Following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement yesterday that all workers, visitors, and children over age two in child care facilities would be subject to a mask mandate, State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) and Senate Minority Whip Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) released statements calling the requirement “big government at its worst” and “useless and unworkable.”
“I’ve spoken to concerned day care operators who struggle to get two-year-olds to keep their shoes on, never mind a mask,” Corrado said. “This overbearing executive order is yet another sign that Governor Murphy is completely out of touch with the needs of children, parents, and child care providers.”
“Every parent who has ever tried to get a photo of their 2-year-old in a Halloween mask knows this rule is futile,” Pennacchio concurred. “When you put any covering on a 2-year-olds’ face, they instinctively grab it and pull it off.
The Senate Republican conference shared both statements, signaling that state Republicans intend to stand against the mandate, much as they have for previous school mask orders.
State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) went even further in his own statement, calling the mandate “nothing less than child abuse.”
In announcing the policy, Murphy acknowledged that it may be hard to enforce in the case of very young children, but maintained that it was nevertheless the correct course of action.
“We appreciate that it may be difficult to keep very young kids in masks for the majority of the day, but we are looking for these settings to provide kids with as much support as necessary to ensure the safest possible environment,” he said.
This story was updated at 3:01 p.m. with a statement from State Sen. Michael Doherty.