Provide SCIENCE to back Pennsylvania school mask mandate

Provide SCIENCE to back Pennsylvania school mask mandate

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Joanna McGowan started this petition to Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and

This letter is in response to your recent requirement that everyone, including children, wear a mask while in school entities. We, the parents and concerned citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are requesting the information that should have been provided to parents and school districts prior to any such mandate. 

While there is some science both in favor of and against mask wearing:
-there are no RCT studies regarding children wearing masks
-all RCT studies and analysis show that masks do not work to prevent influenza-like illnesses or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles
-there are no RCT studies with verified outcomes showing any benefit for community members to wear a mask
-there are no studies showing a benefit from a broad policy to wear masks in public, and 
-at this time, the FDA has not approved any type of mask specifically for protection against the COVID-19 virus.

While we as citizens can choose to weigh the benefits and risks on our own, we need more good science when it comes to our children. 

In light of recent studies showing:
-little if any transmission of COVID-19 among children, or from children to household or community members
-few if any incidences of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 in children who do not have underlying health conditions (who would therefore already be more susceptible to any illness spread in a school setting), and 
-little evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted in a school or community setting,

It is imperative you provide information to assure parents and schools that your new requirement will NOT do more harm than good.

For example, health officials agree that unless masks are worn correctly and properly disposed of, they may actually increase the risk of infection. Children are the most likely population to wear them improperly, rendering masks useless in preventing illness. Please provide evidence showing that there is any effectiveness in wearing masks against the spread of COVID-19 in children. 

There is evidence to suggest that mask wearing can lead to oxygen deprivation. As you are no doubt aware, there have been multiple reports in China of student deaths linked to wearing masks. Please provide evidence that this will not happen to Pennsylvania children, and that masks pose NO DANGER to them. While there are numerous safety claims, we have yet to see studies measuring the oxygen levels in children while wearing cloth or other masks. 

While your mandate allows for exemptions, we are also requesting that you provide specific guidelines regarding what is required for school districts regarding such exemptions. We are especially concerned with the special needs community, who have largely been excluded from consideration in regards to all Pennsylvania Department of Health orders and guidelines. For many special needs students, facial expressions are fundamental to development, masks would inhibit necessary speech therapies, and sensory issues would make mask wearing difficult if not impossible. It is imperative that you provide clear guidance to school districts and private schools regarding mask wearing among learners with IEPs, 504 plans, and those requiring any other accommodations. 

There are many other unanswered questions regarding the implications of children removing and putting masks back on throughout the day, regarding the pathogens collected and retained in masks, regarding breathing in any droplets that may be captured in masks, regarding the long-term health effects of prolonged mask use in children, and regarding the negative psychological consequences of wearing masks.

This mandate is controversial at best and dangerous at worst. If the requirement for children to wear masks is truly for their own health and safety, it should not be unreasonable to provide parents and school districts with science, data, and studies backing up this mandate. We look forward to your response prior to our children returning to school in the fall. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!