Jen Psaki Trashes Glenn Youngkin’s Anti-Mask Mandate Order in Schools

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 11, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki is none too happy the freshly minted Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed an executive order removing mask mandates in schools.

Youngkin was sworn in as the state’s 74th governor over the weekend, signing a wave of executive orders. One order in particular removed mask mandates in schools by allowing parents to decide whether or not their child will wear a mask as opposed to the school district.

Almost immediately upon his signing the executive orders, the Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax school districts announced masking will remain in place. Per WJLA:

Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras tweeted Saturday afternoon: ”@RPS_Schools will maintain its 100% mask mandate for students, staff, and visitors.”

The Times-Dispatch reports that the city of Alexandria’s school system said in a statement Sunday that it “will continue to abide by the health and safety guidelines of the CDC and the Alexandria Health Department and continue to require all individuals to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth in ACPS schools, facilities and buses.”

Fairfax County’s school system said it is reviewing the “operational implications” of Youngkin’s order, but that it also plans to continue to require students and staff to wear masks. Arlington County’s public schools said in a statement Saturday that its mask requirement is unchanged.

When asked if he would make the school districts comply with his order, Youngkin said: “We wrote the order specifically to give all of the school systems, basically, eight days to get ready. To listen to parents. And the fact that tweet came out from Arlington County within minutes of my executive order, what that tells me, they haven’t listened to parents yet.”

In response to Youngkin’s comments, Jen Psaki, who described herself as an “Arlington County parent,” praised the school districts for pushing masking in schools.

“Arlington county parent here (don’t believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant,” she tweeted on Sunday.

Speaking with Fox News on Sunday, Youngkin said parents have “a fundamental right to make decisions for their children’s upbringing, their education and their care.”

“And so we are providing parents an opt-out,” he said. “We’re providing them the ability to make the right decision for their child with regard to their child’s well-being.”

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