CDC Director Urges Masks to Prevent Kids ‘Heavy Breathing’ Around a Soccer Ball

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks to the press after visiting the Hynes Convention
Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky defended masking requirements for children in outdoor summer camps on Wednesday, arguing situations surrounding sporting events could be dangerous.

“We’re trying to make sure there is not a lot of heavy breathing around a singular soccer ball with five kids around it at the same time,” said Walensky, offering a theoretical scenario of five ten-year-olds competing for a ball on the field at a soccer camp.

Walensky spoke about the guidance for summer camps during the White House coronavirus briefing on Wednesday morning.

She said it is fine for vaccinated children to gather in small groups outside without masks, but that children should always wear them for larger events.
“What we’re really trying to avoid in this camp guidance is what we saw in outbreaks in camps last summer,” she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci also defended the CDC guidelines for kids at summer camps during an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday.

“You know, I wouldn’t call them excessive; they certainly are conservative,” Fauci said with a chuckle.

Fauci noted the CDC would likely re-evaluate the guidance in the future when Guthrie pressed him on the matter.

“The CDC makes decisions based on science, they will continually reevaluate that,” he continued. “You’re right, it looks a bit strict, a bit stringent, but that’s the reason why they keep looking at that and trying to reevaluate literally in real-time whether or not that’s the practical way to go.”

In April, Walensky and the CDC lifted some mask requirements for vaccinated Americans outdoors, noting that in many studies less than 10 percent of documented transmissions of the virus occurred outdoors.


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