‘Unmask Our Kids’ rally decries state mandate for toddlers

Dozens of concerned parents turned out for a rally Sunday against the state's requirement that toddlers as young as 2 years old must wear face masks.

News 12 Staff

May 23, 2021, 4:26 PM

Updated 1,060 days ago

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Dozens of concerned parents turned out for a rally Sunday against the state's requirement that toddlers as young as 2 years old must wear face masks.
The 'Unmask Our Kids' rally took place at the Massapequa Park Station.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new requirements regarding kids and staff for child care, day camps and overnight camp programs. The requirements went into effect on May 19.
Rallygoers told News 12 that their children and staff who are not fully vaccinated should be mask free.
"It's not ok. It's child abuse. And everyone here believes that, and we are here to protect our children because that's what moms do," said Barbara Abboud with Moms for Liberty.
Organizers say they are going to continue to hold more rallies and take their message to local lawmakers.
Danielle Tavalaro of Farmingdale, a mother of two, questioned why it's become an issue this summer as opposed to last summer.
"The kids didn't wear masks when COVID was at its height. And now, all of a sudden, they have to be masked because you want to inject our children with an experimental shot? That's ridiculous," Tavalaro said.
Dr. Matthew Harris, a pediatric emergency medicine expert with Northwell Health, says he feels it is a small inconvenience but the right step in protecting everyone's health.
"While there certainly have been a number of advances in this returning to normal life for those who are vaccinated, children do remain what's called a 'viral vector' -- so they are not only able to get sick, but to transmit the disease," Harris said.
For other parents, that is the fear -- that they will get sick. That's why they say they will continue to wear the mask and have their kids wear a mask throughout the summer.
Gov. Cuomo's office has not yet returned requests for comment from News 12.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tells News 12 with new infections at all-time lows, she believes that parents and pediatricians should be in the position to decide on whether a child should wear a mask.


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