Doctor Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday that his children “will not wear masks” if the mandate to close Covid’s face is lifted later this month in their local school district.
“If it becomes optional, I think most children won’t. Some will, and we have to respect that. Some parents will continue to wear masks,” said Gottlieb, a board member at Covid Vaccine Company. Pfizer and former head of the Food and Drug Administration.
Connecticut, where Gottlieb lives, will raise his state-wide mask mandate is from February 28, allowing schools to decide for themselves whether to continue to demand masks. He said, “My local school district has overturned the mask ordinance” according to state guidelines.
Gottlieb’s Comments to “Squawk Box“appeared when both states and local communities are starting to allow people to walk without masks when the wave of the omicron option subsides and daily Coronavirus covid infection cases continue to decline.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, the latest seven-day average in the U.S., which is 118,323 new infections a day, is down 44% from a week ago. Recognizing the improvement in the case count, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that they want to give people a break from the mask. The CDC views the agency’s instructions, focusing on Covid’s hospitalizations, which are also declining, as a key indicator for deciding on security protocols.
On CNBC earlier this month, Gottlieb called on the CDC to change the recommendations on masks, arguing that it is time for schools to consider dumping mandates given the high level of immunity in the U.S. population. He warned that prolonged waiting could lead to lost opportunities for a normal life before students go on summer vacation.
However, when it comes to entering public places, Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday that he would keep a mask to ease the worries of others about the virus.
“I’ll probably continue to wear it a little longer than I might need, given the overall risk, just because I think it’s a matter of etiquette,” he said. “I think that when I go to a store or a drugstore and there’s other people who feel uncomfortable, who feel vulnerable, when they see a lot of masked people around them, they’re more comfortable.”
“I will do it in my community,” Gottlieb added. “I think that’s the standard of society and the norm of society now. But I think a lot of people choose not to wear it.”
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a member of CNBC and is a board member of Pfizer, a startup for genetic testing Tempus, health technology company Aetion and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean.