Pro-mask Education Secretary Cardona slammed for saying he loves to see children’s smiling faces

Linda D. Garrow

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Republicans shredded Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Twitter this week after he said smiling faces was his reason for teaching despite his continued insistence that children wear masks in schools due to COVID-19.

“Today’s #LoveTeaching theme is ‘Tremendous Tuesday’ where we are challenged to tell a 6-word story that describes why you #LoveTeaching,” Cardona tweeted to his 67,000 followers Tuesday. “Mine is: The smile on a student’s face.”

Just last week, Cardona said students and staff should continue to wear masks in schools until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s safe for them to go without. In many regions of the country, children have been wearing face masks in the classroom for nearly two years. 


“We listened to the CDC guidance around masking – we know it works,” Cardona told ABC News last Tuesday. “I’m really pleased that the numbers are getting better, but I still say we need to proceed with caution and make sure our public health experts are at the table when we’re making decisions.”

Asked whether masks are detrimental to kids’ development, Cardona fired back, “You know what hinders kids’ learning? Being quarantined because they have COVID, or not having a teacher because their teacher has COVID.”

“Yes, they’re tired of wearing masks, but at the end of the day, they would prefer to wear masks and be in school than have to quarantine like they did in previous years,” he added.

Cardona’s tweet that he loves seeing children’s smiling faces despite his pro-mask stance was ripped as tone-deaf and gaslighting. 

“Really?” the official House Republicans account tweeted. “Haven’t seen one of those in years because of your authoritarian and unscientific mask mandate. UNMASK OUR KIDS NOW.”

“Really?” tweeted Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J. “When is the last time you’ve seen a smile on a student’s face? This is yet another example of the Left being completely out of touch with the American people. #UnmaskOurKids.”

“Have you seen a kid’s smile in the past two years? Unmask our kids,” tweeted Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

Other critics of Cardona’s tweet included Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York, Chip Roy of Texas, and Gary Palmer of Alabama.


Several states, including Delaware, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Connecticut and New York, recently announced plans to loosen mask requirements. In some states, however, mask requirements will remain in schools but not at other indoor facilities, such as bars and restaurants. 

Fox News’ Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.

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