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COLUMBIA, South Carolina, May 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina signed an executive order on Tuesday banning “vaccine passports” and prohibiting local officials and school districts from issuing mask mandates. McMaster’s order also allows parents to opt out of mandatory masking for their children at school.
“We have known for months that our schools are some of the safest places when it comes to COVID-19,” McMaster said. “Whether a child wears a mask in school is a decision that should be left only to a student's parents.” He added that “we must move past the time of governments dictating when and where South Carolinians are required to wear a mask.”
Gov. McMaster has not imposed a mask mandate during the COVID-19 crisis, instead allowing local governments to determine masking rules. The state Department of Education has required students and employees to use masks when entering school buildings and in hallways. McMaster called mask mandates for students “ridiculous” two weeks ago.
The education department nevertheless announced that it will continue to enforce masking requirements for children on school buses, in accordance with guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In January, the Biden administration issued orders mandating mask use nationwide, including on buses and other forms of transportation. The scientifically dubious and uniquely harsh rules apply to children as young as 2, flying in the face of standard practices among developed nations.
“The CDC’s mandate that children as young as two years old must wear facemasks is among the most stringent face mask age requirements in the world,” a group of three dozen U.S. senators and congressmen wrote to the CDC in April. “For example, in Switzerland, children under the age of 12 do not have to wear a mask. In the UK and France, children under the age of 11 are exempt.”
“Within the United States, children younger than age five account for approximately six percent of the population but only two percent of total coronavirus cases,” the lawmakers added. They noted that masking requirements have led to parents being removed from flights or banned from airlines due to toddlers’ inability to keep masks on.
With McMaster’s executive order on Tuesday, South Carolina also joins several states, including Arizona, Florida, and Texas, that have banned COVID-19 vaccine credential systems in recent weeks. The White House has been working with major corporations to develop vaccine passport guidelines, federal officials revealed in March.
“President Biden and the Democrats want to force Americans to present a ‘vaccine passport’ upon demand, yet they oppose presenting an ID to cast a vote,” McMaster has said. “Vaccine passports will have no place in South Carolina. The very idea is un-American to its core.”