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Nadler: Toddlers should’ve masked up during COVID; parents who didn’t mask kids committed ‘child abuse’

Nadler: Toddlers should’ve masked up during COVID; parents who didn’t mask kids committed ‘child abuse’

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., claimed Wednesday that 2-year-olds should have been “required” to wear masks throughout the coronavirus pandemic and insisted parents who opposed the notion were engaging in a form of “child abuse.”

Arguing in favor of vaccines, Nadler said from the House floor that “we have to vaccinate people to prevent diseases and pandemics” and that “people should [be] required to be vaccinated” in the event of a pandemic.

“It protects against transmission of the disease to the next person, and the health care worker certainly ought to be required to be vaccinated,” Nadler said.

“When we have a pandemic, like [the] COVID-19 pandemic that we had, 2-year-olds should have been required to wear masks. It would be child abuse for parents not to do that because there was no vaccination available for 2-year-olds,” Nadler added.

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Arguing in favor of vaccinations, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that 2-year-olds should have been “required” to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“The only way to protect them against COVID was [to] have them wear masks. These mandates are meant to protect the public’s health and safety.”

The comments from Nadler, who has served in the House since the early ’90s, came during a debate over an amendment on vaccine mandates in the REINS Act offered by Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy. 

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Roy’s amendment expands the definition of “major rule” to include any rule likely to result in an increase in mandatory vaccinations, meaning Congress would have to vote to approve any rule that’s promulgated by the executive branch to push mandatory vaccinations. 

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All but five Republican representatives — Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Zach Nunn of Iowa and Mike Lawler of New York — voted in favor of the amendment.

Nadler’s remarks drew criticism from those across the aisle, including Roy, who blasted the longtime New York lawmaker’s comments. 

“I’m tempted to yield the rest of my time to the gentleman from New York because he’s basically making the case for me more effectively than I can,” Roy said as he spoke shortly after Nadler. “The gentleman from New York is basically acknowledging everything that I’m sitting here saying, that I’m trying to do to protect the American people from the tyrannical state of the executive branch, but in this case my Democratic colleagues on the other side of the aisle.”

“I want everybody in America to understand what they just heard from the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee in the United States House of Representatives,” Roy added. “Your 2-year-old should be forced to be masked. That is what the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee just said here on the floor of the House of Representatives. That the power of the government, the full power of the federal government, should be a part of ensuring and enforcing your children, your 2-year-old child to be masked.”

Congressman Chip Roy is pictured on the steps of Capitol Hill

Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy blasted Nadler’s statement that 2-year-olds should have been forced to be masked during the coronavirus pandemic. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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The 2024 presidential campaign for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also weighed in on Nadler’s comment that toddlers should have been forced to mask up during the pandemic, writing in a tweet that Democrats “have no regrets about harming kids in the name of COVID.”

“If given the chance … they’ll do it again,” the DeSantis campaign added.

Published: 2023-06-14 22:03:44

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