Friday 16 June 2023

Jerry Nadler: It Would Have Been ‘Child Abuse’ To Not Mask 2-Year-Olds During Pandemic

 Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said on the House floor Wednesday that it would have been “child abuse” for 2-year-olds to not be masked during the COVID pandemic. 

Nadler’s comments came during debate on the House floor on the REINS Act after Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) moved to add an amendment to the bill that would effectively give Congress the power to vote on any vaccine mandate initiated via executive branch rule-making, such as President Joe Biden’s now-defunct COVID vaccine mandate. 

“Two-year-olds should have been required to wear masks. It would be child abuse for parents not to do that because there was no vaccination available for 2-year-olds,” Nadler said. “And the only way to protect them against COVID was to have them wear masks, and these mandates are meant to protect the public’s health and safety.”

The comments from the New York Democrat came after Roy criticized Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra’s appearance before Congress on Tuesday. 

“I want everybody in America to understand what they just heard from the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee in the United States House of Representatives,” Roy said in response to Nadler. “Your 2-year-old should be forced to be masked. That is what the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee just said here on the floor of the House of Representatives. That the power of the government, the full power of the federal government, should be a part of ensuring and enforcing your children, your 2-year-old child to be masked.”

Becerra had been asked on Tuesday if “forcing 2-year-olds to wear masks save lives” by Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA). 

“Making sure people were masked when it was appropriate was essential to make sure that we were able to get out of this pandemic,” Becerra responded. 


Roy’s amendment passed along with the REINS Act, a bill designed to give Congress more oversight over presidential executive actions.

Young children were at very low risk of developing a serious health outcome from catching COVID, and recent studies have suggested that masks are seemingly not that effective at reducing the spread of COVID. 

Although Biden officially ended the COVID national emergency declaration in April, the White House came under fire again this month after an email showed that it would be enforcing a mask mandate and social distancing guidelines for visitors who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

Lawmakers invited to attend “College Athlete Day,” where athletes from championship collegiate teams get to visit the White House, were told to mask up for the event if they are not vaccinated

After backlash, the White House said the email had been sent “inadvertently” and that it would be sending out updated guidelines to event attendees. 

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