One of the more curious storylines playing out in the early days of Eric Adams’s tenure as mayor of New York City is his stance on masking preschoolers. Adams, who projects a tough-guy, no-nonsense persona, ready to make the tough decisions, has decided to maintain the requirement that schoolchildren under the age of five wear masks even though the science is clear that they face little to no Covid risk and that, as I discuss below, masking that age group comes with a risk of significant harm.
Adams lifted the mask mandate for K–12 schoolchildren in early March and promised he would lift the mandate for preschoolers, ages two to four, on April 4. Then, citing a “slight uptick” in cases, he backtracked.
When a state supreme court justice enjoined city officials from enforcing the requirement on April 1, calling it “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable,” Adams announced that the city would appeal. That evening, an appellate division justice stayed the injunction, effectively restoring the preschooler mandate until a full hearing takes place.