This article appeared online at on Wednesday, February 9, 2022:  

governors in four deep blue states who are, in the words of former Senator Everett Dirksen, “feeling the heat,” are beginning “to see the light.” Oregon Governor Kate Brown, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Delaware Governor John Carney, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont all announced on Monday that they were rolling back their indoor masking requirements, including for schools.

The heat is coming from several different directions. The November are rapidly approaching, Joe Biden’s polling numbers are tanking, the “Freedom Convoy” of truckers protesting the mandates continues unabated, and hospitalizations from the virus are dropping, in some cases precipitously.

The light is being reflected in decisions by these “four horsemen of the Apocalypse” to back off on their mandates. They are still totalitarians, but are willing to shift the masking decisions to local authoritarians — schools boards and teachers’ unions.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called the decisions a result of an “epiphany” experienced by those governors:

The medical science didn’t change, the political science changed.


They feel the heat. They know that voters have been tired of perpetual lockdown policies. They know that they have basically offered no offramp, and they know that they’re fixing to get whooped at the polls.


And so that’s what’s causing the epiphany.

That “epiphany” has reached the White House. Said White House Secretary Jen Psaki, “We certainly understand, and have seen in polling that the public is tired of COVID. We understand that. So are we. And there have been good signs recently where there has been a decrease in hospitalizations around the country.”

But that epiphany hasn’t yet reached the U.S. House of Representatives. Every single one of the 221 Democrats in the lower house voted against Representative Ashley Hinson’s (R-Iowa) bill, the Unmask Our Kids Act. If passed into law, her bill would allow parents to opt out of masking for their children.

In her plea on the House floor before the vote, Hinson said:

Across the country, children are struggling. Despite being nearly two full years into the pandemic, tens of thousands of students started off this year still being forced to learn behind a screen, cut off from their peers.


And many school districts are mandating masks for children of all ages against their parents’ wishes.


Parents should have the option to send their kids to school in person, and to decide whether they want their kids to wear a mask at school….


That’s at the heart of this issue — parents should be empowered to make the choices that impact their children’s physical and mental health, their development, and their future.

Following the party-line vote that defeated Hinson’s bill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called out the Democrats:

House Democrats are playing and want you to believe they’re following the science. If they really trusted the science, they would have voted for Ashley Hinson’s Unmask Our Kids Act because the data against school-mask requirements are abundantly clear.


Instead, 221 House Democrats voted against it, allowing schools districts to continue to impose mandates on young kids. That’s not only unfair to children, it is harmful for many of them.

Unless those House Democrats see the light, and soon, it will further harm the prospects of their party keeping control of the House in the November midterm elections.

The four governors are happily awakening, thanks to the heat, and rescinding mask mandates in schools. According to the National Academy for State Policy, a dozen states imposed mask mandates in schools. May the decisions announced on Monday by the governors of four of them galvanize the others to take similar action.

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