CNN analyst blames Republicans' COVID posture for ongoing school closures

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CNN political analyst and Politico White House correspondent Laura Barrón-López claimed a recent political ad attacking hypocritical mask policies pushed by celebrities and politicians as “not truthful or honest.”

During Sunday’s “Inside Politics” highlighted an ad put out by N2 America, a right-leaning group that focuses on suburban Americans, criticized Democrats and teacher unions for pushing mandatory mask policies in schools. 

The ad shows kids watching adults in sporting events and celebrities at an award show maskless, later contrasted with pictures of kids at school in masks. 


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 27:  (L-R) Co-teachers at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 Marisa Wiezel (who is related to the photographer) and Caitlin Kenny give a lesson to their masked students in their classroom on September 27, 2021 in New York City.
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Host Abby Phillips discussed the growing resentment parents have felt regarding masking mandates with Barrón-López.

“More parents now say in polls, that they would rather their kid be in a consistent, educational setting. Yes, most schools are open, but not have the disruptions of the pandemic, than they are worried about their kid getting COVID. And, you know, you’re a parent, every parent has to make those choices,” Phillips said before playing N2’s ad. 

Phillips acknowledged parents’ frustrations by referencing the recent scandals surrounding Democrats like Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who were photographed without masks during a football game.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wears a mask as he listens to fellow speakers at a news conference near SoFi Stadium, site of the NFL football Super Bowl later this month, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Barrón-López, however, pushed back against the ad, claiming that it wasn’t “truthful or honest” about Republican policies towards masks.

“I mean, look, that’s a political ad, so it’s not going to be truthful or honest or any of those things. What’s also happening here, is that Republicans for the majority of this pandemic have told their base, have told people in their states, don’t wear masks, don’t get vaccinated. We may even give you incentives to not get vaccinated, you know, you die, okay. Like, that’s the way they’ve treated this pandemic,” Barrón-López said. “And that’s contributed to the fact that their children can’t go back to school. That kids can’t go back to school because people are deciding that they don’t want to get vaccinated and care about other people.” 

She added “That’s a part of this whole thing, that if you had asked any of us 10 or 12 years ago, that that’s the way that this country would have handled a pandemic, I don’t think we would have said that, which is that it would have been become such a culture war under public health, but that’s what the administration is also facing.”

Politico national correspondent Meredith McGraw weighed in and said that parents see Democrats like Newsom maskless at public events and get upset at the inconsistent messaging. 


“I think a lot of people are looking for an exit ramp right now. There’s such pandemic fatigue at this point. And I think when you see photos like that one of Newsom and Garcetti at the L.A. Rams stadium in Los Angeles, it’s hard for a lot of people to stomach the idea that their kids can’t take their mask off unless they’re eating, and yet they can see public figures at a huge, crowded event be able to take their masks off and sort of live their lives. So I think a lot of people are just really desperate and looking for some sort of consistent messaging on how we can move forward,” McGraw said. 

Stacey Abrams speaks onstage during the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala on Dec. 9, 2021, in New York City.
(Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Georgia gubernatorial Stacey Abrams was the latest Democrat politician that faced backlash for a maskless photo that was shared over the weekend. In the image, Abrams was sitting in an elementary school classroom with dozens of masked children.

“Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children,” Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp tweeted. “But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op.”

Fox News Cameron Cawthorne contributed to this report.

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