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Opinion | Gov. Lee seems to care more about getting reelected than protecting children from COVID-19 | Otis Sanford

"If our children are going to be protected from rising cases, it will be up to us and the courts, rather than politicians..." said Local 24 commentator Otis Sanford.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you think that COVID-19 is not really affecting kids, just look at the latest data from the Tennessee Department of Health. As of yesterday, active pediatric cases of the virus represented 36.7% of all active cases in Shelby County. In raw numbers, of the more than 6,900 total cases, more than 2,500 of them were pediatric. That’s substantial, and it helps explain why there is a greater push to protect our children by enforcing a mask mandate while they are in school. It is baffling that we cannot agree on something that has shown to be effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

But at the same time, it’s also encouraging that more people and organizations are standing up to oppose counterproductive decisions by our state leaders – who are doing more to harm kids than protect them. The American Academy of Pediatrics and its Tennessee chapter have joined in a lawsuit seeking a more permanent block on Governor Bill Lee’s executive order which allows parents to opt their children out of mask mandates.

The governor’s position is that, yes, masks are a good thing – so is the vaccine – and people should take advantage of both. But Lee’s action says just the opposite. So, it’s clear. If our children are going to be protected from rising cases, it will be up to us and the courts, rather than politicians who are thinking more about the next election.

I’m Otis Sanford, and that’s my point of view.