A practice that the Wall Street Journal has dubbed “abusive” might not really be as bad as all that, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.
The Biden administration-controlled U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance that says all children who get to enter a school building this year need to wear masks, along with everybody else.
That’s the exact opposite of the advice given in Britain.
It’s important that primary schoolchildren don’t wear face coverings, says Public Health England’s medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins.
She explains that this is because covid infection rates are low among their age group and wearing face coverings could affect their development pic.twitter.com/HH8a36k6Fo
— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) March 2, 2021
But Fauci, who has an outsize role in setting coronavirus policy in the Biden White House, has been a staunch advocate of children wearing masks, whether at school or at play.
Others, such as New York Post opinion writer Bethany Mandel, have slammed “feckless and unelected federal bureaucrats” for ignoring “the psychological, developmental and social toll of having one’s face covered.”
Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, took that debate head-on Monday in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt that featured a mix of anecdotal evidence and equivocation, according to National Review.
“It’s not comfortable, obviously, for children to wear masks, particularly the younger children,” Fauci said.
He said the evidence for the wisdom of masking will appear soon enough.
“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.”
Seemingly likening America’s children to lab rats whose actions can help experts learn about the spread of COVID-19, Fauci said the CDC will be studying what happens to them.
“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,” he said.
Fauci said he wanted to be clear that he does not want the negative impacts on children to mar them for very long.
“But hopefully, this will be a temporary thing, temporary enough that it doesn’t have any lasting negative impact on them,” he said.
Hewitt said people being people, we learn by reading faces — something children are going to be denied.
“Facial expression[s] are integral to human connection, particularly for younger children who are only learning how to signal fear, confusion and happiness,” he said. “Covering a child’s face mutes these nonverbal form[s] of communications, can result in robotic and emotionless interaction. So, doctor, what did you base it on? Why?”
Fauci expounded that one cannot compare existing data with delta variant data.
“Delta is different,” he said. “We’d better go back and make sure those data are really solid the same way you’re asking me, and I will. I’ll go back to the CDC and make sure that the data that they’re talking about is really solid.
“So let’s do both. Let’s just check both those things out and make sure we’re really talking about apples and apples and not apples and oranges, and make sure we’re talking about transmissibility of delta as we’re seeing what it’s doing right now.”
Fauci then said he would “keep an open mind” on the issue of damage to children from wearing masks as compared with any health benefits.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.