There are three different positions from three different major medical groups when it comes to whether children should have to wear masks in school in the Fall.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued new guidance recommending everyone over age two wear masks when they return to the classroom, even if they have been vaccinated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reasons that masks need to be worn by all because vaccines can only be given to those age 12 and over, a student or school worker's vaccine status may be difficult to verify, and there is concern that "variants may be more easy to spread among children than adults." American Academy of Pediatrics officials say an added benefit is protection against other respiratory illnesses. They also recommend that all eligible people get vaccinated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation on masks differs from guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). CDC says masks are only recommended for those over age two who have not been vaccinated.
A third position comes from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which says it opposes masking of schoolchildren entirely. According to the group: "There is no evidence that schools are the source of outbreaks. There is no evidence that mask mandates have any effect on disease spread. Masking children is harmful. Masks are quickly contaminated with all manner of pathogens. They prevent normal communication and social interaction, impair learning of language skills, and cause anxiety, headaches, and other symptoms. Several teenagers have died or lost consciousness when exercising vigorously outdoors while wearing a mask."
The American Academy of Pediatrics, which is pressing for universal masking and vaccination, has accepted millions of dollars in funding from vaccine makers such as Pfizer, and other pharmaceutical companies. The group says it maintains strict conflict of interest policies so that the funding does not influence decision making and policies.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which opposes universal masking, accepts no funding from vaccine makers or other corporations.
When it comes to political positions, the American Academy of Pediatrics is considered by many to be more liberal-leaning; while the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is considered to be more conservative-leaning.
Scientific experts say there is no evidence that children have been significant spreaders of Covid-19, and kids have a statistical zero chance of becoming seriously ill, let alone dying. Virologists say most children ward off Covid-19 naturally without developing symptoms, and then have greater and longer-lasting immunity than what's given by the Covid-19 vaccines. Additionally, serious side effects are emerging from Covid-19 vaccines, including heart issues in young people.
Neither CDC nor the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations take into account the factor of many Americans having fought off Covid-19 with or without symptoms, resulting in immunity that's better than what the vaccines provide.
Experts say antibody tests cannot necessarily determine a person's exposure because most people who fight off Covid-19 naturally do not develop measurable antibodies.
Even for those who do, say virologists, the antibodies may no longer be detectable after a short period of time.