Senator Ward discusses masks mandates and the forensic audit

HARRISBURG – State Senator Judy Ward joined First News Wednesday morning to talk with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen about the issues facing Pennsylvania.

The first one is concerning masks and our kids. 

Governor Wolf has said there will not be an official mask mandate for students returning to school in a few weeks. It’s up to individual school districts whether to follow the recommendations of the CDC or not.

At the moment, children in our area have the option of wearing a mask or not.

Jansen asked the Senator, “Where do you see this going?”

Ward said, “Thanks to the voters of Pennsylvania, they voted in our primary that the governor can only have a 21-day emergency declaration without a vote from the legislature so that changed things very much. I’ve said all along each person should decide what is best for them. We don’t need government telling us that. The governor’s been planting seeds with schools, universities, private businesses trying to encourage them and push them toward the direction of masking. When Secretary Ortega was confirmed, we went heavy on him about the mask mandate and he assured us that it would be up to each school district.”

A number of articles have come out recently talking about the dangers of children being masked.

Ward said, “I think again, we should not be mandating that. That should be a choice of the parent. And I’ve actually teamed up with Senator Mastriano and we have a bill that would allow parents or legal guardians to opt out from their child to have a mask mandate. Those children would not be able to be quarantined, separated, isolated from their other classmates or left out of sports. I think it should be a personal decision and especially with the schools for parents to decide what’s best for their child.”

Some studies have shown that masks can increase the acceptable levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, particularly for those who have always needed to wear masks for their employment, such as carpenters, masons and some doctors. So considerations and special masks have been made for those jobs.

Children wearing regular masks can exceed the acceptable level of CO2 in the blood.

Jansen pointed out, “That’s not safe from a medical point of view. Of course there’s the whole psychological impact. I like that you said in that bill they also cannot be isolated because again it speaks to the psychological impact we could be putting on children.”

Ward was in an airport recently and with the need to wear a mask and walk quickly to get to the gate, she was reminded of how difficult the face covering can be.  

“So it’s not just kids,” she said.

Discussion then turned to Fulton County and the forensic audit.

Jansen thanked Ward for standing up against the decertification of the voting machines in Fulton County.

She asked, “What was the instigation for Fulton County doing that back in January? Because they used dominion machines? That’s when there was a huge question, what is dominion doing, how are they accounting for things? And they stepped up to say hey let’s make sure. Let’s let everybody be comforted or if there’s a problem, let’s see it. And now they’re being punished for it.”

Ryan added, “If you’re going to have a real bad result, it would have been Fulton County. If you had an anomaly, it would have been Fulton County because Fulton County had the highest per capita turnout in the state the first time around for Trump. It was a good decision to go and snoop around on that one.”

Ward said, “I admire the commissioners because they wanted to prove to their residents that the election is fair and accurate and hats off to them. The troubling thing about the whole decertification of Fulton’s election machines is the secretary of state never came in and looked at them. They invited them twice. They never came in to look at the machines. Her team could prove that those machines were not tampered with but they chose to just decertify them and that’s what’s troubling. We have to have some transparency and accountability here.”