Florida New Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, argued that data do not support mask mandates in schools to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he insisted that parents — not school boards or governors — should make the decision about their children wearing masks to school.
“I want you to step back for a moment from what you’re still hearing on TV and just very briefly in terms of the data that supports the use of masks for children and the mandates for masks in children, it’s very weak and it’s a in fact, “Ladapo said at an event with Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., in Brevard County on Wednesday.
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Ladapo, who was appointed by DeSantis in September after the former surgeon resigned, said that “there is a significant gap between the quality of the data out there that supports masking of children, giving any benefit to children at all, factual and what we hear from some of our public health management in other states and nationally. “
“In Florida, we want to stay close to the data,” said the surgeon, who graduated from Harvard Medical School. “And the data do not support any clinical benefit for children in schools with mask mandates. High-quality data finds no evidence of benefit, and we will stick to that because that is what the data shows.”
As a parent himself, Ladapo sympathized with the situation of parents struggling with the mandates and how masks bother their children.
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“Putting a mask, something on your child’s face, it’s a parent’s decision,” he declared. “It’s not a school’s decision. It’s not a school board’s decision. It’s not a governor’s decision. It’s no one else’s decision except the parent’s, and the parents are placed in these impossible situations.”
DeSantis continued to point out the flaws in previous studies that some governors cited to justify mask mandates in schools. One study lacked a control group, and the authors of another study said they “did not find conclusive evidence” on the issue, the governor noted.
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Ladapo and DeSantis made the remarks at an event in response to a memo from the Justice Department under President Biden instructing the FBI to investigate what the DOJ called a “disturbing trend” of “threats of violence” at school board meetings apparently acting at the request of National School Board Association, which compared some parents to domestic terrorists.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky argued Wednesday schools should retain mask mandates, even if children are vaccinated.