An oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco has demanded the American Academy of Pediatrics be dissolved after its leaders were pictured unmasked at the org’s first conference since 2019 – after having pushed face-coverings on kids as young as two during the pandemic.
Dr. Vinayak K. Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and health researcher at the college, pointed out the hypocrisy of the agency tasked with the health, safety and well-being of US infants, children, and adolescents, in a tweet published Monday.
It came on the third day of the agency’s usually annual four-day conference in Anaheim, amid an air of excitement as participants attended in person for the first time in three years.
Hundreds of health officials descended on the Anaheim Convention Center over the weekend and on Monday to discuss matters involving the best interests of America’s youth – with photos showing the vast majority of attendees elected to go maskless.
That fact was not lost on UC San Francisco’s 40-year-old associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, who cited how the agency had pushed face-covering guidelines on almost all US youngsters this time last year.
The agency has since engaged in an abrupt about-face to those policies, photos and video from the event show, as an increasing amount of districts scrap mask mandates.
The agency, meanwhile, asserts that indoor masking, while no longer required, ‘is still beneficial.’
An oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco demanded the American Academy of Pediatrics be dissolved after its leaders were pictured unmasked at the org’s first conference since 2019 – after having pushed face-coverings on kids as young as two
Dr. Vinayak K. Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and health researcher at the college, pointed out the hypocrisy of the agency tasked with the health, safety and well-being of US infants, children, and adolescents, in the tweet published Monday
The medical advice from the agency, which persisted until just last month, came in defiance of other agencies such as UNICEF and WHO, who earlier this year conceded that young children are not at serious risk from Covid-19.
Data collected by AAP, meanwhile, supported these assertions, with the agency finding in June that while children at the time accounted for 19 percent of all COVID cases, less than 0.26 percent of those infections resulted in death.
Prasad was quick to point this fact out in his post, in which he called for the country’s premier pediatric agency to be dissolved permanently.
‘Great to see so many unmasked faces at @AmerAcadPeds indoor gathering,’ the doctor wrote, sharing images of maskless attendees at the event to his more than 213,000 followers while pointing out it was being held inside.
‘Good to document their hypocrisy,’ the cancer doctor sniped.
It came on the third day of the agency’s usually annual four-day conference in Anaheim, amid an air of excitement as participants attended in person for the first time in three years
He added: ‘This organization pushed masks on 2 year olds with no data, in defiance of UNICEF & WHO, while they were aware that masks impede interactions. Org should be dissolved.’
The accusations from Dr. Prasad come as the Bay Area-based medical practitioner for months has used his platform to accuse the AAP and other governing bodies on the federal and state levels of ‘legitimizing’ irrational concern over the virus.
He argues that medical practitioners should treat COVID like the flu – and in a recent paid Substack, accused physicians and scientists of manufacturing widespread anxiety through medical advice that ‘interfere[s] with people’s lives.’
The latest barb by the oncologist at the AAP – whose guidelines are taken into account by millions of pediatricians across the country when dishing out medical advice – coincided with those claims.
Images from the event shared by the doctor showed attendees and performers seemingly ignoring mask restrictions
That was not lost on the 40-year-old associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, who cited how the agency had pushed face-covering guidelines on almost all US youngsters this time last year
It also echoed the findings of several studies, some conducted by the org themselves, that showed young children are not at serious risk from Covid-19 and that masks impede kids’ development.
Medical practitioners like Prasad have complained of a wave of infants and toddlers born during the pandemic left ‘unable to communicate’ – just one of several now-surfacing consequences of mask mandates and school closures over the past few years.
The phenomenon, speech pathologist Nancy Polow says, is part of a concerning trend in kids born during or shortly before the pandemic, who are ‘falling behind’ on key milestones due to a lack of social interaction during that time span.
Compounding the crisis, doctors have said, were mandates that required these children to don masks while in the classroom, with several studies now showing that masks hinder growing children’s development.
Other photos seem to support the doctor’s claims, with dozens of attendees pictured ignoring their own advice regarding face coverings
When parents sought help, they were often met with lockdown-related roadblocks, such as masking restrictions, the challenge of tele-health appointments for toddlers, and fear of in-person therapy – all issues pointed out by Prasad in his arguments on social media.
Now that restrictions have lessened, some parents have scrambled to address these shortcomings, signing up for pricey speech therapy sessions to repair the damage done to their kids – shelling out as much as $1,000 a month in the process.
A growing body of academic research also supports claims of children born over the past three or so years possessing weaker verbal skills, with many staying silent well past their first birthdays and in some cases, even their second – the age where the AAP advises that kids should start wearing masks indoors.
