On Tuesday afternoon the Centers for Disease Control officially recommended vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors. For children under 12, the CDC wants mask worn for hours inside the classroom.
"CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place," the guidance states.
But where is the evidence to justify masking children in schools due to the Delta variant? According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, it doesn't exist.
Biden’s CDC Director on mask mandates for kids: “We don’t have any evidence” that the Delta variant makes kids sicker. pic.twitter.com/KYTmwkcmwN— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 28, 2021
And just last month the CDC argued masks were not necessary for school children. The CDC also had an entirely different message on masking for vaccinated individuals.
July 9 July 27 pic.twitter.com/ozuUMgXhdC— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) July 27, 2021
How did CDC Director Rochelle Walensky go from asserting so definitively *just 2 months ago* that there is no health reason for vaccinated people to wear masks, to issuing today's alarmist message about vaccine-resistant strains? There were variants then:pic.twitter.com/apSDki3JV5— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 27, 2021
Earlier this year, Walensky said teachers didn't need to be vaccinated in order for children to safely go back to in-person learning.
Also, from the CDC:
Although outbreaks in schools can occur, multiple studies have shown that transmission within school settings is typically lower than – or at least similar to – levels of community transmission, when prevention strategies are in place in schools. Findings from these studies include:
National surveillance data from the United Kingdom (UK) showed an association between regional COVID-19 incidence and incidence in schools. For every five additional cases per 100,000 population in regional incidence, the risk of a school outbreak increased by 72%.
Few cases in Australian schools were reported when community transmission levels were low, and cases in schools increased when community transmission increased.
In Michigan and Washington state, delivery of in-person instruction was not associated with increased spread of SARS-CoV-2 in schools when community transmission was low, but cases in schools did increase at moderate-to-high levels of community transmission. When community transmission was low, there was no association between in-person learning and community spread.
So, why the mask mandate for children? Look no further than the teachers unions, who have been lobbying the CDC to issue mask guidelines for students. In May, when the CDC repealed mask guidelines for the vaccinated, which they reversed this week, the country's largest teacher's unions insisted kids still wear them.
One of the nation's largest teacher's union will continue to push for face masks to be worn in schools despite new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that says it is now safe for fully vaccinated people to take their masks off in most indoor settings.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which represents 1.7 million members across the country, told Newsweek that the labor union is awaiting COVID-19 vaccine authorization for kids under age 12 before mask requirements are lifted in schools.
"It's great news that the vaccines are now so effective that vaccinated folks can take their masks off," AFT President Randi Weingarten wrote to Newsweek on Friday. "The specifics on how you make that happen will take a minute to figure out—but we are encouraged by these guidelines and can't lose sight of the bigger picture: this is a huge incentive for more and more people to get vaccines and push our country towards herd immunity."
Teacher union head Randi Weingarten won't say whether or not schools should open in the fall. pic.twitter.com/DvUMtziBdd— The First (@TheFirstonTV) July 28, 2021