Biden admin threatens to take back Arizona’s COVID aid over anti-mask rules

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The Biden administration warned Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to back the state’s COVID-19 relief aid if it doesn’t redesign programs that use the funding to discourage schools from mandatory masks. Will take

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Running news: There are two programs in the state which are directed towards schools and students. Although these programs take funding from jurisdictions that have implemented mask requirements in schools, AP Report.

  • One of the programs provides a $163 million fund to schools that do not require face coverings. Another offers parents up to $7,000 if masks are mandatory at their child’s school, the AP notes.

state of play: The Treasury Department sent a letter to Ducey saying they have 60 days to redesign programs that meet the aid’s intent, which is to help contain the pandemic. Washington Post,

  • The department also said the administration would withhold future federal aid if the changes were not implemented.
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What are they saying: “By discouraging families and school districts from following this guidance, the conditions set out above undermine efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the Treasury Department letter said.

  • “Accordingly, these school programs as currently structured” are ineligible uses of federal aid.

Second aspect: “This letter is the latest example of a president who is completely out of touch with the American people,” Ducey said. Twitter,

  • “When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue to focus on the mask. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and the kids being caught after a year of learning loss,” They said.
  • “We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on the things that matter to Arizonans. President Biden should do the same.”
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do not forget: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Universal indoor masking in all schools, regardless of vaccination status.

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