Governor Brown has issued two new mask mandates just weeks after lifting them. This time, for K-12 students – the group least likely to become seriously ill, be hospitalized, pass the virus to others, or die from COVID-19 – and state employees.

The death rate for children is lower than that of seasonal flu, for which the Governor failed to implement mask mandates in years prior. The new K-12 mask mandate requires everyone, regardless of vaccination status or natural immunity, to wear a mask at school.

Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) issued the following statement:

“The Governor and her administration have a responsibility to cut through the panic and provide the evidence, datum, and succinct scientific analysis that tells Oregonians what they can expect. Instead, OHA, like the CDC, have constantly shifted goalposts and undermined Oregonians’ faith in our public health institutions.

“Schools have been shown to have lower case rates than the broader community, yet the message from the Governor is that our schools are one of the most dangerous places for them to be. That is an unsound and anti-scientific view. Many Oregon schools have been operating all summer with no masks and no significant outbreaks.

“All teachers, staff members, families, and students over 12 have had ample time to choose to get vaccinated. Moms and dads, families, and individuals all have a right to choose which medical procedures they engage in and to force kids needlessly into masks is abusive.

“Oregonians are tired of these dictatorial mandates from the Governor. One moment, she is pro-local control. Next, she puts forward unfounded and anti-scientific decrees like these. These newest mandates come with no limiting principle. COVID’s death rate is the lowest it has ever been thanks to the ever-growing herd immunity of Oregon’s population. Does the Governor expect Oregonians to take on and off the masks as she says until we have zero cases? If so, this proves the Governor has an unrealistic mindset based on nothing but myths and fairy-tales.”