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'You Have to Let Them Be Gross': Bill Maher Rips School Mask Mandates for Children

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

"Real Time" host Bill Maher warned of the lasting impacts school mask mandates could have on children and argued that children need to be exposed to the world's germs.


During Friday's installment of the show's "Overtime" segment, the panel discussed the recent recall of three progressive school board members who were ousted for prioritizing woke initiatives, like renaming schools named after former presidents, over the wellbeing of students.

Maher asked former assistant San Francisco district attorney Brooke Jenkins, who is leading the recall effort against current DA Chesa Boudin, if it was time to stop masking children. 

"Having a 5-year-old in school right now, I would like to see them go," Jenkins said. 

Maher then said of masks on kids, "They don't need them. I mean, kids are the least, least vulnerable. To make these little children into Howie Mandels is what you're doing."

"No, it's true!" Maher exclaimed. "You're creating a generation of Howie Mandels, of little germ-paranoid munchkins. It's so ridic."

CNN analyst John Avlon then chimed in, saying "It's a huge chunk of their lives. I mean, we've got young kids-"

Maher then jumped in to say, "Especially when they're young. I mean, that's the first thing they remember and it's going to get imprinted on them. I mean, kids are gross to begin with, you have to let them be gross. … They need also to get germs in their body!"


Avlon responded, "Up to a point."

Maher shot back, "But it's true! It's how you get healthy! It's how you live with … You can't live in a world by getting rid of all germs or avoiding them! It's insane!"

Avlon agreed but pointed to how the debate over vaccines is "so incredibly dumb" since "we've been doing mandatory vaccines in public schools kids forever," noting the polio vaccine.

"This is not any different, it's just what we need to deal with," he said.

Maher responded, "Well, it couldn't be different if they are less vulnerable to it. Kids are vulnerable to polio. They're not that vulnerable to this one. That's been true from the beginning."

"Of course, anybody can get anything at any time," he continued. "That's possible, but we always have to go by the numbers."

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