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Gottlieb expects mask requirements to be lifted in schools where COVID-19 cases are low

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Former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday the nation could expect to see mask mandates lifted in schools where COVID-19 prevalence is low.

“I think you’re going to see governors start to do that,” Gottlieb told host Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about government leaders lifting mask requirements in schools. 

“A lot of kids haven’t known a normal school day for two years. We need to try to lean forward aggressively to try to restore that and reclaim it when we can.”

Gottlieb told Raddatz that state leaders in areas with low COVID-19 case rates and high vaccine rates may start to lift mask mandates, adding that “we are at a point where we can safely contemplate that.”

“That doesn’t mean this isn’t going to continue to spread,” the former FDA chief clarified. “But when prevalence is low, you have a lot of people who’ve been infected, who have some level of immunity for a period of time, and you have high vaccination rates, we can start to lean forward and take a little bit more risk and try to, at least, make sure that students in schools have some semblance of normalcy for this spring term.”

Gottlieb has previously pushed for safety precautions on lifting COVID-19 measures, saying last week that the U.S. must “prescribe very clear goalposts for how we take these mitigation measures off.” He said that the U.S. needs to be “aggressive” in lifting preventive measures, a sentiment he reestablished Sunday. 

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