NIH director says wearing masks in schools is 'sacrifice worth making'

NIH director says wearing masks in schools is 'sacrifice worth making'
© Greg Nash

Requiring students under the age of 12 to wear masks is a "sacrifice worth making," Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health (NIH), on Sunday.

"The masks are the best thing we've got right now to reduce [transmission]," Collins told guest host Dana Perino while appearing on Fox News Sunday. 

"I know people are frustrated and it's gotten very political and people are looking for someone to blame, just put all that aside and look at the facts," Collins added.

"If delta is as contagious as we now know it is, and we want to try to put an end to what is a very significant uptick right now, wearing masks, if you're under 12 and can't be vaccinated when you're in school, is a really smart thing to do"

Collins acknowledged that parents and children are likely tired of wearing masks, but the NIH director pointed out that the U.S. has now recorded over 620,000 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If we can save even a few of those by putting masks on ourselves and our kids, well it seems like the right thing to do," he said. "So it seems like a sacrifice worth making."

Collins stressed that the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. are still effective against the delta variant and called on viewers to get immunized.