Post #1404: Apparently, the Governor didn’t read the law, or didn’t care.

Posted on January 17, 2022


In Post #1403, I noted how badly-written the Governor of Virginia’s Executive Order 2 is.  This is the order that guts all mask mandates in K-12 schools in Virginia, starting 1/24/2022.

Along with various grammatical errors, some truly awkward writing, and bizarre rationales (e.g., children’s masks collect parasites), the Governor managed to get the name of the U.S. CDC wrong.  Got it wrong, in the process of  mis-characterizing the CDC’s research on effectiveness of masks in schools.

It looked like somebody threw it together, and never bothered to check anything.  Not the grammar, not the facts, and not the logic.

Turns out, another thing they didn’t bother to check was the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I’m just going to given you a reference to the reporting on this issue, because that explains it clearly.  Read it at this web page, from WJLA.

The gist of it is that the Virginia legislature passed a law last year that required schools to remain open for in-person instruction, and required them to follow the CDC’s advice on mitigating COVID-19 risks.  This was passed with bipartisan support.

On the face of it, that’s typical sound Virginia legislation.  Keep the schools open, but do it as intelligently as you can.  Burden every school district to adhere to national safety standards in this area, as promulgated by CDC.

For my last post on this topic, I looked up the current CDC guidance.  Yep, they still call for universal indoor mask use in schools.

Source:  US CDC (that’s Centers for Disease Control).

Either the Governor was unaware of the law, or chose to ignore the law, or maybe will now claim that the law doesn’t say what it plainly appears to say.

Let me lift a quote from the WJLA reporting, so you can see exactly how clearly this is stated in the law:

The bill also says school districts should "provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

And now, Republicans in Virginia government are claiming that the law doesn’t actually say what it appears to say.  School districts are either setting themselves up to follow the law as written, or to follow Executive Order 2, as they choose. And the net result of the Governor’s Executive Order 2 will be to sow discord and confusion, and force the issue to be settled in the courts.