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Press Release Published: Jan 31, 2022

Top Republicans: CDC’s COVID Policies Harm Generation of Children

Call for Dr. Walensky to provide a briefing to outline how shuttering schools, masking kids, and failing to account for harm to kids follows science

WASHINGTON—Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and Select Subcommittee Republican lawmakers today called on CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to provide the scientific evidence for the agency’s COVID-19 guidelines and policies that have caused harm to children’s social, emotional, and educational development. In the letter to Dr. Walensky, the Republican lawmakers outline how the CDC’s school guidance, masking policies, and failure to account for harm to children lack scientific basis and are jeopardizing an entire generation.

“We write to inquire into the scientific bases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for children throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC has consistently failed to consider the crushing impact its COVID-19 policies have had on our nation’s children. We have long known transmission among children is low and symptoms are mild for most of them. Yet, the CDC has refused to follow the science. Rather, it has blindly tried to prevent infection at all costs—sacrificing our children’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Republicans on the Committee have been sounding the alarm on the negative impacts these policies are having on our children for nearly two years. America’s children are paying—and will continue to pay—the price for the CDC’s decisions for years to come,” wrote the Republican lawmakers.

In the letter, the Republican lawmakers outline how the CDC’s quarantine and school reopening guidance leads to weeks long disruptions for entire classrooms and poses risks to children’s health, social development, and education. The Republican lawmakers also emphasize the CDC’s masking policy for all children ages two and older is not rooted in science and harms children’s speech and social development. Lastly, the lawmakers emphasize COVID appears to cause mild illness in children, but the CDC’s policies are causing severe harm, underscoring children and teen’s mental health issues and suicide rates are surging across the nation. 

“There is no question, as we enter the third year of this pandemic, CDC’s guidelines and policies have failed to factor in—let alone prioritize—children’s social, emotional, and educational development. In fact, CDC is undermining its own credibility as it continues to jeopardize an entire generation’s development. In order to better understand the CDC’s decisions regarding America’s children, please schedule a staff briefing on all of the above topics no later than February 7, 2022,” concluded the Republican lawmakers.

The letter to Director Walensky can be found here.