LUBBOCK, Texas — The federal government responded to the Lubbock Independent School System and the State of Texas Monday in an ongoing lawsuit. The government asked a judge to deny a nationwide injunction that LISD requested.
LISD and Texas sued the Biden Administration to stop a mask and vaccine mandate in the Head Start program. LISD and the state claim the administration lacks the authority for the Head Start mandate, and the masks interfere with child development, especially as it relates to language development.
Head Start is a school-readiness program for infants, toddlers and pre-school children in low-income families.
The administration told a federal judge in Lubbock that COVID-19 infected 50 million Americans and killed 800,000 so far.
“As a result, the pandemic has been devastating for children and families alike,” the administration said on Monday.
Click Here to read the federal response to Lubbock ISD and the State of Texas
EverythingLubbock.com looked deeper into the claim that COVID has been devastating to children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics analyzed COVID as of December 16 on its website and said, “The available data indicate that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children.”
Specific to Texas, the AAP said, 116 children died (COVID-19-associated) as of December 16 out of 73,337 total COVID deaths in the state.
The academy said, as of December 16, that among 45 states, New York City, Puerto Rico and Guam, children were between zero and 0.27% of all COVID-19 deaths. The academy said six states reported zero child deaths.
A footnote to the results from the AAP said, “The numbers in this summary represent cumulative counts since states began reporting.”
However, the federal response to Lubbock said the effects go beyond the children who attend Head Start.
The administration said:
“Many of these students rely on the programs not just for educational purposes, but also for everyday needs such as meals, so program closures due to COVID19 outbreaks have severe negative consequences beyond the classroom. To make matters worse, a majority of Head Start children and personnel are minorities, who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19”
The Biden Administration also said, “Studies have also shown that a lack of consistent mask usage in schools is associated with a higher risk of transmission.”
The administration also raised a legal technicality. It said a nationwide injunction is both uncalled for and inconsistent with a recent appeals court ruling.
A judge has yet to rule on the injunction. The lawsuit by Lubbock ISD and Texas remained pending as of Monday.