Columbia Pediatric Immunologist Mark Gorelik Calls CDC’s Mask Guidelines for Children ‘Senseless’

Dr. Mark Gorelik, a pediatric immunologist, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently released mask guidelines for summer camps for children are “pointless.”

“We know that the risk of infection outside the home is very low. We know that the risk of children becoming seriously ill or not getting sick at all is disappearing. And most of the vulnerable population has already been vaccinated. I am. advocate effective measures to combat the spread of disease, “Gorelik, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, told New York Magazine.

He continued, “However, the CDC’s recommendations cross the line in excess and are frankly pointless. Kids can’t run around outside in 90-degree weather with a mask on. Period.”

The CDC’s new recommendations have received some backlash from several pediatric experts who said the federal agency’s rules violate what scientists know about the virus in children and force children to unfairly bear the brunt of rigid mandates where the benefits do not outweigh the costs. Experts also argued that these rules are especially strict for the summer, when the heat will become a tough factor.

The CDC’s guidelines for youth and summer camps said masks should be worn at all times – even outdoors – by everyone, including vaccinated adults and children as young as 2 years old. Campers must keep one meter apart at all times, including outside.

“Irrational recommendations will do no good, in this case could be harmful and really discredit federal agencies,” Gorelick said.

Dimitri Christakis, editor-in-chief of leading pediatrics journal JAMA Pediatrics, agreed with Gorelick, calling the recommendations “unfairly draconian.”

“We have consistently prioritized the essential needs of human childhood. Keeping children out of school, forcing them to be socially distant,” he told New York Magazine.

A child in a mask jumps to pop bubbles in Washington Square Park as the city continues Phase 4 of the reopening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus in New York City on Sept. 13, 2020. Columbia childhood immunologist Mark Gorelik called the Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s new guidelines for summer camps “ pointless. ” Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty

Christakis, a child epidemiologist at the University of Washington, thought children should be able to play nearby. He suggested that with regular quick tests, which would be easy to implement, campers should be able to dispense with masks entirely.

He added that children should be able to exercise without masks even without weekly tests.

“Keeping kids masked from activities like baseball and tennis is ridiculous,” said Christakis.

While the CDC has set strict rules for summer camps, other health agencies have provided a looser framework for campers and staff to follow.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the most important factor in masking children between the ages of 6 and 11 must be whether or not there is widespread transmission in the area.

The international agency also said that children under the age of 6 should not wear masks at all, and that children should specifically not wear masks’ while exercising or in physical activities, such as running, jumping or playing in the playground, so that it releases their breathing. not in danger. “

Similarly, the CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask.

Despite the criticism, the CDC defended its “layered” approach, saying such guidelines protect children and staff alike.

Gorelik declined Newsweek’s request for additional comment.

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