New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged parents in the state to prepare for the colder weather months and remask their toddlers to protect them from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections.
“We’re not mandating this, but we’re saying, parents, you know, you got other kids, you got kids in school, preschool and you got a baby at home, you really might just want to take these extra precautions,” Hochul said at a news conference on Oct. 26.
RSV is a common seasonal flu caused by influenza viruses that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Most people, including infants, develop only mild cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, decreased appetite, and fever, and typically recover within a week. In some rare cases, RSV can cause severe symptoms and even be life-threatening, especially for infants and children younger than five.
The Democrat governor stated RSV “does hit younger children,” arguing the practice of wearing masks has been normalized by now and children are “socialized to the idea” anyway.
“There’s a lot of cute masks out there, I’ve seen a lot of them,” Hochul said. “So, that’s something I’m encouraging all parents to consider for their children right now.”
Hochul failed to mention that since the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s enforcement of mask mandates, numerous medical professionals and studies have indicated that masking children does more harm than good.
“Children have developmental needs that require them to see other people’s faces. Learning to speak, for instance, requires seeing lips move. For slightly older children, they need to see people, the body, they learn body language, how to interact socially, by watching people. And when you ask them to wear a mask, you sort of cut that out. So you have harms on one side, and very little benefit on the other,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, previously told The Epoch Times.
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, admitted in February 2020 that “the typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.”
Moreover, besides repercussions to children’s brain development when they and others around them are wearing masks, children often don’t wear masks properly, so the already-limited benefit is lowered even further.
More Details on RSV
RSV can be severe in infants and older adults and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (which causes inflammation and congestion in the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection and inflammation of the lungs) in children under one in the United States.
Almost all children will have had an RSV infection by age 2, health officials say, and an estimated 58,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infections each year.
However, very young infants, children with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease, and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of severe illness from the virus.
There are 100 to 300 deaths among children under 5 from RSV each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is no vaccine against RSV, although Pfizer Inc. is developing RSVpreF for adults. In the meantime, Hochul urged New Yorkers during Tuesday’s news conference to get up to date on their seasonal flu, COVID-19, and newly authorized bivalent booster shots, saying it’s the “best defense against respiratory viruses.”
Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.