Fauci: Parents ‘should do what is locally asked for’ when kids return to school
Anthony Fauci on Tuesday addressed conflicting coronavirus pandemic masks guidance for children returning to school across the country this fall, saying parents should do what is “locally asked for.”
Speaking on “CBS This Morning,” Fauci was asked about the American Academy for Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation that all students older than 2 years old wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
The guidance contradicts that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which said earlier this month that fully vaccinated students and teachers do not need to wear masks, and that even unvaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outside during gym or recess.
“I think they should do what is locally asked for. Mainly if the local schools, [the] Academy of Pediatrics makes that recommendation that children should be wearing masks from 2 years old onward,” Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said.
The @ameracadpeds is recommending that children above the age of two wear masks when they return to school, even those who are vaccinated. This is causing public confusion as the CDC has said that vaccinated students do not need to wear masks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci weighs in. pic.twitter.com/waAubYhNnh
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 20, 2021
Fauci added that the reason the AAP issued its guidance is because of the “high degree of infection dynamics.”
“If you look at the map of the country right now, there’s an uptick in cases in virtually all the states in the United States, and for that reason they want to go the extra mile to make sure that the children are protected in school,” he continued.
Case counts have been spiking as vaccination rates slow and the high contagious delta variant of the virus takes further hold.
Both the AAP and the CDC recommend in-person learning this fall despite conflicting masks mandates. At least six states are requiring students to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, according to CNN.
Adolescents young as 12 years old are currently eligible to get vaccinated. A COVID-19 vaccine could reportedly be authorized for children under 12 as soon as this winter.
Fauci said he “would not be surprised” if grade schools wind up mandating coronavirus vaccines.
“That’s not a policy right now, don’t anyone get confused by what I’m saying,” he said. “But I am saying that I would not be surprised that in the future this is something that would be seriously considered depending on how we handle the outbreak.”