Scientists slammed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) strict guidelines for summer camps, including a scientist at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s agency who called the measures “unfair and cruel.”
“With staff and parents vaccinated, there is no reason to continue incredibly strict mitigation efforts or put severe limitations on activities,” an infectious disease scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci’s agency, told New York Magazine. “Charitably, masking kids at camp outdoors is simply virtue signaling.”
“Requiring kids to continuously wear masks at camps, even while outside playing in the heat, when it provides little additional protection is unfair and cruel to our children,” the scientist added. “Considering that children are at incredibly low risk for developing severe illness, the minimal benefits of mask-wearing do not outweigh the substantial costs of discouraging children to be active and their overall health.”
Multiple studies have suggested that children are very unlikely to spread coronavirus to one another, even in school settings. The virus is also rarely spread in outdoor settings. When children do get infected with coronavirus, they are far less likely to become seriously ill or die from the virus than their adult counterparts, studies show. (RELATED: Fauci Says It’s ‘Common Sense’ That Outdoor COVID-19 Transmission Rate Is Now ‘Miniscule’)
Still, the CDC recommends summer camps enforce social distancing, place campers in “cohorts” and limit interaction outside the cohort, universal mask-wearing for all adults and children over the age of two at all times except when eating or swimming, double-masking, and limit the sharing of toys and other objects. Sports are also prohibited.
Well, the CDC’s guidance for summer camps is probably the most draconian and insane thing the agency has said during the pandemic: masks, distancing, even for kids, no sports, no contact, no nothing. https://t.co/dGAGgQHiqG
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) May 4, 2021
“We know that the risk of outdoor infection is very low. We know risks of children becoming seriously ill or even ill at all is vanishingly small,” said Columbia University pediatric immunologist Mark Gorelik, according to New York Magazine. “And most of the vulnerable population is already vaccinated.”
“I am supportive of effective measures to restrain the spread of illness,” Gorelik continued. “However, the CDC’s recommendations cross the line into excess and are, frankly, senseless. Children cannot be running around outside in 90-degree weather wearing a mask. Period.”
Fauci said that critics of the summer camp guidelines have a “good point” and that the CDC would reevaluate.
“I cannot reasonably argue against your point, they are conservative guidelines,” Fauci said. “The CDC will look at them, reevaluate them, because the feedback we’re getting is exactly what you’re saying.”