White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that children should be wearing masks in order to stay in school in person, claiming that there was no concern about the psychological effects of wearing masks.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy noted that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he might start withholding funds from school districts that refuse to let parents opt out of mask requirements for their children.
“Does the president think that parents should have that kind of power?” Doocy asked. (RELATED: Teacher Files Lawsuit Against School District Over Mask Requirements)
Psaki said that as a parent, she wanted public health officials and not politicians to make health decisions for her children. She added that “it shouldn’t be too much to ask” that parents have the knowledge that their children are returning to school in a safe environment.
Doocy said that DeSantis is concerned about “harmful emotional, academic, and psychological effects of putting kindergarteners in masks for hours at a time.”
“Is there any concern from officials that you guys talked to in your earlier, pre-decisional discussions about that?”
“No, there’s not,” Psaki said. “And I can tell you from personal experience, my rising kindergartener told me two days ago she could wear a mask all day and she’s just happy to go to camp and go to school.”
Psaki added that the objective from public health and education officials is that kids should be in school because there is a negative impact on mental health from remote learning.
“We should take the mitigations measures needed in order for them to be in school and in the classroom, including masking and including allowing that to be part of a reality in these schools to keep the community safe,” she said.