Several witnesses eagerly spoke against requiring children to wear masks in school, calling it harmful and an assault on parents’ rights, during a politically charged Facebook session hosted Thursday by Republican New Jersey senators. GOP lawmakers have chafed at Democrats’ refusal to hold official hearings and they have questioned Gov. Phil Murphy’s school mask policy, which essentially leaves it up to individual school districts to decide whether students should wear masks when they return to classes in the fall.
The politically divisive backlash remains intense. Many epidemiologists, who say masks are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, also say there’s no evidence that masks harm children.