Last week, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky gave testimony to Congress that was jaw-dropping even by the abysmal standards to which we’ve been accustomed throughout the COVID pandemic. In just a few hours, Walensky managed to tell Congress that the CDC’s guidance to mandate masks in schools would never change regardless of new evidence, that the CDC had conducted no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as to whether masks were effective because it was so obvious that they worked, and that COVID vaccines had been added to the child immunization schedule so they could be given to uninsured children.
First, in light of the recent Cochrane review including 78 peer-reviewed RCTs with over 600,000 participants concluding masks made “little to no difference” in preventing COVID or flu, Walensky told Rep. Cathy Rodgers that the CDC’s guidance to mandate masks in schools would “not change with time” regardless of the new evidence.
When asked if the CDC will revise its guidance to mandate masks in schools in light of the Cochrane review showing masks do not curb COVID, CDC Director Walensky tells Congress its advice on child masking will never change. “Our masking guidance doesn’t really change with time.” pic.twitter.com/TwjZpN3jEl
— Michael P Senger (@MichaelPSenger) February 14, 2023
Walensky’s response is astonishing for several reasons. First, to say that the CDC’s masking guidance “does not change with time,” despite the recent Cochrane review, is effectively to admit that the CDC’s guidance does not change with new data or evidence, either. This is a far cry from the commitment to “science” that the American people had long been told they were following.
If that’s not bad enough, Walensky’s statement is, of course, also flatly untrue. After discouraging Americans from obtaining face masks in the initial weeks of COVID, the CDC made an abrupt about-face in April 2020, and face masks soon became mandatory for day-to-day activities, which the CDC at the time had attributed to a change in “science.” Making all this even more horrific is the fact that the United States stands out conspicuously as the only developed nation in which its national public health agency recommends masking children as young as 2 years old.