After Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin fulfilled his promise to allow parents to opt out of school mask mandates, White House press secretary Jen Psaki took a shot at him on Twitter.
The new governor faced some backlash after his executive order from areas like Arlington County, Fairfax, Alexandria, and Richmond.
Arlington County, Psaki’s home, said Saturday that its public schools will “continue to require all staff and students to wear masks inside on school grounds and on buses, as part of our layered approach to safety”.
In her tweet, Psaki wrote “Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don’t believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong)”. “Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant,” she continued.
Back in August, after the CDC said everyone should wear masks indoors, Psaki said her kindergartener could wear one “all day”.
Youngkin’s order does not prevent students from wearing masks in school, as some believe. Instead, it allows them the choice to wear one or not.
“The parents of any child enrolled in a elementary or secondary school or a school based early childcare and educational program may elect for their children not to be subject to any mask mandate in effect at the child’s school or educational program,” it says.
Psaki was quickly criticized on Twitter. Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway said “Jen, if for some reason you want to mask your children, you are still free to do so. This isn’t a ban on masks, this is a ban on *forced masking* of children against other parents’ wishes”.
CNN’s Mary Katharine Ham tweeted “I have read the order and Jen is welcome to do for her child as she pleases”. “Given that the effective masks are fitted N95s, she definitely doesn’t need to worry about my kids if her kid has the good gear”.