New York Being Sued For Masking Kids Under 5

A group of parents in New York City plan to file a lawsuit to overturn the New York mask mandate keeping children five and under masked.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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A group of local New York City parents is planning to file a lawsuit with the Manhattan Supreme Court to overturn the New York masks mandate today. This new proposed lawsuit comes on the same day that the Big Apple will officially drop mask mandates for all students above the age of five. With about a dozen parents planning to file the suit, the move comes during a pivotal time for mask mandates throughout the nation

While New York City did lift the New York mask mandate for all other students in schools, their decision to keep the mandate for those five and younger was said to be a move backed by science. At a Friday Press conference, Mayor Eric Adams defended the decision to keep the mask mandate for those who are still unable to receive the COVID 19 vaccine. “People wanted to say, ‘Let’s lift it across the board,’ but that’s not what the science was showing us. I know some people are concerned. I would rather people complain against me, than losing my babies in our city.” Adams told reporters during the press meeting.

As new reports sweep the nation suggesting the vaccine is far less effective on younger children than it is on older children, the FDA once again holds off on giving the vaccine a go for those under five. Citing a need for more data, experts suggest it could be at the least another two months before the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine become available for children four and younger. Furthermore, each individual district within the State of New York is able to make its own decisions on New York mask mandates inside schools.

Of the dozen parents from the group planning to sue the city, the consensus is that the refusal of New York City to remove the New York masks mandate for children five and younger is something parents find “harmful” to their children. They want to have the choice of whether or not to mask them. Furthermore, the parents believe that have a case against the city.

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According to the group of parents, in order to enact the mandate for New York masks with children five and younger, the city would first have to pass a law to enforce it. According to Michael Chessa- a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney and one of the parents in the group- the Department of Health would first have to bring the mandate to the City Council, where they have to then pass or reject the law to be enforced. Furthermore, Chessa added that nothing he does is “anti-mask”. “All I am doing is pro-choice. I am just pushing this so that parents have the choice to do what they want.”, he said. Chessa is the parent of two children aged 3 and 15. He and the other members of the group filing lawsuit insist they are not against the use of facial coverings, only the mandate. 

The new change in the New York city masks mandate came last week as infection rates within the boroughs plummeted to 671 daily cases. The drop was an 11.6% decline from the previous week, with only 1.8% of all COVID tests coming back positive. According to Adams during his Friday press conference, the overall school positivity rate was recorded at only .18% positivity. Along with ending the mask mandate for students over 5 on Monday, the city is dropping proof-of-vaccination requirements at restaurants, gyms, and other indoor settings.