YouTube pulls video of DeSantis, scientists for saying kids don’t need masks

YouTube has yanked a video of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a handful of medical experts discussing the COVID-19 pandemic because they questioned whether or not kids should wear masks, reports said. 

The video, removed on Wednesday, was posted by the American Institute for Economic Research and depicted a recent roundtable on the state of the pandemic and appropriate policy responses that DeSantis moderated, The Wrap reported

The scientists behind the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which urged schools, restaurants and cultural activities to resume and said only high-risk people should stay home if they wish, spoke at the roundtable and said kids shouldn’t wear masks, according to a transcript of the talk. 

When asked by DeSantis if it was necessary for kids to wear masks, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford University said it is “developmentally inappropriate” for them to do so and it “just doesn’t help on the disease spread.” 

 “I think it’s absolutely not the right thing to do… if we went back a year, a lot of experts would say that wearing masks for the general public is not evidence-based,” the doctor said in video. 

Harvard professor Dr. Martin Kulldorff responded “children should not wear face masks, no.”

“They don’t need it for their own protection and they don’t need it for protecting other people, either,” the professor explained. 

Later on in the video, Dr. Scott Atlas from Stanford University said “there’s no scientific rationale or logic to have children wear masks in schools.”

At no point did the scientists or DeSantis clarify if masks were more or less effective for specific age groups or if their arguments was just for anyone under the age of 18. 

YouTube told The Wrap in a statement the video was pulled because of the mask comments, which violated the Google-owned video site’s “COVID-19 medical misinformation.” 

“YouTube has clear policies around COVID-19 medical misinformation to support the health and safety of our users,” a spokesperson told the outlet.

“We removed AIER’s video because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We allow videos that otherwise violate our policies to remain on the platform if they contain sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context. Our policies apply to everyone, and focus on content regardless of the speaker or channel.”

DeSantis did not return a request for comment to the outlet. 

The World Health Organization has specific guidelines on children wearing masks. 

The group says kids under five don’t need to wear them, kids between the ages of 6 and 11 should wear them when they’re in areas of “widespread transmission” and kids 12 and up should follow the same rules as adults. 


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