NYC Health Commissioner Wants To Mask Children Forever?

By Erika Hanson | Published

keep kids masked

The great debate regarding masks may never end. And while there are two sides to the view, the amount of parents who want their children unmasked is growing in numbers. The mask debate is felt ferociously through New York City, as the dispute was once again reignited when the city lifted mask mandates for school children, except for those 4 and younger. With opposition, city leaders were met with the cries of angry parents demanding the city drop the policy. And now, many of those parents have taken aim at NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, as reports claim he wants to keep kids masked forever. 

Ashwin Vasan is a primary care physician with twenty years of experience in the medical field. He is also an epidemiologist and public health expert that has been charged with addressing New York City’s pandemic management and recovery efforts. Vasan, along with Mayor Eric Adams upset many city parents with the recent news that the city would indeed keep young kids masked. The city lifted school mask mandates for children 6 and up last month with a promise to soon unmask 5 and younger too. But when the COVID numbers sharply increased, the decision was halted

Daily Mail has been running stories over the past few weeks claiming that Vasan wants to keep kids masked forever. These reports stem from comments made by the health commissioner regarding the city’s decision to keep the mask mandate in place for the school’s youngest students. When discussing the matter, Vasan was quoted saying that the mask mandate is “indefinite at this point.” Furthermore, Vasan added, “People who have tried to predict what’s going to happen in the future in this pandemic have repeatedly found egg on their face, as they say, and I’m not going to do that here today.”

keep kids masked

The health commissioner’s comments only further outraged many parents opposed to mask mandates. After the decision was made to keep kids masked, multiple protests reportedly were seen throughout the city. One of those protests saw over 100 parents and students rally outside New York City Hall. But the protestors began taking things to the next level, showing up outside Vasan’s family home.

After the news to keep kids masked broke, a group of over two dozen protestors formed outside the health commissioner’s $4 million brownstone home in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn. The protestors allegedly shouted death threats against Vasan. Some of the protestors were heard shouting in unison “unmask our kids”. One raised a banner that read “F**k Biden.”

Mayor Eric Adams blasted the protestors for their personal attacks against the health commissioner. “There’s a group traveling around the city banging on the doors of my health commissioner even though his children are inside, yelling and screaming, threatening his life,” the Mayor said in a statement. Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for Vasan, also condemned the harassment. “To promote public health, we welcome public debate. But harassment of someone’s family and home is out of bounds and wholly unacceptable. This should not — and cannot — be tolerated,” he said. Furthermore, because of the harassment personally targeting Vasan for keeping kids masked, the New York Police Department has stationed a patrol car outside of Vasan’s family home. 

Regardless of what side of the mask mandate you stand on, it’s hard to definitively accuse the health commissioner of wanting to keep kids masked forever. Regardless, many opposers feel that it is an unnecessary measure. One New York City mother spoke to Daily Mail about the absurdity of the mandate. Questioning its validation of the notion that four-year-olds and under can’t get vaccinated, she asked why unvaccinated five-year-olds and up don’t have to wear them. But at the end of the day, regardless of how parents feel, New York City will continue to keep their youngest students masked.