Today is Child Health Day. Nearly six-million children in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19, representing more than 16% of the country’s cases. The prevalence of cases has skyrocketed since the school year began. The risks are concerning for all children. They are especially concerning for children with special health needs who are more likely to contract severe disease and require admission to the hospital.

Despite the pandemic raging in communities across the country, some governors are abusing their power, politicizing universal mask policies, and prohibiting schools, communities and families from protecting their children. These actions are putting the health of kids at risk and are especially endangering students with special health needs. There is no dispute among the nation’s leading medical experts: universal mask policies significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. The science is settled. Children’s health depends upon it.

This is why our team at Democracy Forward is in these states supporting the fight for children, especially those who are medically vulnerable.

In Iowa, Gov. Reynolds blocked schools from implementing universal masking policies and so we represented the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 67,000 pediatricians across the country, and the Iowa Chapter of AAP. Our brief urged the court to stop Gov. Reynolds’ harmful policy.

In Texas, Gov. Abbott has put politics over children’s health. Our brief on behalf of the Texas Pediatric Society and AAP explains what the doctors see every day: Abbott’s order places Texas children with special health needs at risk and burdens their families and communities.

In South Carolina, the legislature passed a law prohibiting school districts from using state funding to require masks in schools. We filed a brief on behalf of AAP and its state chapter, urging the court to deny the state’s efforts to put kids’ health at risk.

And in Tennessee, courts have relied on briefs we filed to strike down Governor Lee’s order preventing counties from enforcing mask policies.

Indeed, science matters. Children’s health matters. The law matters.

At Democracy Forward, we believe that the promise of democracy should be available to all people–including children. That’s why we are in Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Iowa, and other states across the country ensuring that the courts have access to data, science, and evidence from the nation’s leading health experts. Families should not have to choose between their child’s health and their child’s education.  On Child Health Day and every day, we’ve got their backs.  

Learn more about Democracy Forward’s work on behalf of the nation’s leading medical experts.