The Great Mask Panic Traveling Road Show

If you see this woman at your local school board meeting, buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

This is Amy Hornblas, a resident of Cabot who’s made such a pest of herself that one school board has barred her from speaking at its meetings. She also quit her post on the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) over its alleged “climate of fear, censorship, and intimidation” that’s “similar to living under Communism or Fascism.”

Hornblas has a real obsession with masks. She believes they’re a hazard to physical and mental health. She sees a vast conspiracy to suppress evidence of the downside of masking. And she’s traveling outside her home town to wherever a mask mandate might rear its head.

Hornblas is, among many other things, the instigator of the Vermont Mask Survey, which I thought was merely a bad memory from the pandemic’s early days. But no, she’s still flogging it as some kind of proof that masks are Bad For You.

The Survey is nothing more than a means for collecting anecdotal “evidence” from those who have a phobia about masks, on their own faces or anywhere else. Lest you think I exaggerate, here’s what the Survey is looking for.

Talk about leading the witness.

Hornblas trumpets the “results” of her survey, which is nothing more than a list of anecdotal remarks by responders. “Got headaches from sweating non-stop from the mask,” “It is very difficult to cut hair with a mask on my client,” “Masks make me have coughing fits and then people think I have a cold,” and “I get very upset when I have to wear a mask. It makes me sad.”

You might be wondering why she bothers now that the days of mask mandates are in the past. But Ms. Hornblas isn’t fooled by that bit of propaganda. She’s on the alert for mask mandates and other forms of Communistic oppression.

Her main target of late has been the Kingdom East School District, which has continued to mandate masks at the Newark Elementary School. She was loud and persistent enough in her criticism that district Superintendent  Jennifer Botzojorns recommended that she be barred from commenting at school board meetings. “You do not live in our District, nor do your children attend our schools,” Botzojorns wrote in an email to Hornblas.

Here’s the thing. The district has mandated masks at the Newark school because of a student with disabilities who’s at elevated risk for serious illness. Hornblas is fully aware of this. Last September she submitted a “Freedom of Information Act request” (FOIA is not a thing in Vermont, whose relevant law law refers to them as “public records requests”). In response, Botzojorns sent her a packet of information and documentation in response. It included a 2021 letter from the U.S. Department of Education reminding schools that they must comply with disability protection laws, and copies of the relevant civil rights laws requiring schools to make reasonable modifications for inclusion purposes.

Not good enough for Hornblas. Her request had specified “evidence” that masks are “safe for any age student.” Botzojorns’ packet didn’t include anything like that because there isn’t any such evidence outside of Hornblas’ fever dreams.

Hornblas also submitted a PRR to the state Agency of Education, asking for any information it possessed about the dangers of masking. The reply was that there was no relevant information. She has seized on this to claim that local and state officials are suppressing THE TROOTH about the dangers of masking.

Hornblas’ crusade has gotten breathless coverage from two right-wing news outlets where credibility goes to die: the Vermont Daily Chronicle and “Plan V-TV,” a seldom-watched online video series hosted by “Dr.” Rob Williams of Second Vermont Republic fame. (By the by, “Plan V-TV” has been booted from YouTube and now makes its home at Vimeo).

WIlliams is on the same hobby horse. “As long as even a SINGLE Vermont town requires Vermont children (and indeed, ALL Vermonters) to be masked, our work is not yet done,” he wrote. Hey, kids with disabilities: “Dr.” Rob says you can go screw.

Williams claims a doctorate in “U.S. Environmental History” from the University of New Mexico, which qualifies him to evaluate the science of mask wearing I don’t know how. But hey, “host of a video series YouTube refuses to carry” is such a better credential than anything Anthony Fauci can offer.

Finally, let’s not lose sight of one fundamental fact. Both Hornblas and Williams want to force kids with disabilities to attend a school environment that might literally kill them. Because after all, to make a free speech omelet, you gotta break a few eggs.


14 thoughts on “The Great Mask Panic Traveling Road Show

  1. Joseph M Gainza

    I do not agree with Amy Hornblas about masks; I think she is mistaken about mandates for their use. But I cannot condone your insulting description of what she is trying to accomplish. Your crude put-downs remind me of children in a playground willing to gang-up on the kid who is different. You think you hold the high ground so you can be insulting. You lost the high ground by your childish and mean spirited article.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Oh yeah, I’m in the position of strength here as an unpaid blogger. My comments were deliberately mean-spirited because I see people like Hornblas as dangerous. She is actively spreading disinformation. I have no respect for her or “what she is trying to accomplish.”

  2. wc

    “Finally, let’s not lose sight of one fundamental fact. Both Hornblas and Williams want to force kids with disabilities to attend a school environment that might literally kill them.”

    You just wonder what the hell motivates these idiots.

  3. H. Jay Eshelman

    And still… no evidence provided by the Hornblas-haters to substantiate their position while those same haters are the ones actaully advocating a dangerous environment for students.

    And where is my evidence refuting the need for masking children?

    Ask Mr. Tough-guy Walters. He’s the one censoring the data.

      1. John S. Walters Post author

        You misunderstand the word “censor.” I am not a public entity and I can’t censor anything. This site is my property and I can decide what to post and what not to, which is my right as an American.

      2. H. Jay Eshelman

        Not to mention my comment on school choice to resolve differences between your school board ‘right wingers’ and the leftist activists who’ve “infiltrated” public schools to “indoctrinate our children.”

    1. P.

      H. Jay– You first.
      To put it more clearly, please provide titles of studies from reputable institutions, that have their basis in acceptable scientific research and peer review, to provide proof that masking is unhealthy and/ or unsafe. Excuse the run on sentence. Thank you.

      1. H. Jay Eshelman

        30 January 2023
        Cochrane Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

        “There is uncertainty about the effects of face masks. The low to moderate certainty of evidence means our confidence in the effect estimate is limited, and that the true effect may be different from the observed estimate of the effect. The pooled results of RCTs (Randomized controlled trials) did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks.”

        19 November 2020
        Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers

      2. John S. Walters Post author

        Reading further down in the Cochrane analysis: “The high risk of bias in the trials, variation in outcome measurement, and relatively low adherence with the interventions during the studies hampers drawing firm conclusions.”

        On the Danish study: “The results of this study are not surprising. Wearing masks by itself will not get us to 100% in the prevention of COVID-19 transmission. Ensuring other public health measures are also followed becomes additive.”

      3. H. Jay Eshelman

        Ahh yes, the old ‘misinformation’ defense. Where did you find that reference? On Twitter I suppose… pre Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi disclosures.

        I give you studies of various randomized controlled trials , as requested. You respond with tin-foil hat non-denial denials from faux-fact-checker mediabias.

        ‘Nuff said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s