The most prominent Catholic high school in Arizona has decided to require masks and COVID-19 vaccines for students and staff, sparking outrage. Brophy College Preparatory, where Governor Doug Ducey’s children attended, announced the policy earlier this month. Any student who refuses to be vaccinated will be required to undergo onerous testing twice a week, and the mask mandate will be in place indoors until at least September 10. Oddly, the girls’ associated high school, Xavier Prep, does not have a vaccine mandate; if the vaccine is so imperative, why are they exempt?
The mandate is strange considering there is no significant COVID-19 surge in Arizona. Cases have barely gone up since the winter surge ended in March, and the death rate has remained the same since March, according to Worldometer, which is cited by reputable organizations and governments around the world.
The mandate also goes contrary to the advice of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which reportedly last had 5,000 members and grows by 10% every year. The AAPS published an article earlier this month entitled “Not Everyone Should Get COVID Vaccine.” They wrote a letter to colleges and universities in April demanding that they refrain from mandating the vaccine.
The AAPS surveyed 700 doctors in June and found that nearly 60% were not vaccinated. This is significant considering doctors come into close, often physical contact with people every day as part of their job. The survey also found that 54% of physician respondents were aware of patients suffering a “significant adverse reaction,” and 80% of those unvaccinated said, “I believe risk of shots exceeds risk of disease.”
Ducey opposes vaccine mandates, and issued an executive order a few days ago prohibiting local officials from implementing them. The Arizona Legislature also banned them. Ducey signed an executive order in June prohibiting public colleges and universities from mandating them.
The AAPS also opposes mandatory masks in schools and has a lengthy analysis of their effectiveness and negative health implications on its site. They cite “Psychological Damage in Children,” with a discussion of 70 doctors in Belgium who begged to cancel mask mandates at schools. There are graphs showing how areas that institute mask mandates have spikes in COVID-19 compared to areas that don’t. The AAPS concluded, “Wearing masks (other than N95) will not be effective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.” The left-leaning Drudge Report just linked to anarticle about a study showing masks only filter 10% of exhaled aerosols.
Yet schools constantly defend their mask mandates by ignoring the AAPS and citing the American Pediatric Association, which supports mandatory masks in schools. No one ever bothers to disclose, however, that of all the types of doctors, pediatricians lean the most to the left.
Ducey opposes mask mandates in schools, and signed a law that bans them from public schools. Several school districts have defied him, requiring them anyway, and so now the issue is in litigation. Ducey announced Tuesday that he will financially penalize those districts. They will not receive any of the $163 million that the state got through the American Rescue Plan to boost per-pupil funding. Students in those districts will receive vouchers to attend schools elsewhere.
Even though there is no third surge in Arizona, Brophy’s principal Bob Ryan claimed there was in a letter to families announcing the mandate. The only areas experiencing a third COVID-19 surge around the countries are primarily blue cities and counties. Arizona never locked down and has a relatively lower vaccine rate, 55% are fully vaccinated. A recent Rasmussen poll found that more Americans oppose than support mandatory masks and COVID-19 vaccines in schools.
A backlash is starting. Six students dropped out after Brophy announced the mandate. A group of more than 800 student family members, alumni, donors, supporters and over 25 state legislators signed a letter to the school requesting a reversal of the vaccine mandate. They said the families of at least 100 children are considering withdrawing them. One parent started a Twitter account for updates.
Brophy is a Jesuit school, which are known for being more progressive than other Catholic schools. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope. Brophy has a video posted on its homepage of the Pope telling people to get vaccinated because it’s an “act of love.”
However, a group of Colorado bishops recently published a letter explaining how “The Catholic Church teaches that a person may refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her conscience leads them to that decision.”
Many of the COVID-19 vaccines use tissue from aborted fetuses, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Considering the strong pro-life stance the Catholic Church takes, it is even more surprising Brophy is mandating them. The bishops state that it is only acceptable to get vaccines made from aborted fetuses “if there are no other alternatives available and the intent is to preserve life.”
An insider confided that Brophy leadership made the decision because they are trying to impress the limousine liberals who run much of Democrat-leaning Phoenix. It has nothing to do with children’s health, just trying to be part of the hipster cocktail circuit crowd.