A Lincoln Project member saying that failing to pass Dem voting bills will lead to another 9/11, a BBC reporter getting fired after sending a ‘Hitler was right’ tweet, and the founder of a liberal news site saying the right to own firearms is ‘made up’ round out today’s top media headlines
Medical experts sounded off on the push for COVID-19 vaccinations and masks among children, calling much of the talk “politicized” or “sensationalized.”
White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci riled critics Tuesday after saying that children as young as 3 should be following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and donning masks.
Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel noted that masks had their benefits during the pandemic and credited them with slowing spread in some areas, but he suggested there are “downsides” to cloth coverings for children that may be going underreported. For instance, mask mandates for kids come with risks of rashes, socialization problems, and anxiety. He suggested a mask middle ground for reopened schools.
“I think the schools should be focused more on vaccinating all teachers and staff and vaccinating kids that are over the age of 12, and under the age of 12, test them frequently and recommend masks, not mandate them,” Siegel said.
Siegel said he “applauds” the CDC for urging school reopenings, having recently released guidance saying in-classroom learning is a priority for fall 2021. But he does not agree that young, unvaccinated children should be forced to mask or vaccinate, given the slow rate of spread. He praised the COVID vaccine as a “miracle” that is both safe and effective, but he was just as adamant that the political media has “no business” getting involved in the debate.
Some on-air analysts have suggested mandating vaccines and even making life “hard” for the unvaccinated.
“I don’t like this idea of threats and mandates, especially when the risk of spread in schools is low,” Siegel said. “I think the signs are on the side of vaccinating teens, but that’s not the same thing as using coercion, or mandates, or threats. The media has no business being involved in this. That’s completely disruptive and negative.”
Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier, a radiologist and the director of breast imaging at Memorial Sloan Kettering Monmouth, New Jersey, agreed that children under 12 shouldn’t be forced to mask, and similarly hit the media for what she called “sensationalized” coverage.
“There is a balance between being overly cautious and negligent,” she told Fox News. “When it comes to young children, especially those under 12 years old, the benefit of wearing masks no longer outweighs the risks posed with prolonged mask-wearing in children when community transmission levels are low and there are high levels of immunity (vaccine and natural).”
“Reliable data tells us that healthy children are, thankfully, largely unscathed by COVID-19,” she added. “While there is a concern for continued transmission of the virus and future emerging variants, children play a lesser role in transmission and therefore targeted measures should focus on the higher risk populations, specifically adults to lower community transmission.”
She took the same approach on the debate over vaccinating kids.
“The media’s coverage of the entire pandemic has been politicized, hence my book ‘Panic Attack,’” Saphier said. “The rare cases of severe disease in children are sensationalized rather than reporting of the bigger picture. To date, less than 0.03% of confirmed Covid-19 cases in children have resulted in death, a number likely overestimated as children are less likely to be tested.”
Saphier acknowledges that death is not the only metric for that statistic, but hospitalizations and chronic complaints following infections are also “much less” in children.
Saphier recently singled out the New York Times for what she called “cherry-picked” coverage.
“The vaccination of children is crucial to achieving broad immunity to the coronavirus and returning to normal school and work routines,” the Times wrote in the piece, “As Parents Forbid Covid Shots, Defiant Teenagers Seek Ways to Get Them.”
“They cherry-pick the way that they present the data,” she said on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s an all or none approach. They say either adolescents are fully vaccinated or every single one of them is going to get COVID-19. That’s the way they are balancing it right now.”
“More children die from cancer, drownings and car accidents daily than are dying from Covid, yet people are still driving on the roads and swimming in pools,” she told Fox News on Wednesday. “It is time to take a step back and acknowledge that there is more damage being done to the children through prolonged restrictions than benefit … It is time to transition from a state of delusional fear and move forward confidently knowing the pandemic is not over, but the emergency certainly is.”