CDC mask mandates for children: an inconsistent and dangerous strategy | Opinion



Last week, the new governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, challenged parents: a year and a half after the start of the pandemic, she announcement a mask mandate for children two years of age and over in daycare.

A video of an educator trying to put a mask on a two-year-old went viral days later, racking up four million views from a single tweet:

It’s a similar story across the state, with a daycare owner in upstate New York. Express local media concern about his company’s long-term prospects as a result of the tenure.

It’s a Catch-22 situation: Daycare workers look like bad guys, either trying to enforce an impossible policy or risk losing their daycare license and facing fines.

It’s a similar situation for airlines. Since the TSA put in place a mask warrant in January 2021, it seems every few weeks there’s another viral video of a toddler or disabled child removed from a robbery for a “no respect”. Since its announcement, more than 4000 incidents involving “face mask violations” have been reported, and many of these involved children.

Last week’s viral video looks a little more complicated than most: A family with a two-year-old has been pulled from an American Airlines flight.

The family claim it was a violation of the mask as the child suffered an asthma attack. An American Airlines spokesperson said MarketWatch that the flight was brought back to the boarding gate, and that the family had to disembark for “refusing to comply with the instructions of the crew members to remain seated in an active taxiway and to wear face coverings firmly on the nose and mouth “.

They were booked for another flight, and there was no charge associated with the rebooking, the airline said. It was also reported that the airline said: “At no time were our crew members informed that a party member was suffering from an asthma attack or breathing difficulties. Individuals were not referred for failure to meet facial coverage requirements at any time while administering treatment. ”

This is not the first case of a public relations nightmare “he said, she said” on the respect of the mask. In March, Frontier Airlines started a group of Hasidic Jews for not respecting the mandate of the mask. The video, which doesn’t always tell the whole story, shows the only party member not wearing a mask was an 18-month-old child, below the age of the mandatory mask. But when the group was pulled out, passers-by became so loud in their defense of the family that the entire flight was called off.

All of these stories have turned into disasters for already struggling airlines, and no US-based airline has escaped a wave of internet rage during the pandemic. But airlines based around the world appear to have fewer problems, thanks to their adherence to WHO guidelines, which in no way require children under five to be masked.

This double standard between two major global health organizations led to a letter sent by leaders of Congress, led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., Questioning the recommendations of the CDC on hiding children ages two and above. The letter reads: “Several parents of young children have been taken off flights and in some cases permanently banned from future travel on the airline they were flying due to their toddler’s refusal to fly. wear a mask. … These unfortunate events occurred despite parents’ best attempts to get their child to cooperate with the demand for the mask, which is a struggle millions of parents have faced over the past year.

Compliance has proven to be nearly impossible for parents of children with disabilities, resulting in increased social isolation, the letter says. The CDC’s response to these congressional leaders, sent months later, was inconsistent. In response to the question “What stages of childhood development did the CDC take into account when setting the minimum age requirement at two?” The CDC explained:

Several aspects of development can prevent children under the age of two from wearing a face shield safely, including those described on the CDC’s “Developmental Milestones” website. First, most children under the age of two cannot complete sentences or complete sentences. If the mask was uncomfortable, a child under the age of two might not be able to vocalize or alert caregivers of this problem. Second, children under the age of two may lack the driving force, dexterity, and coordination to remove the mask on their own if necessary. Conversely, children over two years of age usually have the communication and motor skills necessary to wear a mask and remove it in an emergency. As stated in the answer to question 1, masks have also been shown to be safe for children from the age of two.

Has anyone at the CDC met, let alone raised, a young child? I work from home with my kids and my two year old daughter, as of this writing, is undressing. I am not sure why. My two year old, like every other two year old in America, is not rational and cannot be reasoned; “Terrible Twos” can often seem like an understatement. I find it hard to train him to potty train; how can you expect her to wear a mask safely and effectively all day in a school setting (as required by states like Michigan and New York) or on a cross-country flight if she doesn’t can’t use the toilet yet? As any parent can tell you, things don’t change much by age three. And four years? I am currently debating with my four year old whether he is hungry or not; her estimate of her hunger level has changed four times since I started writing this paragraph.

When daycares, schools and airlines enforce these rules from age two, they find themselves at the center of firestorms.

But they are not the enemy, nor the TSA, nor even the governors. All of these government agencies promulgate federal CDC guidelines on who should and could wear masks. The CDC, meanwhile, is strangely irresponsible to the American public. It can take months and ignore deadlines set by members of Congress asking for its scientific justification. He can pretend, with a straight face when he finally Is respond to a pandemic over a year, “In circumstances where the public is faced with an emerging threat, but scientific evidence is limited, the CDC takes a conservative approach in making recommendations affecting health and well-being of all Americans. ”

This lack of accountability for some of the country’s most powerful unelected bureaucrats is why Senator Lee, along with Senator Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Introduced a bill on Tuesday called the Restoring Trust in Public Health Act, which would require the Senate confirmation from the director of the CDC. Until we have a CDC making rational decisions about our children, we’ll continue to see more viral videos of dangerous criminals – er, toddlers – being kicked off flights and daycares across the country.

Bethany Mandel is a contributor to Deseret News, editor of, and contributor to the Washington Examiner blog and magazine.


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