While over half of the country has removed mask mandates, New Mexico children ages 3yo+ are still required to wear masks at school as well as during outdoor athletics. Summer temperatures in New Mexico range into the 100’s, and kids are being forced to wear masks even while running track races and playing soccer in the summer heat. New Mexico parents have reported that their children are suffering blackouts, vomiting, breathing problems, dizziness, disorientation, nosebleeds, learning problems, and other health problems as a result of the mask mandates. The youth mask mandate is clearly putting kids at risk of imminent harm, yet nonetheless, the local school principals, boards, superintendents, and athletic associations are all saying that their hands are tied by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s policies.
Nationally, children have a 99.997% survival rate from COVID-19. In New Mexico, only 0.7% of child COVID-19 cases have resulted in hospitalization. It is clear that children have an extremely low risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, and mask mandates are placing a burden upon kids which is detrimental to their own health and well-being.
Only Vaccinated Children Allowed to Unmask
NM Governor Lujan Grisham’s administration recently updated the youth mask policy to allow vaccinated student athletes to be unmasked, whereas unvaccinated students must remain masked. There is intense pressure for NM youths to receive the COVID-19 injections, despite the fact that this illness is acknowledged by the CDC to be less severe and deadly for children than influenza. NM has offered $100 cash incentives for receiving the vaccine, and was even offering incentives up to $20,000 to youth sports teams that achieve high vaccination rates (although those incentives have now been retracted).
COVID-19 vaccination of children is becoming increasingly questioned. There have been no long-term safety tests on COVID-19 injections, and thus it is unknown whether these injections will have any negative effects on children’s growth and development. The World Health Organization recently changed its policy to remove recommendations for administering experimental COVID-19 vaccinations for all children 12 and older. As of June 29, 2021, the WHO website says, “More evidence is needed on the use of the different COVID-19 vaccines in children to be able to make general recommendations on vaccinating children against COVID-19.”
Furthermore, the CDC has acknowledged a likely link between COVID-19 vaccination and increased rates of heart inflammation in young people. The CDC website says, “As of June 21, 2021, VAERS has received 616 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis among people ages 30 and younger who received COVID-19 vaccine. Most cases have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), particularly in male adolescents and young adults.” Both the Pfizer and Moderna fact sheets have been updated to include statements about known risks of heart inflammation.
Requiring kids to be vaccinated in order to be unmasked is an egregious policy error that is not based on science. Governor Lujan Grisham’s policies that coerce and pressure NM youths to receive vaccination violate the fundamental principles of medical ethics and Informed Consent. Children have an extremely low risk from COVID-19, and the masking requirement is putting them in harm’s way. Multiple student-athletes have blacked out while running masked, yet the forced masking of children has continued.
Parents Unite Against Mandatory Youth Masking
Dozens of New Mexico parents are partnering with New Mexico Stands Up, a public interest legal firm, to apply pressure against Governor Lujan Grisham’s youth mask policies. Recently, New Mexico Stands Up served a Cease-and-Desist letter against youth mask mandates to Governor Lujan Grisham, NM Secretary of Health Dr. Tracie Collins, NM Secretary of Education Dr. Ryan Stewart, and Director of the NM Activities Association Sally Marquez. This Cease-and-Desist letter details the harms that masks are posing to NM children, the evidence that mask mandates are not necessary for the safe operation of schools, and the legal ramifications of imposing mask mandates in violation of Federal law. The Cease-and-Desist letter gives notice that “Organizations, schools, and government officials who impose mask mandates can be held personally liable for any injuries or damages that occur as a result of these policies,” and demands that the youth mask mandates be rescinded immediately under threat of legal action.
Furthermore, with the help of the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, on Saturday, June 26, parents and kids from all over New Mexico joined to protest the Governor’s youth mask policies. A dozen New Mexico towns and cities participated in this statewide youth mask protest. The protesters represented the diversity of New Mexico, with young and old, Democrats and Republicans, Hispanics and whites, all united against the forced masking of NM children.
Across the state, New Mexicans are demanding that Governor Lujan Grisham “follow the science” and remove the youth mask mandates. The Governor’s recent change to allow vaccinated athletes to be unmasked is not enough. New Mexico parents demand that all students be allowed to unmask, regardless of their vaccination status.
Sarah Smith has been a natural healthcare practitioner for 8 years and is a former NASA aerospace engineer and scientist. Sarah is one of the leaders of the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a non-partisan grassroots coalition which advocates for civil liberties and constitutional representative government.