A recent Brown University study, meanwhile, found that social distancing measures including face masks are suspected of causing young children’s development to have dropped by up to 23 percent during the pandemic.
Scientists Sean CL Deoni, Jennifer Beauchemin, Alexandra Volpe, and Viren D’Sa, penned the review, collecting data from 1,600 children – and their caregivers – who were enrolled in the study between the ages of 0 and 5 on a rolling basis.
The probe analyzed the cognitive development of the youngsters through infancy, childhood and adolescence, and looked at how average development scores in three key areas had been affected during the COVID era.
Results showed the kids’ early learning composite – derived from their fine motor, visual reception, receptive, and expressive language scales, and viewed as the early years equivalent to an IQ score – dropped by a whopping 23 percent, from a high of just under 100 in 2019, to around 80 in 2020, and finally 77 in 2021.
That trend is likely to persist for this year as well, with most districts nixing mask guidances last month, after finishing the 2021-2022 school years still with mandates.
A growing body of academic research supports these claims, as scientists suggest that wearing face masks could be to blame for the slowdown in the development of their children, both in a social and intellectual sense.
Children born during the Covid pandemic are behind on key developmental steps compared to their peers, it has been revealed (stock image)
A paper published in the prestigious research journal JAMA in January this year that looked at 225 children born in 2020 revealed babies were less likely to be crawling and smiling at themselves in a mirror within six months. It also showed they had reduced social and problem-solving skills.
AUK-based survey of teachers released last month found those teaching children in the early grades were now seeing more biting and hitting in the classroom than previously.
After reviewing more than 280 educational settings, British-based charity Ofsted has also suggested in a report that children are struggling with basic skills such as writing and speaking in the wake of the pandemic.
They said some teachers even said they had seen youngsters lack confidence in group activities, and struggle to share and take turns.
More than a million neural connections are formed every day up to the age five, she claimed, when the brain completes at least 85 percent of its development.
A growing body of academic research also supports claims of children born over the past three or so years possessing weaker verbal skills, with many staying silent well past their first birthdays and in some cases, even their second – the age where the AAP advises that kids should start wearing masks indoors
To conserve energy the brain will then also begin to shave off brain cells that are rarely used — which could include some linked to socializing.
Schools across America closed in-person learning when Covid arrived, as officials scrambled to respond to the outbreak. Many classrooms remained shuttered into 2021, despite warnings from both the WHO and Unicef that it could harm the youngest in society.
Dr Ashley Ruba, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Child Emotion Lab, previously told CNN: ‘There are sensitive periods in early childhood development in which language development and emotional development are really rapidly developing for the first few years of life.’
She added that developing children need to see others’ subtle verbal or facial cues to accurately discern how someone is feeling.
Also affected during this time was children’s mental health, studies show, with an international report by the UN agency this summer finding that two years of restrictions have led to ‘significant mental health consequences’ for young people – another tenet of Prasad’s anti-mask arguments.
The study, conducted in June, estimated that more than a billion people around the world are living with a mental health disorder as a result – a quarter more than pre-Covid.
Data from from the AAP, meanwhile, showed children, especially those in the two tow six age range, almost never died from the virus.
A CDC study further found that around half of pediatric Covid cases are asymptomatic, and that was before the more mild Omicron variant became dominant in the U.S.
Hospitalizations of pediatric COVID patients are also increasingly rare.
One pediatrician that attended the event, Dr. Deborah Greenhouse, accused Prasad of fabricating the claims about people attending not wearing required coverings, writing that ‘everyone [was] masked indoors unless eating or drinking’
A photo of the Dr. Greenhouse, however, pictured at the far left, shows her posing for photos with colleagues at the event while unmasked
With that said, as restrictions at the state-level requiring masks in America’s schools continue to lessen, the AAP has continued to stand by guidelines set by the federal government that children older than two be required to wear a mask in all indoor settings.
That policy was in place for the meeting, the agency’s website shows despite photos showing attendees and performers at the event maskless.
Attendees were also reportedly required to show proof of vaccination in order to gain access to the conference.
One pediatrician that attended the event accused Prasad of fabricating the claims about people attending not wearing required coverings, writing that ‘everyone [was] masked indoors unless eating or drinking.’
South Carolina-based doctor Deborah Greenhouse wrote: ‘Local, state and/or CDC guidelines will be followed during the meeting, including meals and other functions.
‘Adults and children older than 2 years of age are required to wear a mask in all indoor meeting settings,’ she went on to add.
A photo of the doctor, however, who operates her practice out of Palmetto, shows her posing for photos with colleagues at the event, all unmasked.
DailyMail.com reached out to the AAP about attendees supposedly forgoing mask guidances at the event, but did not immediately hear back.
The conference is set to conclude on Tuesday.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group