice of pushing back on this,” Moody told Fox News on Saturday.
“Not surprisingly, because it was unlawful and immoral at the time, the court gave an injunction, they issued an injunction,” Moody noted.
On Jan. 1, a federal judge in Louisiana did issue a national injunction barring enforcement of the mask mandate as the states and the federal government argued over it.
The injunction blocked the mandate in states that were party to the lawsuit. Currently, two dozen red states, including Florida, do not have to adhere to the Biden administration policy.
As Moody observed, “So, in all of the states where you have attorneys general that said this cannot happen, we will not allow this insane federal policy that’s going to wreck child development to be applied in our states, there’s an injunction in place right now. In states where you don’t have leadership, like in Florida, with Gov. [Ron] DeSantis and me in court, you are left with this federal mandate out there that, in Head Start programs — and remember what Head Start is, it’s a federally-funded, early learning opportunity for low-income families, which primarily helps minority families, and those are pretty much the only children now that are having to mask all day.”
“And those are exactly the children we need to be looking at faces while their teachers are speaking, understanding how to communicate,” she added.
Moody noted that not only does the injunction not apply in blue states – Texas is one notable exception to the political breakdown – the Biden administration continues to fight it in red states.
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“Not only is it unlawful,” said Moody, “it is reprehensible to the well-being and the opportunity for the children from these communities.”