Appearing Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Randi Weingarten said that in order to end masking in schools, COVID-19 transmission needs to be "low enough."
"I am in favor of an off ramp on masks," Weingarten told co-host Willie Geist in response to a question about unmasking children. "The real issue becomes, is the spread low enough so that there's no dissemination and transmission in schools?"
"And it's not the teachers transmitting to kids, it's more kids and kids particularly in elementary schools right now," she added.
According to FOX News, states such as California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Oregon recently have announced a pullback on masks.
But in Los Angeles County, health officials have said they plan to keep mask mandates in place, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement.
The AFT president went on to add that no one wants masks, "not teachers, not students."
Geist pushed back on some aspects of her argument, saying "We've got two years of science now. The percentage of overall deaths is infinitesimal. Children in the larger population, that it doesn't spread easily in schools. That so many teachers have been vaccinated, or at least had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Now kids have the chance to be vaccinated, so at what point do we just say, 'okay it's time to get rid of the masks'? Isn't there enough science available already?"
Weingarten countered back, repeating, "We believe in an off ramp."
"The real question becomes how do we make sure that people can plan for it and what are the measures so that everybody knows, so that it doesn't feel like it's based upon politics, it feels like it's based upon making sure that there is no transmission in school."
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