CDC director ripped for pushing extension of mask wearing for vaccinated students: ‘Absolutely no off-ramp’

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky faced the wrath of exhausted parents and other skeptics after sharing her belief that schools should not lift mask recommendations for students even after they’re vaccinated, wondering if there was ever going to be an end in sight.

The White House recently announced that children aged 5 to 11 would be able to get a Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shot within weeks. Moderna may not be far behind, having recently expanded their vaccine trials for kids at the urging of the Food and Drug Administration. Yet, even if children will take advantage of their eligibility for the vaccine, Walensky said it shouldn’t let schools get “complacent.” She urged districts to keep their mask recommendations in place for the foreseeable future. 

“First, we’re really encouraged as we watch the COVID-19 cases come down from this delta surge, in this very moment,” Walensky said Wednesday at a White House COVID-19 team briefing. “But, we all know that respiratory viruses … tend to thrive in winter months and colder weather. So, right now is not the time, as cases are coming down, to become complacent because we do know colder weather is ahead of us and we need to do all that we can – including vaccinating those 66 million people who have not yet been vaccinated – all we can in our prevention measures and our vaccination efforts to make sure that we don’t become complacent during this period of time.”

She added: “So, right now we are going to continue to recommend masks in all schools for all people in those schools and we will look forward to scaling out pediatric vaccination during this period of time.”

FILE PHOTO: Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looks on prior to a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 20, 2021. Stefani Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looks on prior to a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 20, 2021. Stefani Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

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Parents were confused by the CDC head’s logic and let her know on Twitter.

“As expected. Forced child-masking guidance was always irrational, so why would any change in circumstances matter?” Phil Kerpen, president of The Committee to Unleash Prosperity, asked.

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Others suggested the administration was not being honest with Americans about their agenda.

Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News Digital that Walensky should put more of an emphasis on testing and vaccines, as opposed to masking. Siegel, who said he completely supports the wearing of masks for protection against the virus in crowded areas, nevertheless said he was “sympathetic” to children who are prevented from socializing because of the cloth coverings and who have had to manage increased anxiety after long periods of isolation this past year, calling it “another pandemic.”

“Her recommendations should not lead to mandates,” Siegel said of Walensky’s guidance. He added that there needs to be a better approach to mask guidance in schools that does not seem “punitive.”

High school students and teenagers go back to school in the classroom at their high school. They are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They value their education and are excited to be in school. Image taken in Utah, USA.

High school students and teenagers go back to school in the classroom at their high school. They are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They value their education and are excited to be in school. Image taken in Utah, USA.

“This is sociopathic,” National Review editor Phillip Klein simply said.

Other observers noted that even with households full of vaccinations, their children may still be encouraged to wear masks all day in class, coming to the realization there was no end in sight to the new normal.

“There is absolutely no off-ramp for sticking kids in masks for 8 hours a day with hysterical people like Walensky in charge. Hope her kid gets to go to camp in 2025,” New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz said.

Nouf Albarakati, left, of Narberth Pa., comforts her son Manaf Albarakati, 14, before he receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse Alicia Jimenez at a Montgomery County, Pa. Office of Public Health vaccination clinic at the King of Prussia Mall, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in King of Prussia, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Nouf Albarakati, left, of Narberth Pa., comforts her son Manaf Albarakati, 14, before he receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse Alicia Jimenez at a Montgomery County, Pa. Office of Public Health vaccination clinic at the King of Prussia Mall, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in King of Prussia, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
(AP)

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For the past year, parents have struggled with their local school districts, often showing up to school board meetings to protest not only the mask requirements, but the educators’ progressive curricula. In Colorado, infuriated parents have even decided to run for the board positions themselves

The Department of Justice is under fire after announcing an investigation into into potential acts of violence against school administrators, following a request from The National School Board Association.

“I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?” Asra Nomani, vice president of investigations and strategy at Parents Defending Education, asked. “You owe parents an apology!” 

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