Fox News contributor Dr. Marty Makary on Monday doubled down on an op-ed he co-authored for the Wall Street Journal criticizing school mask mandates because “kids are very inefficient transmitters.”
“Well Dana, the co-author I wrote that piece with and I are very pro-mask as you know — I wrote the first piece calling for universal masking back in the Spring in the beginning of the pandemic — but it turns out kids, they’re very inefficient transmitters,” Makary told “America’s Newsroom’s” Dana Perino.
Makary’s comments came after making a case against school mask mandates for children in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal Sunday.
“Children have been known to transmit COVID, but far less often than adults do,” Makary noted in the piece, co-authored with H. Cody Meissner.
“A North Carolina study conducted before vaccines were available found not a single case of student-to-teacher transmission when 90,000 students were in school. The faster-spreading Delta variant has emerged since—but many teachers, parents and children 12 and over have also been vaccinated,” they wrote.
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Makary explained to Fox News that though the Delta variant is “unknown,” mask mandates in areas with high levels of background infection “makes sense.”
Makary further explained that many kids are “in low areas of transmission.” The doctor additionally cited 40% of adolescents are immunized and said some kids struggle with masks.
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“We cannot forget about the 5% of American children with disabilities.”
“So, for kids who do well with masks, feel free to wear a mask,” Makary continued. “For kids who struggle, we have to individualize and think about a carve-out that gives them and their parents the option to not wear it because the risk-benefit ratio isn’t there.”
With U.S. health officials recommending that children mask up in school this fall, parents and policymakers across the nation have been plunged into a debate over whether face coverings should be optional or a mandate.
The delta variant of the coronavirus now threatens to upend normal instruction for a third consecutive school year. Some states have indicated they will probably heed the federal government’s guidance and require masks. Others will leave the decision up to parents.
The controversy is unfolding at a time when many Americans are at their wits’ end with pandemic restrictions and others fear their children will be put at risk by those who don’t take the virus seriously enough. In a handful of Republican-led states, lawmakers made it illegal for schools to require masks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.