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Kansas AG calls on President to rescind Head Start vaccine, mask mandate

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Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 1:38 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Attorney General has once again called on the Biden administration to immediately repeal another COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandate - this time for the Head Start program.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he has called on the Biden administration to immediately rescind the mask mandate for federal Head Start programs. He argued the mandate allows children and toddlers to be arbitrarily and inconsistently disciplined as similar mask policies are being discontinued nationwide.

Schmidt said the mandate has not taken effect in Kansas because it has been blocked by a federal court injunction in a case he filed. However, he said it is in effect in about half of U.S. states.

The AG has now joined 22 other state attorneys general to send a letter to President Joe Biden and officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which administers the Head Start program.

The attorneys general cited opposition from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to require children under 5 to wear a mask because of the potential impact on learning and psychosocial development.

“If it was misguided then, it is reprehensible now,” the attorneys general wrote. “Even States with some of the most restrictive COVID-19 policies – including California, New Jersey, and Oregon – are lifting indoor mask mandates for schools. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has walked back its masking guidance. If the mandate stays in place, it is likely that staff, children, and toddlers at Head Start programs will soon be among the only people in this country who are forced to wear masks.”

Schmidt said he has pushed back against the federal mandates since the administration announced several mandates as part of a one-size-fits-all approach to combat COVID-19. This includes filing the lawsuit to block the Head Start vaccine and mask mandate.

According to the AG, a judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction to prohibit the implementation of the mandate. However, the case is still pending in federal district court.

To read a full copy of the letter sent to the Biden administration, click HERE.

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