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CDC’s Walensky defends mask-wearing for younger children

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Responding to a question from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, defended the wearing of masks for young children to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Video Transcript

JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER: Based on the science, children zero to four are less than-- I think it's 1% or 1.3% of all infections. And so I guess part of me is saying-- I get, at 12 and up, you can get a vaccination, but you can't vaccinate the younger kids. Yet, they're at low risk for getting it. They're at even lower risk for hospitalization. They're at low risk for spreading it. So why are we making them mask? Because the science doesn't support that.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: There are still transmissions associated with young children. They have been vectors of transmission for older people. And--

JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER: What studies? That's the thing I need to know. What-- maybe you can provide that, because my time is up.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: I'd be happy to.

JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER: Can you provide the studies for that? Because that's not readily available.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: Absolutely.

JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER: Thank you.

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