Since the beginning of COVID when it first came in vogue for us all to wear masks everywhere we went, parents and professionals alike have been concerned that this “new normal” would have some negative effects on children, along with other pandemic mitigation policies like closing schools. Anyone who dared to speak against the narrative of universal masking, especially of children, had their aversions pooh-poohed by the media and government science bureaucrats and were accused of not putting safety first.
It seems we may have finally received some confirmation that there was merit to those concerns, though. Earlier this month the CDC quietly lowered early childhood speech milestone standards, raising the age at which kids are expected to know ~50 words from 24 to 30 months. Of course the great “journalists” over at Newsweek have taken it upon themselves to “fact-check” the claim that this change in the standards was due to masking, and rated the claim as “false” in the following conclusion:
The revision of language development guidelines by the CDC has indeed happened, but it is unrelated to COVID mask mandates.
Instead, the changes reflect advances made in the science of child development over the past two decades and the review that underpins them began three years ago.
It’s okay, guys. This is happening, but it’s definitely not because of mask mandates, because the CDC definitely would have told us if it was, right? Their claim rests on the fact that the review that led to these changes in the guidelines began three years ago. But COVID and masking has been around for two years now. How much of the research that actually led to this result was actually conducted during COVID, though? That figure is never provided in Newsweek’s analysis, but that doesn’t stop them from having enough confidence to say it’s “false” that masking had anything to do with it. Pretty unbelievable.
One person to comment on the story was former Levi’s exec Jennifer Sey, who recently penned an article that received widespread attention regarding her decision to leave Levi’s and turn down a million-dollar severance so that she could speak her mind publicly regarding the mistreatment she received from Levi’s corporate culture about her activism to unmask schoolkids in San Francisco, where Levi’s is headquartered. She had this to say on Twitter:
This is dystopian.
The CDC just lowered the standard for speech in early childhood development.
Instead of highlighting the harmful effects masking & social isolation have had on small children the CDC just lowered the bar. Presto! No impact! pic.twitter.com/WG27UGLNpZ
— Jennifer Sey (@JenniferSey) February 18, 2022
Seems like she’s pretty convinced that this was the work of masking, and not simply based on happenstance or changing metrics in the calculation. Newsweek of course chose to shame her for her take, because as we all know, if you call yourself a fact-checker, you become the arbiter of truth and everything else becomes harmful misinformation. As COVID numbers continue to plummet, more jurisdictions (including school districts) are choosing to allow people to go maskless, in some cases for the first time in almost two years. Do you think we’re headed to a post-pandemic return to normal? Or do you think mandatory masking will make its return should we see another seasonal spike from a new COVID variant? If the latter is true, one has to wonder what impact that will continue to have on kids’ development.
Brady Bowyer is a veteran of many political campaigns ranging from the municipal to federal level, as well as several pro-freedom PACs and nonprofits. Check out more of Brady’s work on his Substack, Leaning into Liberty. He and his wife are proud to call South Carolina’s Lowcountry their home.
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