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NEW YORK CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Keeping toddlers masked temporarily is necessary to prevent another citywide shutdown, the Big Apple’s Democrat Mayor Eric Adams claims in a new interview.

Asked how he would explain to a four-year-old why he must keep his mask on while older kids remove theirs, Adams likened it to situations where older children take the lead on something to make sure it’s safe for their younger siblings.

“You’re going to be taking off your mask, like your big brothers and sisters are doing now, when you have big brothers and sisters, sometimes they do things first to make sure it’s safe for you,” he said. “And those children, they trust it because they understand their parents and they trust their leadership. They’re not tainted like adults. They still feel that we have to make the right decisions for them.”

“And I’m with the parents,” Adams claimed. “I want those masks off, I said it in January, but I have to do it right to make sure the city protects its children, and don’t close down the city again.”

CBS New York reported that while the city made masks optional Monday for most students, they will remain mandatory for those younger than five because there is not yet a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for that age group.

“Frankly, having children continue to wear masks defies common sense,” said Dr. Megan Martin, an area parent. “New York City remains the only jurisdiction in New York state where children ages 2-4 must wear a mask in school.”

“My 4-year-old is waiting to show her smile,” mother Daniela Nydich protested. “They’ve been in a mask for two years of their life in school. So this is the most pivotal years of learning for them. It’s how they learn, how to interact with their peers.”

A wealth of evidence indicates the ineffectiveness of masks, such as the CDC’s September 2020 acknowledgement that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, or a May 2020 study published by CDC’s peer-reviewed journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”

Last May, another study found that, though mandates effectively increased mask use, that usage did not yield the expected benefits. “Mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the researchers found the results to be a net negative, with masks increasing “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” and interfering with communication, as well as impairing social learning among children.

The issue is even more pronounced for children, who are at the lowest risk from COVID while suffering the most from forced masking.

Last summer, a team of researchers with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “analyze[d] approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020,” and found a “mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia.” The lead researcher, Dr. Marty Makary, accused the CDC of basing its advocacy of school COVID vaccination on “flimsy data.”

By contrast, the “potential educational harms of mandatory-masking policies are much more firmly established, at least at this point, than their possible benefits in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools,” University of California-San Francisco epidemiologist professor Vinay Prasad wrote in September. “Early childhood is a crucial period when humans develop cultural, language, and social skills, including the ability to detect emotion on other people’s faces. Social interactions with friends, parents, and caregivers are integral to fostering children’s growth and well-being.”

Even White House COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has campaigned for injecting children, admitted in January that children’s risk of COVID has been exaggerated by misleading numbers.

“The other important thing is that if you look at the children who are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with COVID, as opposed to because of COVID,” Fauci told MSNBC. “What we mean by that: If a child goes to the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID, and they get counted as a COVID hospitalized individual. When in fact, they may go in for a broken leg, or appendicitis, or something like that. So it is over-counting the number of children who are are [sic] ‘hospitalized with COVID’ as opposed to because of COVID.”

Nevertheless, New York City appears less willing than other Democrats to acquiesce to disaffected voters. While the city is dropping its vaccine mandate for indoor businesses, it will continue to require the shots for city employees, more than 1,400 of whom have already been terminated.