Commentary

Health Experts Rail Against CDC's 'Draconian' Summer Camp Guidelines

Pediatric immunology experts slammed the summer camp guidelines recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling them “draconian” and “ridiculous.”

The recommendations are so harebrained that even left-wing New York Magazine published a story last week blasting them.

Dr. Mark Gorelik, a pediatric immunologist at Columbia University, scoffed at the CDC’s recommendation that children wear masks at summer camp “at all times,” even if they’re running around outside in sweltering summer heat. The only exceptions are when children are eating or swimming.

Numerous health experts said the CDC guidelines make no sense and are borderline child abuse.

“We know that the risk of outdoor infection is very low,” Gorelik told the magazine. “We know risks of children becoming seriously ill or even ill at all is vanishingly small. And most of the vulnerable population is already vaccinated.

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“I am supportive of effective measures to restrain the spread of illness. However, the CDC’s recommendations cross the line into excess and are, frankly, senseless. Children cannot be running around outside in 90-degree weather wearing a mask. Period.”

The agency also urges kids to follow strict social distancing guidelines, to avoid sharing toys or supplies and to maintain a minimum 6-foot distance when eating and drinking.

Is forcing kids to wear masks outdoors on a hot day child abuse?

Consider how absurd this looks: Children at a summer camp — where they’re supposed to have fun — eating lunch 6 feet apart from their friends. If you didn’t know better, you’d assume the kids were being punished.

By issuing such absurd recommendations, the CDC and other government bodies severely undermine their credibility, Gorelik said.

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

Dr. Dimitri Christakis, an epidemiologist and the editor-in-chief of the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, said forcing children to wear masks and social distance outdoors is “unfairly draconian.”

“Keeping children masked for activities like baseball and tennis is ridiculous,” he told New York Magazine.

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An infectious-disease scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases agreed, saying the outdoor mask mandate for children is nothing more than empty posturing.

“With staff and parents vaccinated, there is no reason to continue incredibly strict mitigation efforts or put severe limitations on activities,” the scientist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the magazine.

“Charitably, masking kids at camp outdoors is simply virtue signaling.”

Extensive research that shown that children are at minuscule risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

Studies have also confirmed that people generally do not need to wear masks outside because outdoor viral transmission is negligible.

In light of this scientific evidence, forcing children to wear masks when they’re running around in blistering summer heat is abusive.

“Requiring kids to continuously wear masks at camps, even while outside playing in the heat, when it provides little additional protection, is unfair and cruel to our children,” the scientist said.

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