Why is McMaster taking “liberties” with our children’s lives?

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Why is McMaster taking “liberties” with our children’s lives?

Gov. McMaster and his Republican Party “leaders” believe in personal liberty so much… they’re willing to sacrifice YOUR kids to have it.

In fact, they’re threatening to defund public schools if districts even try to mandate masks. So, with all that “freedom” comes zero responsibility…which is ironic since it’s their anti-vaccination and mask-wearing rhetoric that has politicized the pandemic and led to the stronger, deadlier, super-contagious variants we now face.

And thanks to a last-minute mask-banning budget proviso that SCGOP legislative leaders snuck into the budget at Gov. McMaster’s behest — knowing full well that students 11 and under, aren’t even eligible for vaccinations against this deadly virus… frustrated, angry parents across SC are reaching out to the rest of us in the SC General Assembly for help.

Did you see Henry’s press conference? He was so proud to announce to the entire state that he and the SCGOP are sending our babies back to school with absolutely NO protections.

Self-serving cowards like him lack the courage, compassion, and ability to lead. That’s why it’s incumbent upon those of us who have common-sense, to do everything within our power to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students, teachers, and school staff. Policy protections are particularly important during an epic public health crisis because so many lives hang in the balance.

We’ve got to meet this crisis head-on, with courage, tenacity, and expediency.

For starters, taking these simple actions can help right this wrong:

  1. Governor McMaster can (and should) exercise his executive powers to override the budget proviso, by re-issuing an Executive Order that declares a state of emergency to provide critical resources and adequately address the growing public safety challenges that are presented by this stronger, more contagious, deadly variant.
  2. Senate President Peeler and House Speaker Lucas can (and should) exercise their legislative authority by calling the SC General Assembly back for a “special” legislative session, to begin to address the public health needs and restore governing power and authority to local governments and school districts to protect their citizens.

Make no mistake this delta variant is making a dangerous and deadly impact on our unvaccinated population.

It’s past time for Gov. McMaster to take action — not grandstand, refuse federal assistance, and play political games with our kids’ lives. South Carolinians deserve a governor who will put our people first. And we simply don’t have that type of compassionate, courageous leader in Henry McMaster. But when I’m governor, we will.

Because of the proviso that Republican House and Senate conferees voted to include during the waning hours of this year’s budget process, the state of SC has deliberately, and I believe unconstitutionally, tied state public school funding to face masks by banning South Carolina’s public school districts from implementing mask mandates.

Just last week, more than 600 students and staffers at Kershaw County schools had to quarantine after being exposed less than 2 weeks after returning to school for in-person classroom instruction. Likewise, Pickens County Schools abruptly returned to virtual learning after almost 600 students and staff members were exposed to COVID-19, just days after their new school year began. Sadly, we just lost four Dorchester County school district employees… including a teacher who had just given birth, an elementary school cafeteria manager, and a high school coach.

It didn’t have to be this way. I’ve outlined steps we can take to mitigate this crisis in my COVID-19 Plan.

With approximately 15,000 new COVID-19 cases across South Carolina between August 9 and August 13, the delta variant is already wreaking havoc on our state’s most vulnerable and quickly overwhelming our Children’s Hospitals and ICUs.

As elected leaders, I believe we have a moral, ethical and legal duty to provide a safe learning environment for our students, teachers, and school personnel. Abdicating that responsibility for any reason is inconceivable and morally reprehensible.

Many SC students have chronic health conditions that put them at even greater risk of severe complications or death if exposed to the delta variant. No one should be forced to risk their life just to go to school… especially students who are too young to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Like Gov. McMaster, who contracted the virus last year, his family members will get the same monoclonal antibody treatments that kept him from experiencing life-threatening complications or dying from COVID-19. But, your family members won’t.

Just ask the families of over 10,200 South Carolinians who’ve needlessly suffered and died from complications of COVID-19 because they weren’t “privileged” to receive life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments like our governor.

Declaring a state of emergency to begin to mitigate the damage caused by their unconstitutional budget proviso or calling us back into session will help slow the spread and curb the chaos the governor and his party have created. Going back to school shouldn’t be a life or death proposition.

Yeah, Gov. McMaster and his party believe in personal liberty so much… they’re willing to sacrifice OUR loved ones for it.

But with life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments at their disposal, it’s obvious that they’re just not willing to sacrifice theirs.

— Mia


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