Members of Congress sat less than 6 feet apart for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. And they did so without masks.

Two days before the address, the Capitol’s attending physician announced that masks would be optional.

Also on Tuesday, I spoke with an admissions officer of a preschool in Washington, D.C., to learn more about their program. The 3- to 5-year-olds at the school are required to wear masks indoors. The school is unsure of what its policy will be this fall. The mask divergence between the Capitol and this capital city preschool is strange.

After all, older people are generally at higher risk to get very sick from COVID-19. Preschoolers have the lowest risk of COVID-19 cases compared to any other age demographic. But the difference between preschoolers and politicians is that preschoolers don’t have elections to win or the same political power.

Many preschoolers are still required to wear masks indoors. In fact, D.C. Public Schools only just dropped its outdoor mask mandate. But masks are still required indoors. On Tuesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the availability of free child-sized KN95 masks, suggesting her continued dedication to masking children.

Preschoolers also don’t run bars, businesses, or gyms.

That’s relevant because Bowser announced on Feb. 14 that indoor mask requirements would be “dialed back.” Starting March 1, masks would not be required at bars, sports venues, gyms, or retail establishments, among other places. But masks would still be required at “schools, childcare facilities, and libraries.” Under D.C.’s policy, while 2-year-olds must wear masks for eight hours a day at daycare, adults are free to drink a beer mask-free while watching their favorite sports team at a bar.

Preschoolers often have many silly complaints, from what they wear to what they eat. But the unfairness in masking merits a complaint.

On Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new “Community Level” protocol on masking, making the decision based on local COVID cases and hospitalization data. The webpage includes information on specific groups of people, such as children, saying, “Children ages 2 years and older can wear masks or respirators to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.”

While some people justify masks for younger children because they aren’t eligible for the vaccine, the World Health Organization does not recommend masks for children 5 and under: “In general, children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. This advice is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance.” Jeffrey Flier, former Dean of Harvard Medical School, tweeted , “We lack credible evidence for benefits of masking kids aged 2-5.”

Top line: When it comes to dropping mask mandates, politicians shouldn’t forget about children under 5.