Navarette is a Washington Post columnist whose writings often appear in the Albuquerque Journal. While we tend to not focus on national politics at RGF and almost NEVER respond directly to their columns, but THIS one (linked above and which ran in the Journal on Friday) truly set off RGF president Paul Gessing who in turn penned this response to Navarette.
Dear Mr. Navarrette,
I read your piece relating to masking kids in school with great dismay. I used to respect you as a proponent for school choice. Once upon a time you used to be a staunch advocate for transforming our schools into institutions that served the children and parents that pay (albeit indirectly) for them. Apparently when it comes to masks you take the “shut up and mask up” position.
If masks were effective at “stopping the spread” I’d at least give this perspective some credence. But if you can find me a study that shows masks on adults (let alone kids) are effective at stopping the spread of COVID 19 I’d love to see it. Instead we have seen increasing numbers of medical professionals including Dr. Michael Osterholm saying that cloth masks are simply not effective. Of course they recommend N-95’s, but no one is doing that correctly let alone our kids.
I have three children in school, 11, 9, and 5. All of them are attending new schools this year. I have serious concerns about them wearing masks both for socialization AND language acquisition. As a resident of New Mexico (which has performed worse on the virus in terms of deaths than Florida) I have deep envy for the citizens of Florida and their amazing Gov. Ron DeSantis. I urge you to at very least reappraise your position based on your historic views on school choice, but ultimately because “local control” is best implemented as “individual control.