Dr. Scott Gottlieb says it’s time to consider dumping school Covid mask mandates


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should adjust its Covid masking guidance to account for high immunity protection in America, specifically when it comes to schools, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Wednesday.

“We have a much more contagious variant that is probably going to continue to circulate and you have a population that has much more immunity,” the former Food and Drug Administration chief said in a “Squawk Box” interview, referring to the proliferation of the omicron variant in the U.S., on top of most school-age kids being eligible for vaccination.

“We’re going to probably have to tolerate, and probably should, a higher level of baseline spread at the point at which we consider withdrawing some of this mitigation,” said Gottlieb, a current board member at Covid vaccine maker Pfizer, which has recently requested that the FDA clear two-dose vaccinations for children 6 months to 5 years old.

Gottlieb said the U.S. shouldn’t wait until what the CDC considers low prevalence in a community — less than 10 cases per 100,000 people per day — to end masking students, teachers, staff and school visitors.

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