Sen. Lee, lawmakers pen letter to CDC regarding mask guidance for kids

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Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, as he heads to the second day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4) – Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is leading a group of his colleagues in sending a letter to the CDC regarding face mask guidance for kids.

Sen. Lee, as well as Representative Jason Smith (R-Mo.), are asking the CDC to provide information on how they determined that children 2-years-old and older should wear masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In the letter, which you can read below, members of Congress wrote, in part:

“The implementation of these recommendations has had serious consequences for some Americans. Multiple parents of young children have been removed from flights, and in some instances, permanently banned, from future travel on the airline they were flying due to their toddler’s refusal to wear a mask. These unfortunate events have occurred despite the parents’ best attempts to have their child cooperate with the mask requirement, which is a struggle millions of parents have faced this past year. For parents of children with disabilities, compliance has proved almost impossible, resulting in increased social isolation and negative mental health consequences.”

Legislators also layout examples of why children that young should not be required to wear masks. They mention that other countries don’t require masks for children that young, saying the UK and France have children under the age of 11 who are exempt while Italy’s exemption is for those younger than six years old.

Lawmakers close the letter with multiple questions, including: “Are you continuing to monitor the science that informs your administration’s guidance on children wearing masks? Are you willing to modify and update your current guidance?”

Below is the letter sent to the CDC. This story continues below.

Click the square in the bottom right corner for full screen.

In late March, Representative Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced the No Mask Mandate for Kids Act that allows “industries, states, and families to make their own decision.” The legislation would, if passed, rescind President Joe Biden’s mandate that children must wear masks while traveling domestically.

“This decision doesn’t belong in the hands of the federal government,” says Congressman Stewart. “Families with young children are being thrown off flights for the slightest mask-wearing ‘infraction.’ Industries, states, and families have a right to decide whether or not children have to wear masks while traveling.”

After his inauguration, President Biden signed an executive order requiring the usage of masks while traveling. The CDC then made masks mandatory for all individuals on public transportation conveyances and hubs with a few exceptions.

Rep. Stewart also highlighted a lack of “reasonable scientific backing to support the federal requirement that children wear masks,” as legislators did in their letter to the CDC. He is one of the signing lawmakers in the letter as well.

The CDC recently relaxed some of its guidance for schools, reducing the distancing students should maintain between each other from six feet to three feet.

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