The Centers for Disease Control is expected to advise that kids who haven’t been inoculated against COVID-19 should wear masks in schools after they return from the summer holiday, US President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
“Everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing masks in school. That’s probably what’s CDC is going to say,” Biden said at a town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, in response to a question about school safety from a concerned parent.
Children over 12 years, who were able to get inoculated “shouldn’t wear a mask,” Biden told the fully vaccinated crowd, but those who are not should be.
Biden’s remarks come as COVID-19 cases are soaring in some states as inoculation efforts have stalled amid skepticism and disinformation.
Weary Americans emerging from a lengthy pandemic lockdown welcomed the lifting of mask requirements this spring and summer. Mask requirements became politicized early in the coronavirus pandemic, as then-president Donald Trump and other Republicans pushed back at advice from health officials that they stopped the spread of the virus.
Biden added that children under the age of 12 would be able to get vaccinated “soon.”
The CDC recommendations are not binding and school mask requirements will be decided on a district-by-district basis. To date, some have adopted more stringent requirements while others have none at all.