GOP Extremist Candidate Attacks Commonsense Public Health Measures, Echos Radical Republicans like DeSantis
TRENTON, NJ — Echoing fellow radical Republicans like Ron DeSantis who are putting children’s lives in danger by refusing to enact school mask mandates, GOP gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli spread baseless anti-mask conspiracy theories in an unhinged rant at a meeting of the Toms River Board of Education last night. Ciattarelli claimed that “masks inhibit learning” and that they “have an adverse effect on the intellectual and emotional development of a child.” Both of these statements are false and were presented with zero medical evidence by Assemblyman Ciattarelli, who continues to embrace extreme anti-vaccine, anti-science, and anti-mask positions that put New Jerseyans in danger.
Watch Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s rant here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65sLPHULuY0
“By ignoring science and common sense on COVID, Jack Ciattarelli seems to be running for governor of Texas or Florida — not New Jersey. Across the nation, Republican governors are putting the public in danger by refusing to adopt sensible public health measures like requiring masks in schools, and Jack Ciattarelli has proven over and over again that he is cut from the same cloth as Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott and other extremists who value politics more than our children’s health,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “Governor Murphy’s school mask mandate will help keep our schools open and protect students, but Ciattarelli would rather see New Jersey end up like Republican anti-mask states that are experiencing a wave of school closures, quarantines, rising cases, and even hospitalizations among children. This is just the latest example of why Jack Ciattarelli is unfit to lead and far too extreme for New Jersey.”
Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s assertions about masks are not supported by facts or evidence. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends universal masking in schools, as does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More locally, Dr. Stephanie Silvera, epidemiologist and public health professor at Montclair State University, was recently quoted responding to Ciattarelli-style anti-mask statements saying: “While there has clearly been an impact of the pandemic on pediatric — and adults — mental health, I have yet to see research that points to masks as the main, or only, cause.”