Sen. JD Vance (Republican-OH) urged support for a bill that would block any government mask mandates and slammed Democrats over their handling of public health.
Senator opposes mass mandatory masking and aims to prevent its reinstatement for the next 15 months through the Freedom to Breathe Act.
- Senator criticizes past mandatory masking policies as a failed experiment.
- Seasonal upticks in respiratory viruses are expected and shouldn’t cause panic.
- Various organizations and schools have reimposed mask mandates recently.
- Senator argues that masks may cause harm, especially to children’s development.
- The proposed Freedom to Breathe Act seeks to prevent government-mandated masks on planes, public transit, and in public schools for the next 15 months.
- Senator emphasizes the importance of learning from past mistakes rather than repeating them.
I’m new with this, Mr. President, so it takes a little time. All of us have lived through the failed experiment of mass mandatory masking. Today, I want to ensure that we do not subject the American people to this tyranny, and for this tyranny again, for the sake of nothing.
We’ve recently seen a seasonal uptick of coveted cases across the country. This is not something to worry about. I don’t like this fact, but COVID is here to stay. Seasonal upticks in a respiratory virus are exactly to be expected. They shouldn’t cause panic from our leadership or from our country, and they shouldn’t cause us to reimpose a policy that has failed time and time again.
Many are now calling to bring back mass mandates and regulate social gatherings. I’ve heard some of my friends on the opposite side of the aisle say that no one is trying to do this, but let’s just recapture and summarize the last couple of weeks in August.
Lionsgate Studio asked its employees to wear masks at their filming facility. Last week, Kaiser Permanente reimposed the requirement for staff and visitors to wear masks at their Santa Rosa, California facility. Schools such as Morris Brown College in Atlanta and even local public schools here in the D.C. area have reimposed mass mandates.
Now, it’s not just that masks, according to randomized controlled studies, do no good. It’s that they can actively cause harm. We know that a generation of school children has suffered significant speech and developmental disabilities because this country panicked instead of using its brain and forced toddlers and small children to wear masks. We cannot return to the failed policies of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m not mad that we screwed up. I made mistakes, and many people in this body made mistakes. What I do think that we should avoid is repeating the mistakes in 2023. Let’s learn from the mistakes that we made instead of just doubling down on them.
This policy does not set anything for an unlimited period of time. It says that for the next 15 months, the government can’t force you to wear a mask on planes, on public transit, or in public schools. Taxpayer dollars cannot be used to force and enforce a mandate against our people. It’s not setting a policy that we cannot deal with pandemics in the future. If something else comes, God forbid, then let this body deal with it at that time. But for now, let’s learn the message. Let’s heed the message from the American people and let’s learn the lessons of the past couple of years.
Mandatory masking was a failure. It had costs for very little benefits, and we shouldn’t repeat it.
Mr. President, as of this legislative session, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S-2738, the Freedom to Breathe Act, which is at the desk. Furthermore, I request that the bill be considered, read a third time, and passed, with the motion to reconsider being considered, made, and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate.
SENATE DEMOCRATS DEFEND MASK MANDATES BY BLOCKING VANCE’S FREEDOM TO BREATHE ACT
Democrats have sent a clear signal to the nation that they support the return of mask mandates.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance requested unanimous consent on his Freedom to Breathe Act in a speech today on the Senate floor. Senate Democrats blocked Senator Vance’s motion, sending a clear signal to the nation that Democrats support the return of mask mandates.
“We cannot repeat the anxiety, the stress, and the nonstop panic of the last couple of years,” said Senator Vance. “That’s what this legislation is about. End the mandates, end the panic, and let’s get back to some common sense.”
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