A recently published study from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) shows there is no scientific rationale for forcibly masking schoolchildren. The study’s publication simultaneously vindicates Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been a vocal opponent of the policy due to its lack of scientific evidence.
When analyzing more than 90,000 elementary school students in 169 Georgia schools from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11 last year, the study found that schools that “required mask use among students was not statistically significant compared with schools where mask use was optional.” According to the CDC, this “might be attributed to higher effectiveness of masks among adults, who are at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection but might also result from differences in mask-wearing behavior among students in schools with optional requirements.”
Moreover, as New York Magazine noted, “Children are less likely to have severe disease from SARS-CoV-2, and when infected less likely to be symptomatic, which correlates with lower contagiousness. Those facts alone may account for part of the reason why the Georgia study found no clear benefit for a masking requirement for kids in schools.”
The study’s findings provide further credence to actions taken by DeSantis, who has come under attack from the Biden administration for following the science on children and COVID-19. Following DeSantis signing an executive order last month prohibiting the forced masking of children in Florida schools, President Joe Biden announced at a recent press event that he has instructed Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to use “all of his oversight authorities and legal actions, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators” as it relates to prohibiting mask mandates.
Cardona later echoed the president’s statements, saying that states like Florida “are needlessly placing students, families, and educators at risk.”
In response to the attacks, DeSantis blasted the White House for its obsession with using the powers of the federal government to forcibly mask children.
“I mean, you’ve got to wonder, where are your priorities that you’re so obsessed with this issue and so obsessed with taking away parents’ rights?” the governor asked. “And you’re letting Afghanistan burn, our border burn, and so many other things in our country fall to pieces.”