Senate minority leader questions governor’s COVID stance

November 9, 2021

The following letter was sent to Gov. John Carney, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.

Over the past week, I have received numerous questions and concerns regarding the Department of Education’s proposed Regulation 815. Specifically, my constituents and I were confused about the language which is being added into a new section titled COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention.

The section as currently written appears to permanently implement face coverings without any qualifying factors such as an emergency order. This has been confirmed by others who are familiar with the regulatory process, both in private conversations and in various forms of media. My staff and I have been told by DOE that this regulation would not be permanent, and that clarifying language would be added to make this clear. As of this writing, no such language has been inserted.

I vehemently disagree with the proposed regulation as written. Implementing such a requirement with no say from the General Assembly, and with very little public advertisement until a concerned citizen discovered it, is not right. 

Further, it seems your administration and the executive agencies are ignoring the fact that COVID-19 will likely never go away. We now have three different, highly effective vaccines and two years’ worth of knowledge of how to combat the virus once an individual has contracted it. Perpetual masking, especially of our schoolchildren, is not a solution, and is not evidence based.

Aside from expressing the concerns of my constituents, as well as my complete disagreement with this proposed regulation, I have two questions:

Why do you support keeping all K-12 students in masks, and what evidence are you using to make this decision?

What specific health goals must be met to end all COVID-19-related restrictions for Delaware?

I look forward to your immediate response. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Gerald Hocker
Senate Minority Leader
Ocean View
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