The Montana Nurse Association slammed the state’s Department of Public Health and Human Services over their Aug 31 emergency rule that suggested the efficacy of masking was inconclusive and left masking children up to the parent’s individual decision, rather than a hard rule imposed by the government.
Calling it ‘junk science, the association attacked the decision in an open letter, complaining that it has no ‘teeth’ to it, containing no “shall/must/will” decrees, but rather a series of suggestions of best practices.
The MNA frustratingly surmises that it’s not even worth challenging in court, as it doesn’t do anything, making it a waste of time and money to even try to have it resolved.
Their letter concludes by disputing the scientific opinions of the state and pleads with Montanans to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and if you do get the shot, continue to wear a mask anyway.
For the DPHHS, they have other considerations than the degree that masks (and which ones? homemade ones? cloth masks? N95’s?) make a difference, but must balance other considerations, such as the mental health of children being forced to muzzle up 8 hours a day.
It’s for this reason Director Adam Meier is likely unmoved by their arguments, stating at the time the order was given:
“A number of scientific studies indicate that universal mask use among children can adversely affect their health and development, particularly among children with learning or developmental disabilities. DPHHS respects the authority of parents to make health-related decisions in the best interest of their children, including whether wearing a mask in school is appropriate. DPHHS would encourage schools to take into account all of these factors and implement any mitigation strategies in the least restrictive means as possible to maximize learning outcomes for Montana children.”
Though clearly frustrated with the situation, and without much they can no on the legal front, the MNA have taken to their Facebook page to post daily updates on the amount of hospitalized vaccinated vs unvaccinated people, highlighting that those who have not received the vaccine are about 10 times more likely to end up in the hospital.