Missouri Attorney General Sues to End School Mask Warrants | Missouri News


By JIM SALTER, Associated Press

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Tuesday filed a lawsuit aimed at preventing school districts from enforcing mask warrants, requirements aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The lawsuit names Columbia Public Schools as well as the district education board and board members, but it is a class action lawsuit that “would apply to school districts across the state that have a mask mandate. for schoolchildren, ”said Chris Nuelle, spokesperson for Schmitt. .

The new school year began Monday in several districts across the state, and with the Delta variant causing a significant spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, more than four dozen districts require students, teachers and staff wear face covers. The lawsuit filed by Schmitt, a Republican, cites the low death rate among school-aged children.

“We filed this complaint today because we fundamentally do not believe in forced masking, but rather that parents and families should have the power to make decisions about masks, based on science and knowledge. facts, ”Schmitt said in a press release.

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Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, a Democrat from Springfield, said in a statement that schools may be forced to close if Schmitt’s trial is successful and epidemics occur. She also noted that Schmitt was a candidate for the US Senate in 2022.

“This lawsuit could help Schmitt win a Republican primary in the US Senate, but it endangers the lives and education of children in Missouri,” Quade said.

Schmitt successfully sued to stop the St. Louis County mask tenure. He also filed lawsuits against mask requirements in the city of St. Louis, Kansas City and Jackson County.

Southwest Missouri was the epicenter of this summer’s COVID-19 outbreak. But since the delta variant of the virus started rampaging in June, cases have spread across the state. Now the Bootheel area in southeast Missouri is under siege.

Information on the Missouri COVID-19 dashboard shows that six of the 12 counties with the highest seven-day new case rates are in the southeast – Scott, New Madrid, Mississippi, Madison counties, Jackson and Perry.

The two Cape Girardeau hospitals are treating 76 combined COVID-19 patients, including 24 in intensive care units, according to reports from St. Francis Medical Center and South East Hospital.

The death toll continues to rise with another 170 deaths reported by the state’s health department. Of these, 143 were the result of a weekly review of death certificates. One of those deaths was in May, two in June, 35 in July and 105 earlier in August. The state also cited 27 new deaths and 1,770 new confirmed cases. Missouri has reported 618,022 cases of COVID-19 in total.

A central Missouri mayor, meanwhile, lobbied his friend to receive an unapproved pest control drug for the treatment of COVID-19.

The Kansas City Star reported that Lake Ozark Mayor Dennis Newberry wrote on Facebook on Monday that the friend should be allowed to take ivermectin in a last ditch effort to save him.

“Please pray for the cooperation of his caregivers and the hospital administrator to allow his relatives and friends to step in and help him in his life. If we do nothing, his life will surely be taken away. 18-year-old son, family and friends, ”Newberry wrote.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved ivermectin to treat certain parasitic worms and for head lice and skin conditions in humans, and other preparations of the drug are used to treat and prevent parasites in humans. horses. The FDA has not approved ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

As of Tuesday morning, Newberry’s message had been deleted. A phone message left at Newberry was not immediately returned.

An estimated 300,000 people attended the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia during the 10-day period that ended Sunday, but only 53 took advantage of an on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinic , reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Obviously we would like to have vaccinated 1,000 people,” Pettis County health administrator JoAnn Martin told Post-Dispatch. “But we’re glad we made the effort.”

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