Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation for Teachers (AFT), suggested Tuesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that COVID-19 spread needs to be stopped so teachers and students are not masked.
Willie Geist, co-host, asked the AFT president to explain the arguments against unmasking children.
Weingarten stated, “I support an off-ramp for masks.” “The problem is, is there enough spread to prevent transmission and dissemination in schools?”
She continued, “And it’s no teachers transmitting it to kids. It’s more children and kids especially in elementary schools right now.”
In recent days, several states including California, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that they would be reducing indoor mask mandates. However, Los Angeles Health officials said Tuesday that they do not plan to lift mandates despite California Governor. Gavin Newsom made the announcement.
Geist had asked Weingarten earlier in the segment if it was a good idea to end school mask mandates. She stated that we should be talking about “the off-ramp for masks.”
Weingarten stated that nobody wants to wear masks. She said, “Not teachers, but students.”
Geist stated, “We have two years of science now.” “The overall death rate is insignificant. It doesn’t spread easily to schools among children in the larger population. It is a good thing that so many teachers have been vaccinated or had the chance to get vaccinated. The kids now have the opportunity to be vaccinated. At what point can we say “Okay, it’s time for us to get rid of those masks?”
Weingarten reiterated, “We believe that an off-ramp is possible.” “The real question is how can we ensure that everyone can plan for it? What are the measures that will make it so everybody knows so it doesn’t feel like it depends on politics? It feels like it relies upon ensuring that there is no transmission at school.”
The COVID-19 epidemic has been proven to have had a detrimental effect on mental health, particularly in children. This was confirmed by the U.S. On Tuesday, Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, stated. Murthy told lawmakers that the pandemic had had a “devastating” and negative effect on mental health.
He said, “I am deeply worried as a parent. The obstacles this generation of young adults face are unprecedented and unique. And the impact that’s having upon their mental health and wellbeing is devastating.”
A June CDC report revealed that suicide attempts among girls aged 12- to 17 years have increased by 51% between February 21 and March 20 in 2021.
Dr. Deborah Levine is a New York City pediatric emergency medicine physician. She stated that while the number of mental-health-related emergencies had increased in general, it was worse when the pandemic struck.