Are we at the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning on masking children? It depends on which Democrats you ask.
Last week, vaccines against COVID-19 were approved for 5- to 11-year-olds. And Republicans were swept into local and state offices in several states known for their tough COVID-era restrictions on children. New York Gov. Hochul, who recently re-extended mask mandates down to 2-year-old children, suddenly erupted with a vision that perhaps school mask mandates would end when a majority of children are vaccinated. This was decidedly new. An exit ramp.
Even the next New York mayor, Democrat Eric Adams, said that, although he wanted to follow the science, he also wanted to see the mask mandates end by Jan. 1. Without citing a peer-reviewed double-blind study, Adams said, “Not being able to see the smiles of our children has a major impact.” And without the blessing of public-health officials and their pronouncements, he even ventured the commonsensical thought that masks may be inhibiting friendships among children.
But other Democrats and public-health officials feel differently.
“I would say, as a general view, that out of an abundance of caution, I would keep the masks in place,” said outgoing New York mayor and potential gubernatorial candidate Bill de Blasio. “At least in the short term because they’ve really worked, because the kids have adapted to them well, the adults have adapted to them well.”
I’m sure de Blasio’s kids are adapting well, as the masks likely spared them some of the marijuana fumes from his office.
Some COVID-era minor celebrity doctors and public-health experts are opening the door to mask-wearing even if you’re an adult who got your latest booster shot, and perhaps even after COVID is gone.
“Some older adults, especially those with chronic illness, can be more susceptible to viruses like RSV,” Dr. Sachin Jain told ABC. “For that reason, it’s best to keep practicing behaviors that will protect the health of older adults in our communities.”
And then there is Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC:
Have you noticed that even as the estimates of the COVID vaccines’ efficacy against transmission continues to be revised downward, American health officials continually revise the efficacy of masks upward? We’re so lucky that the science works that way.
Almost two years ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci told people that masks weren’t very useful against respiratory viruses. That was based on 10 random control trials done between the late 1940s and 2018. But now, masks, even the store-bought ones made of thin jersey, are high-scoring, nonpharmaceutical interventions. And by the way, you should wear them because the CDC has now decided that preventing the transmission of the common cold is more important than humans relating to each other face to face.
The head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, still supports “universal masking” in schools, whether or not those kids are vaccinated. It’s all about protecting teachers. But she appeared at a conference and took off her mask while sitting in on a panel discussion. When challenged she responded by noting that she wears “a mask most of the time indoors” and claimed that panelists “took them off as people were having a hard time hearing us.”
Ah, that’s our Randi! Her organization lobbied the CDC to make guidance for schools so tight that in many states children as young as 3 years old aren’t allowed to take off their masks so they can be heard by their vaccinated speech therapists. But when Randi wants to be heard clearly, she can set the standards aside.
Randi was heard as through a mask, dimly. But when the time is right we shall see one another face to face. And I think many of us will remember this nonsense when the day of judgment comes.
From National Review.