A CNN guest described as a “board-certified Internal Medicine Specialist and Viral Researcher” suggested that one to two more years of masking for school children may be required to avoid becoming complacent about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Some schools are getting rid of mask requirements,” CNN anchor Ana Cabrera said Tuesday. “Doctor, are we in a place where it’s okay to take this step?”
“Well, first of all, I think it’s too early to stop requiring children to wear masks,” Dr. Jorge Rodriguez said. “That’s one of the biggest pitfalls that we’ve fallen on is the fact that in the past, whenever we think that things are good, the CDC says we can take off our masks.”
Rodriguez argued that when Americans did try to relax mask guidelines, the delta variant “blew that theory out of the water.”
“When will it be safe?” he said of lifting school mask mandates. “Your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully a year? Maybe two?”
Some media outlets have been publishing messages lately that have had some critics wondering if they were advocating for a permanent pandemic.
“But for your safety and the safety of those around you – including kids who are about to start getting their vaccinations – it’s time to take a deep breath, tap the brakes, continue using your mask indoors, and not re-engage with large crowds just yet,” medical contributor Dr. Jay Bhatt wrote.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has also continued to call for vaccinated people to wear masks.
But experts like Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier say such messaging is “posturing to make people feel better.”
“What is saving lives is the arsenal we have in terms of natural immunity, vaccines, boosters, and the know-how of how to treat people with COVID in addition to new treatments that are proving to keep people out of the hospital,” she told Fox News Digital.
Rodriguez during his CNN appearance also advocated for the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees, some health care workers and federal contractors – which he said he preferred to call a “requirement” as “essential.”
“People need to realize that not getting vaccinated has consequences,” he said. “And not just for them, but for others. And I think the health of the general population at this point, supersedes the rights of the individual.”
The Department of Justice asked a federal appeals court to lift a temporary blockade of Biden’s order over the weekend.
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.