The Black and Puerto Rican caucus is correct in condemning State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco’s applying George Floyd’s  dying words,  “I can’t breathe!”  to those of children wearing masks in school.

A man lying on the ground with a policeman’s knee on his neck is in a serious life-threatening situation.  Children wearing masks to ward off COVID are in a life saving situation.  There is no comparison between the two situations. The Representative makes light of George Floyd’s dying words and expresses her racial insensitivity.  Rep. Mastrofrancesco should make a public apology for this.

The representative also said, “Our children can’t breathe.  They can’t breathe in school with these masks on.”  Rep.  Mastrofrancesco has to stop and think before she speaks.

Just the opposite of her words is true.  How many children have been hospitalized or died because they wore a mask?  How many children have been hospitalized or died because they failed to wear a mask?   Our children can breathe thanks to masks.

We must do all we can to protect our kids, their teachers, and the school staff.

No one has a right to spread disease.  Until children can be safely vaccinated we should teach them to be good citizens and mask up, just as adults must mask up to protect the children. It works!

Paula Bacolini is a member of the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Advocates.