Putting masks on two-year-olds.
This one is red meat for Republicans and other critics of Phil Murphy.
So, it is not at all surprising that GOP legislators have issued a series of statements condemning the “mask mandate” for child care centers the governor announced earlier this week.
The edict is that everyone connected to child care centers over the age of 2 must wear masks.
Unenforceable, say some Republicans.
Child abuse, say others.
We not surprisingly heard from Jack Ciattarelli, who observed on Facebook.
“Does anyone really believe 2-year-olds are going to wear masks correctly? Is it possible we are doing more harm than good? Hey governor, when is enough, enough?”
Murphy was a bit defensive when asked about the mandate at today’s briefing.
“It brings us no joy,” the governor said of the new child care rules.
He acknowledged that requiring small children to wear masks is a difficult thing to enforce. But he did say there will be consequences – for management, not children – for those willfully ignoring the rules.
The governor said the state is simply following CDC guidelines, but he admitted the mandate is not something “we’re doing happily.”
Like the overall student mask mandate Murphy announced in August, the governor stressed this one is likely temporary.
“And we’re doing it not forever, thank God,” is how he put it.
Notwithstanding the GOP attacks, the governor can take solace from a new Monmouth University poll that has him in the lead over Ciattarelli by double digits.