NIH director walks back call to mask up around kids AT HOME after backlash
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins has hastily walked back a call for parents of unvaccinated kids to wear masks even at home after massive backlash on social media demanding evidence for the practice.
After Collins’ Tuesday morning appearance on CNN’s New Day was widely shredded on social media, the NIH director took to Twitter to issue a clarification.Also on rt.com National Institutes of Health director endorses customers, and possibly flyers, showing proof of vaccination before service
He wasn’t claiming parents needed to wear masks around their offspring at home, he insisted – but “vaccinated parents who live in communities with high Covid transmission rates” should wear masks in “public indoor settings” in order to “minimize risks to their unvaccinated kids.”
Let me clarify the masking message that I garbled on @NewDay this morning. Vaccinated parents who live in communities with high COVID transmission rates should mask when out in public indoor settings to minimize risks to their unvaccinated kids. No need to mask at home.— Francis S. Collins (@NIHDirector) August 3, 2021
While Collins insisted he had “garbled” the initial message, he seemed very much aware on CNN that what he was saying would be objectionable to some parents. “I know that’s uncomfortable, I know it seems weird,” he clarified, before chiding reluctant parents that wearing masks at home is “the best way to protect your [unvaccinated] kids.”
NIH director Francis Collins: “It may sound weird” but parents should wear masks at home in front of their unvaccinated kids pic.twitter.com/ZKt8czU5aP— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 3, 2021
“The recommendations are for kids under 12 that they avoid being in places where they might get infected, which means recommendations of mask wearing in schools and at home,” Collins said in the original CNN segment. “Parents of unvaccinated kids should be thoughtful about this and the recommendation is to wear masks there as well.”
The NIH director’s initial statement had triggered a cascade of eyerolls as viewers wondered why they should wear masks in their own homes, around their own children. Several users sarcastically wondered why confidence in vaccines or the experts dispensing them might be on the decline.
I'm all for mask wearing outside amongst people you don't know but this is LUDICROUS, given masks aren't 100% effective at stopping transmission v. the psychological damage it would do on households with young children.— Norrin Radd - Intergalactic Man of Mystery! (@NorrinR06303580) August 3, 2021
I think telling vaccinated parents (who are largely conscientious which is why they are vaccinated) to mask at home in front of their kids is a sure fire way to turn off the vaccine hesitant. The risk is so low. You have a better chance of a car wreck. It's a shame really.— Katieinjc (@KatherineArabis) August 3, 2021
Collins’ latest revision didn’t go over well either, somehow managing to infuriate both the militant maskers and their bare-faced nemeses.
But, what if they are asymptomatic and get their kids sick! The delta virus does not discriminate between a stranger not wearing a mask around a child or a parent not wearing a mask around their beloved child. pic.twitter.com/xzOaJ8S5Mq— Forgive_luv (@forgive_luv) August 4, 2021
This is nonsensical. Unvaccinated kids are already at lower risk than nearly all vaccinated adults. Have you looked at the numbers? pic.twitter.com/ETYOGnfqbG— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) August 3, 2021
Others chided Collins and his fellow health authorities for deluging Americans with mixed messages. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week reversed guidance regarding the need for fully vaccinated people to wear masks, and acknowledged that a recent study found three out of four cases of the much-hyped Delta variant were in vaccinated individuals.
It’s a problem that you and the CDC are sending too many mixed messages. Have a highly skilled spokesperson be the person to relay clear messages. Agency heads should not be spokespeople— Joan Anzelmo (@JoanAnzelmo) August 3, 2021
Im glad you walked that back. I was shocked when I heard it. You are a voice I have trusted. I still dont understand bc you went on to say how odd you knew that is. Mixed messaging is really hurting the cause. Insistence that vaxed persons have to wear masks is terrible messaging— Bobbi Greene (@Birdietweets16) August 4, 2021
Several told Collins that he had gotten his facts right the first time regarding the need to wear a mask around the unvaccinated, if the government’s recent guidance was any indication.
You *said* at home & even "clarification" makes no sense. You are completely ignoring statistical (lack of) threat to children. Normal life has always had some risks. We cannot live normally with your hyper-cautious safetyism. You "jumped the shark" today.— Laura G (@LaurasMiscMovie) August 3, 2021
That's not a clarification, its a 100% about turn. You specifically, perfectly clearly said the recommendation was to wear masks at home. You should apologise and correct that, not pretend it was a misunderstanding. These kinds of messages result in actual harm to children.— Alison Turner (@alison_turner) August 4, 2021
Indeed, former White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx made waves last August when she suggested that Americans in “multigenerational households” in areas with outbreaks put aside family togetherness in favor of the mask, and she wasn’t even the first to make the suggestion.
Local officials in Miami and Miami-Dade County in Florida called for mandatory mask orders that would extend inside the home, while Broward County (also in Florida) also adopted (and later rescinded) a mask mandate extending into the home.Also on rt.com Arkansas’ Republican governor lambasted after saying he REGRETS law banning mask mandates in state
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