With vaccinations increasing, the CDC on Tuesday relaxed its guidelines on when masks are needed outdoors. The push to reduce mask-wearing outside had been gaining steam of late, though Tucker Carlson took the argument to a whole new level on his Fox News show Monday night, specifically in regard to children. He likened outdoor mask-wearing by kids to child abuse and urged viewers to call police if they see it. Coverage:
- "Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart," he says, per Mediaite. "Call the police immediately, contact child protective services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you're looking at is abuse, it's child abuse and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it."
- "If it's your own children being abused, then act accordingly," he continues. "Let's say your kids school emailed you and announced that every day after lunch, your sixth grader was going to get punched in the face by a teacher. How would you respond to that? That's precisely how you should respond when they tell you that your kids have to wear masks on the soccer field."
- And later, he drew an unexpected parallel between vaccinated adults wearing masks outdoors and, er, something else: Watching "a vaccinated person, someone with the antibodies wearing a mask outside is like watching a grown man expose himself in public," he said, per a video clip at CNN. "That's disgusting, put it away please. We don't do that here."
- Politico Playbook complains that the suggestion to call the cops about kids wearing masks "was beyond the pale even for him, and especially strange for a self-styled anti-nanny state libertarian." The blog's post on all this begins, "Is Tucker Carlson losing his mind?"
- Michael Luciano at Mediaite has a similar criticism: "Calling police or child protective services because a kid wears a mask outdoors is ridiculous and a waste of official resources, even if it's just the dispatcher taking 20 seconds to mock the caller following Carlson's advice."
- The right-wing site Twitchy notes that "it should go without saying that you shouldn’t actually report kids in masks to the police or CPS." But, it adds, "the point that Carlson is making about zealots who insist on shaming people who refuse to wear masks outdoors" is being overlooked by Carlson's critics. It cites this critical tweet in particular, which includes a video clip of Carlson's comments. Read Carlson's take in fuller version in this Fox News op-ed.
- As for the risk of vaccinated people outdoors, Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend called it "minuscule," notes the Hill. "I think it's pretty common sense now that outdoor risk is really, really quite low, particularly—I mean, if you are a vaccinated person, wearing a mask outdoors, I mean, obviously, the risk is minuscule." The new CDC guidelines reflect that, saying those who are vaccinated can skip the mask outdoors unless they're in a crowd.
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