Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on the “Hugh Hewitt show” Monday morning, where he defended forcing children in Kindergarten through third grade to wear masks.
Hewitt asked Fauci why he disagreed with a Wall Street Journal article by Dr. Makary and Dr. Meissner, who argued that masking children is abusive. The doctors wrote they could only find one inconclusive study on whether children wearing masks actually decreases COVID transmission.
“It’s not comfortable, obviously, for children to wear masks, particularly the younger children,” Fauci said. “But hopefully, this will be a temporary thing, temporary enough that it doesn’t have any lasting negative impact on them.”
He cited the delta variant as the reason for imposing masks on children, saying “we would feel very badly if we all of a sudden said okay, kids, don’t wear masks, then you find out retrospectively that this virus in a very, very strange and unusually way is really hitting kids really hard.”
Fauci said the only way for kids to be in school without masks is for more people to get vaccinated, ignoring the ever-growing list of places with a mask mandate regardless of vaccination status.
“The way to get out of all of this is to just get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can,” Fauci said. “If we could do that, the level of virus in the community would be so low that we wouldn’t be talking about things like masking indoors even for vaccinated people and masking in school.”
Hewitt asked Fauci how he could justify masking kids even with the negative consequences and side effects for younger children, referring again to the Wall Street Journal article noting the transmission rate for children ages 5-17 was 0.5 per million, or roughly 250 patients.
“They say there is no conclusive evidence that children transmit the disease to each other, and they do say there’s conclusive evidence about children with myopia, children with learning disabilities, children learning, I want to read this, the possible psychological harm of widespread masking is an even greater worry,” Hewitt said. “Facial expressions are integral to human connection, particularly for younger children who are only learning how to signal fear, confusion and happiness. Covering a child’s face mutes these nonverbal form of communications, can result in robotic and emotionless interaction.”
Fauci responded, “Yeah.” When further pressed, he said the delta variant was different but that he would go back to look at the data.
“I think everything in that article that just came out from Makary and Meissner, I think, should be taken seriously. But we’d better go back and make sure those data are really solid the same way you’re asking me, and I will,” he said. “I’ll go back to the CDC and make sure that the data that they’re talking about is really solid.”