Senator Josh Hawley: “Rock hard science” needed before masking unvaccinated kids in school

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ST. LOUIS–Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is pushing back against the possibility that the CDC could soon call for unvaccinated children to wear masks when school starts this fall.

President Joe Biden suggested that was likely in a televised town hall on CNN Wednesday night.

Everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing masks in school,” Biden said, adding “That’s probably what’s going to happen.”

In an interview with FOX2, Senator Hawley said he hoped that would not be the case, citing congressional testimony from experts who have said children were not “significant vectors of infection.”

Earlier this month, the CDC said “the preponderance of the available evidence from United States schools indicates that even when students were placed less than 6 feet apart in classrooms, there was limited SARS-CoV-2 transmission when other layered prevention strategies were consistently maintained; notably, masking and student cohorts.”

The White House Vaccinations Coordinator told FOX2 Thursday afternoon that the existing guidance, which already calls for unvaccinated people to continue to wear masks, has not changed.

“If you’re unvaccinated, you have to wear a mask, but remember, in schools, it’s important that we keep the ventilation, we keep all the other mitigation measures that are important but if you’re unvaccinated, that was part of the CDC guidance all along,” Dr. Bechara Choucair said.

“I just think we’ve asked our kids to endure a lot over the last year,” Hawley said. “I think that asking them to put on masks and who knows what will lead to if that will lead to additional school closures you’d better have some rock hard science in order to do that. As a parent of young children I have to say I find that really concerning and I certainly want to see the science behind it.”

Hawley also talked more about his own decision to get vaccinated, citing his new baby daughter and his other small children at home.

“I always encourage people based on my experience, I thought it was a good decision for my family, I’d encourage people to go get the vaccine. I had the Pfizer vaccine it’s been very effective in my case, I share that, get the facts about the vaccines, and then trust them to make a decision.”

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