Mine Country 102.1 tries to get answers on state COVID-19 masking policies from Dr. David Scrase. Here’s the response we got.

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On Saturday February 5th Mine Country 102.1 owner and Sunrise Socorro host Steve Edmondson sent the following email to Dr. David Scrase to get answers regarding the Lujan-Grisham administration’s COVID-19 policies with regards to masking:

Dr. Scrase,

It seems that I am not being notified of the COVID press conferences and I am wondering how I can get such notification.  I also have a few questions that I hope that you can answer.  With numerous experts now saying that cloth masks are ineffective and really nothing more than face decorations, why is the state still mandating masking, particularly for children?  We know that a vast majority of people are not going to be wearing N95 masks that are well fitting and my understanding is that such masks are not even made in child sizes and even if they were it is unrealistic to think children are going to be wearing them properly during an entire school day.  N95 masks would also make communication with children in a classroom setting even more difficult than with cloth masks.  There is certainly no way that youth athletes could compete with N95 masks without severely inhibiting their breathing and realistically such masks cannot be worn in competitive sports.  Knowing that this is the case and that cloth masks are essentially useless, why is the state still insisting that youth athletes continue to mask?  I have attended numerous basketball games this winter and I can assure you that kids are not wearing masks properly as they are constantly tugging on them, adjusting them, and often wearing them below their noses.  I have seen no studies that provide evidence that unmasked athletes in competitive sports, indoor or outdoor, are a significant source of COVID transmission.  I would also like you to provide me with the data and science that went into making the decision to require youth athletes to wear masks while participating in outdoor sports such as tennis, baseball, softball, golf, and track and field last spring with temperatures often in the high 90s and over 100 degrees. It has been known since the early months of the pandemic that outdoor transmission is negligible.  My recollection is that the state dropped that requirement on the final day of the spring sports season.  Was there some new science that came out at that time that had not been previously known that brought about that decision?  
I am attaching an article from The Atlantic that calls for the elimination of masking for children that points out that the WHO recommends against masking children ages 5 and under and does not routinely recommend masks for children ages 6-11.  Most other nations are following the WHO guidelines and are seeing as good or better results than we have had. Can you point to evidence as to why
we are following CDC guidance Instead of the WHO guidance? Here is the link to that article: 
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-case-against-masks-at-school/ar-AATa64K?ocid=uxbndlbing
Respectfully,


Steve Edmondson

Mine Country 102.1
Socorro Community Radio

On Monday morning Mine Country 102.1 received the following reply from Dr. Scrase:

Steve, as always I will route to Katy in Comms.  There are several places below where you say “we know” about things that I don’t, well, know, or believe the opposite.

We will get you invited to the press briefings.  Thanks for the link.

As you can see Dr. Scrase did not specify what he doesn’t know or on what issues he believes the opposite. He provided no science or data to justify the policies that were questioned. In response to this reply Steve sent the following as a follow up:

Dr. Scrase,

Thank you for the reply.  I appreciate you putting me in contact with Katy and giving me access to the press conferences.  Can you specifically address the questions I asked and tell me where I am misinformed and incorrect?  Is it not true that outdoor transmission is negligible and that it has been known since early in the pandemic?  What data or science supported the outdoor masking of youth athletes in spring with extreme temperatures and the sudden change of policy at the very end of the season?  Do we not know that it is unrealistic to believe that youth athletes will be willing or able to use N95 masks while in strenuous competition when they are already struggling with the use of cloth masks?  Do you believe that Dr. Wen and Dr.Osterholm are incorrect regarding cloth masks?  If so, why?  What things do you believe are the opposite of what I stated?  I take seriously my responsibility to provide accurate information to my listeners and I believe that it is appropriate for reporters to ask policymakers, like yourself, to provide the reasoning and data to justify policies that they are implementing.  I hope you will take time to address these questions either by email or in a future press conference.  Thank you.


Respectfully, 

Hopefully Dr. Scrase will answer these questions by email or in a future press conference. We’ll keep you updated with any new developments on this story.