Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has joined attorneys general in 23 other states in a lawsuit against the Biden administration over mask and vaccine mandates the federal government imposed on all preschool programs funded by the federal Head Start program.
Head Start is a federal grant program for children aged 5 and under geared to helping infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children from low-income families prepare for K-12 school.
The Biden administration in November implemented rules requiring masks for all children ages 2 and older in preschools in the program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is also mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for staff, contractors working directly with children, and volunteers by Jan. 31.
The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, argues the mandates are unlawful and accuses the Biden administration of bypassing standard notice-and-comment procedures when enacting the Department of Health and Human Services rule.
The suit argues that the World Health Organization has concluded that “based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask,” … “children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks.”
“This mandate is absolute lunacy,” Rokita said in a written statement. “Forcing masks on 2-year-olds and expecting them to be capable of complying with such an order is absurd. Unfortunately, it’s also exactly the sort of edict we’ve come to expect from leftist demagogues in places of power.”
This lawsuit is in addition to Indiana’s involvement in three other legal challenges against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates for federal contractors, employers with 100 employees or more and health care workers at facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding.
“Hoosiers, in particular, will not passively accept the trampling of our liberties,” Rokita said in a statement. “That’s just not how we are wired. So just as with the first three mandates, we are fighting tooth and nail to protect Hoosiers’ individual rights.”