Washington DC: Though Covid-19 cases are seeing a decline in the US, it is too soon to end restrictions like mask mandates, President Joe Biden has said. A number of states have dropped mask mandates or set plans in motion to lift mask rules in schools in the coming weeks.
But Biden stated that lifting indoor mask mandates was “probably premature”, but acknowledged that making that decision is a “tough call”, New York Times reported.
The President also suggested that rising rates of childhood vaccination, as well as the potential authorization of vaccines for even younger children, could allow schools to end their own mask mandates.
“Every day that goes by, children are more protected,” Biden said, adding that “the more protection they have, probably you’re going to see less and less requirement to have the masks.”
US cases are falling fast, down to about 174000 daily, a two-thirds drop over two weeks, according to a New York Times database. But hospitalizations, at about 95,000, and deaths, at more than 2400 daily, remain very high.
In schools, public health experts agree that mask requirements should not last forever, but differ on whether the time has come to remove them. “I love how people talk about personal freedom. If your exercising personal freedom puts someone else in jeopardy, their health in jeopardy, I don’t consider that being very dealing with freedom,” Biden was quoted as saying on an NBC interview.