Welcome back to “Forgotten Fact-Checks,” a weekly column produced by National Review’s News Desk. This week, we explore the merits (or lack thereof) of progressives’ school masking obsession, remember the most well-done and important stories about the September attacks, and take our usual aim at various media misses.
“The scientific research is conclusive: Widespread masking in schools significantly limits COVID transmission among students,” tweeted NPR while promoting its story “Yes, Gov. DeSantis, Studies Do Show Masks Curb Covid-19 In Schools.”
Of 17 studies cited by the CDC as evidence that student masking is effective, not one study looked at student mask use in isolation from other mitigation measures, or against a control, according to an analysis by New York Magazine. Some of the studies showed that no student masking correlated with low transmission.
On the margins, it may be true that a mask mandate can stop a few cases here and there. Yet mask mandates for students come at a significant cost to students’ learning outcomes, mental health, and social development — costs that many mandate proponents just outright ignore. Moreover, the trade-off just doesn’t seem worth it to some. Especially when you consider data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which show that as of September 2, seven states have seen no child deaths related to COVID-19, and that of the 45 states that provided data to the AAP, “0.00 percent-0.03 percent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.”