NYC parents request meeting with Mayor Adams and Health Commissioner over child mask mandate

New York City parents are fed up with Mayor Adams’ administration ignoring their worries over the city’s long-standing toddler mask regulation. They have asked the mayor to address their complaints by next week. More than 200 angry parents signed a petition to municipal authorities asking for a meeting with Adams and Health Commissioner Ashwin Vassan by May 17.

The letter, obtained by the New York Post reads, in part, “We write this letter because our hundreds of phone calls and emails, and our direct requests for meetings, have gone unanswered. We are now publicly requesting a meeting, by May 17, with both Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Ashwin Vasan to discuss NYC’s Toddler Mask Mandate.” Additionally, the letter states, “We want to review the city’s analysis of how the benefits of covering the faces of babies who are still in diapers outweighs the harms. We want to know why our young children continue to be masked even as every other resident of this city is given the option to unmask, regardless of vaccination status.”

The families are requesting Vassan to follow through on his statements in a recent Atlantic piece where he claimed he would welcome a “good faith discussion” over the child mask rule. Mayor Adams recently said he wants to unmask the children but only if “the science says it is safe to do so. My team of health experts and I will continue to evaluate the data, day after day, and we will continue to communicate with New Yorkers with additional updates.”

At the beginning of April, toddlers in daycare and school-based facilities were scheduled to go without masks, but the decision was reversed when the city claimed cases of COVID-19 were rising in the city. Parents have been vocal in their opposition to the plan, claiming that it puts children under the age of five on an unequal footing with the rest of New York City schoolchildren, who have been free to remove their masks since March.

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