Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief health advisor, says that “hopefully” making young children wear face masks won’t have any “lasting negative impact” on them.
During a recent interview with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Fauci said that it is crucial to keep an “open mind” about masking after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new recommendations on masking kids.
The CDC recommends that unvaccinated children ages two and older wear masks and that all students wear masks in all K-12 schools, whether vaccinated or not.
The CDC guidelines were issued due to the rapidly spreading Covid-19 delta variant. There are no vaccines available for children under 12, though trials are underway.
“It’s not comfortable, obviously, for children to wear masks, particularly the younger children,” Fauci said.
“But you know, what we’re starting to see, Hugh, and I think it’s going to unfold even more as the weeks go by, that this virus not only is so extraordinarily transmissible, but we’re starting to see pediatric hospitals get more and more younger people and kids not only numerically, but what seems to be more severe disease.”
The delta variant is threatening to fill up pediatric hospitals, Fauci warned.
“Now, we’re tracking that, the CDC is tracking that really very carefully, so it’s going to be a balance that we would feel very badly if we all of a sudden said OK, kids, don’t wear masks, then you find out retrospectively that this virus in a very, very strange and unusual way is really hitting kids really hard.
“But hopefully, this will be a temporary thing, temporary enough that it doesn’t have any lasting negative impact on them.”
Several governors from states such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona have issued orders forbidding mandating masks in public schools. Although final rulings are still pending, the Texas State Supreme Court has temporarily upheld Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order pending upcoming court hearings.
The Houston school district issued mask mandates, as did the Dallas school district, in defiance of Abbott’s orders. School districts in Arizona are taking Republican Governor Doug Ducey to court over a no-masks order there.
Democrat Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, said that all school districts in the state must follow total mask mandates.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis said that the “federal government has no right to tell parents that for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day.”
“Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children,” DeSantis said.