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Concerned citizen rails against mask order to PNGISD school board

PORT NECHES — When the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District opened its school board meeting for patron presentations this week, unmasked Charla Pate took the podium to address the district’s mask policy.

She started off her five-minute timeframe by commending district leaders for starting classes in-person on the first day of school.

“Kids need to be in school for their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing,” she said. “I’m very pleased to see this happen. I am here tonight to ask the board to consider matters of personal liberty regarding masks.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide mandatory mask order on July 3. Pate questioned the reasoning behind the decision.

“I do not know what scientific basis (Abbott) used to issue such an order,” she stated. “Masks are ineffective against the spread of COVID-19. This is the research that was consensuses before March 2020. Sometime around June 2020, influential people decided they wanted everyone in masks. Maybe they think masks give a sense of security to the public? However, such a decision affects personal liberties and as such, should be based on imperial data.”

Pate pointed out several inaccuracies in COVID-19 reported data.

Port Arthur Newsmedia fact checked statements and statistics:

  • “They estimate the risk of death up to 20-fold. Americans believe that 30 million people have died or nine percent of the United States population. The real number is 0.06 percent or about 195,000.”
    • According to the World Health Organization in the United States, from Jan. 20 to Sept. 16 at 11:44 a.m., there have been 6,496,246 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 193,494 deaths, indicating 2.97 percent of all cases resulted in death.
    • The United States Census Bureau for 2019 placed the country’s population at 328.2 million. As of Wednesday, Sept. 16, 0.058 percent of the population died from COVID-19.
  • “I’ve seen PNG track girls running with masks on. Certainly CDC guidelines and the governor’s orders state people shouldn’t wear masks while exercising.”
    • Abbott’s original mask mandate, found at gov.texas.gov, states “this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following: any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors.”
  • “Additionally, kids do not spread the virus to outsiders. There are a few documented cases of children spreading the virus to their parents, many more instances of parents spreading the virus to kids or interfamilial spreading, but no documented cases of children spreading the virus to people outside their family.”
    • The CDC reported 29 children from the age of 5-14 died from COVID-19, 14 died in the 1-4 age range and 19 children died before turning 1.
    • The website states: “Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.”
  • “There is a lot of talk about asymptomatic spreading, but the CDC requirements for who gets tested indicate you should not test if you have no symptoms, as with any other virus.”
    • The Center for Disease Control states those that “do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in close contact with someone known to have a COVID-19 infection do not NEED to test.”
  • “Hawai’i has had a mask mandate in place since April and cases there have increased 1,200 percent since the mask order.”
    • Hawaii Gove. David Ige issued a mandatory mask order April 3 and saw historically low numbers throughout the month of May at 161, according to a CDC map.
    • Numbers started to spike in July with the highest number of cases reported recently on Sept. 14 with 172 new cases.
  • “If you look at the death curves, mask mandates have no effect on what happens. Death curves are influenced by where you live and the season. Northern tempered areas have a curve with a telltale large hump. Past the 33rd Parallel you’ll see typically two smaller humps in the death curve. No mask mandate has made any difference in the curves.”
    • The World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease Dashboard breaks down COVID-19 cases by WHO regions.
    • North America, Eastern Mediterranean and Africa all exhibit one large hump, while Europe and the Western Pacific show two smaller humps.