Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, appeared on CNN’s “New Day” to take COVID precautions to a new level. Collins told parents they should wear masks in their homes to protect unvaccinated children, though he admitted the evidence for the coronavirus delta variant being more dangerous than the original wave was “not as solid” as he wished.
“The recommendations are for kids under 12 that they avoid being in places where they might get infected, which means mask-wearing in schools and at home,” Collins said. “Parents of unvaccinated kids should be thoughtful about this, and the recommendation is to wear masks there [at home] as well. I know that’s uncomfortable, I know it seems weird, but it is the best way to protect your kids.”
Collins said it is rare for young people to have serious complications from the delta variant, but still used his airtime to stoke fear.
“It’s clear that this variant is capable of causing serious illness in children. You have heard those stories coming out of Louisiana, pediatric ICUs where there are kids as young as a few months old who are sick from this,” Collins said. “That is rare, certainly younger people are less likely to fall ill. But anybody who tries to tell you, ‘You don’t have to worry about it if you’re a young healthy person,’ there’s many counterexamples all around us now.”
“There is suggested evidence comparing delta — this is from studies in Singapore, in Scotland, and in Canada — that this, in fact, is not just more contagious, but more serious for various age groups,” Collins said, while going on to admit he didn’t have the data to back his claims. “It’s not as solid as I wish it was, we don’t have really enough numbers to be confident, but it certainly tips the balance in that direction.”