Hochul Urges Parents To Re-Mask Toddlers

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is encouraging parents to put masks on their toddlers once again, this time to protect them from RSV — respiratory syncytial virus. Cases of RSV and other viruses are rising across the country, and scientists say that the rise is likely because of masking and other restrictions.

According to Hochul, strapping masks onto the faces of children is fine now because they are “more socialized to the idea of wearing a mask” anyway.

“Let’s talk about exactly what RSV is. These are the symptoms. I want parents be aware of that, usually fall and winter. It’s like a common cold, but it does hit younger children and it’s really frightening,” the Democrat governor said. “It’s not new at all. Something we’ve seen before.”

“Infants as young as six months old have been known to contract this. It’s hard to keep kids safe. Think about the fact that a year ago, before a year ago, a lot of kids were wearing masks in a daycare center or in schools and that did give them some level of protection,” Hochul added, failing to mention studies that indicate that cloth and surgical masks are not effective at blocking exhaled aerosols.

“We’re not mandating this,” she continued, though she did make it clear that she is strongly recommending parents re-mask their toddlers.

“What we’re saying, parents, you know, other kids, you got kids in school, preschool and got a baby at home, you really might just want to take these extra precautions,” Hochul noted.

The Democrat governor went on to claim that children have already gotten used to wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And by now kids are more socialized to the idea of wearing a mask. It’s not as strange to them, it not as if, ‘What is this all about?’ There’s a lot of cute masks out there, I’ve seen a lot of them. So that’s something I’m encouraging all parents to consider for their children right now,” Hochul said.

What the New York Democrat failed to mention was that there are serious concerns surrounding the effects of masking on children, particularly toddlers. First, many studies have indicated that the masks have had a negative effect on childhood development, especially children’s ability to understand and identify emotional cues.

Second, a more recent revelation surrounding the “immunity gap” showed that COVID restrictions — including masking — restricted immune development.

According to the Daily Wire, the immunity gap “essentially happened when restrictions and practices that were common during the pandemic limited the spread of viruses, leading to less people developing immunity to them. When people re-entered society, the viruses were back, too. Babies often receive antibodies for RSV through their mother’s breast milk, but even the mothers often weren’t exposed to RSV during lockdowns.”

Dr. Buddy Creech, who works in pediatric infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has asserted that the COVID restrictions played a role in the increased levels of RSV and other diseases across the country.

“What we lacked is a couple of years of little kids developing the immunity that’s needed to keep these colds at bay,” Creech said. “We may be in for a rough six or seven weeks with influenza and RSV.”

Cases of RSV are currently 60% higher than the highest week of 2021.

BlazeTV’s Sara Gonzales discussed Hochul’s remarks and the “immunity gap” on her show, “The News & Why It Matters” on Thursday.