By Adan Salazar - February 8, 2022
The “science” has once again changed and mask mandates are no longer as necessary as they once were, CNN is telling its dwindling audience.
In a segment on “Anderson Cooper 360” Monday, medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen flipped the script claiming stats now show it’s safe to begin removing face masks.
“There was and is a time and place for pandemic restrictions, but when they were put in it was always with the understanding that they would be removed as soon as we can,” Wen said.
“And in this case circumstances have changed. Case counts are declining. Also the science has changed. We know vaccines protected very well against omicron, which is the dominant variant, and everyone 5 and older have widespread access to vaccines.”
The former Planned Parenthood president went on to claim the science now shows masks do protect people even when others around them are not wearing masks.
“We also know about one-way masking – the idea that even if other people around you are not wearing masks, if you wear a high-quality mask it also protects you the wearer, too.”
Wen says the mask mandates imposed by governments can safely be brought to an end, and that individuals should be responsible for calculating their own risk factors and deciding whether or not to mask.
“I’m not saying that no one should ever wear masks, but rather that the responsibility should shift from a government mandate imposed from the state or the local district of a school; rather, it should shift to an individual responsibility by the family who can still decide that their child can wear a mask if needed.”
Asked if case totals show it’s safe to ditch masks, Wen surprisingly acknowledged natural immunity, and added that omicron’s a milder variant.
The focus shouldn’t be on daily case totals, she said, “especially when we’re dealing with a milder variant and when so many people were exposed to omicron and therefore have at least some level of protection at least through vaccination, or immunity.”
Instead, Wen says it’s better to focus on hospitalizations and whether hospitals are overwhelmed, or at capacity.
“If they’re not over capacity, we can set a number, for example 75% or 80% full – then we should be able to relax all restrictions.”
The CNN commentator astonishingly went on to say children should be first to be unmasked, acknowledging masks are psychologically harming children.
“I actually believe that we should… the first restriction removed should actually be the restriction on children, because while for adults you could say, ‘Well, what’s the harm of adults masking when they go into a grocery store?’ – there actually is a harm that we should be discussing of children continuing to mask.”
Recent studies have shown masks are responsible for speech, language and developmental delays in children.
“If we get a new variant in the future that children are particularly susceptible to, we may want to bring masks back, but we should be intellectually honest and say that masking has had a cost, especially for the youngest learners, people with English as a second language, children with learning disabilities – there has been a cost to them. So the risk-benefit calculation has really changed.”
The new mask recommendations are an about-face from Wen’s messaging a little over a month ago, when she said people should be wearing “surgical” N95 masks, rather than cloth masks, which she characterized as “little more than facial decorations.”
Wen’s new messaging also comes as Biden’s poll numbers have continued to slide into the gutter, and as several US states and countries around the globe begin to lift Covid restrictions.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not relented on its mask guidance for US schools, telling CNN on Monday it still recommends universal masking for children.
So much for keeping up with the science.