Fmr. FDA Head Gottlieb: Risks of Wearing Mask Outweigh Benefits for Kids Outside in Summer

On Friday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” CNBC Contributor, Pfizer board member, and former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb argued that for children in the summer, “the risks of wearing a mask and the heat exposure probably are greater than any benefit they’re going to derive from wearing a mask.”

Gottlieb said, “Kids are at lower risk overall. So, the infection poses less risk to kids to start. I think you need to still be mindful of situations where you could have what we call superspreading events. So, when you congregate people in confined environments where there’s poor air circulation, I do think you need to be mindful. So, you could see a situation this summer where kids aren’t wearing masks outside. And I don’t think kids should be wearing masks outside. I think the risks of wearing a mask and the heat exposure probably are greater than any benefit they’re going to derive from wearing a mask. But as they go to indoor settings, go into lunchrooms, things like that, and they congregate in confined spaces with poor air circulation, spaces that we know are conducive to spread, I could still see a situation where you’re taking precautions with children. You’re also taking precautions with hand-washing. I think the combination of things that you can continue to do in that setting without imposing too much burden on children that really interferes with the summer experience, hopefully, can mitigate a lot of the risk.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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