Cedar Rapids daycare using mask myths to justify policy

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 7:28 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Harvest Christian Daycare in Southwest Cedar Rapids won’t require students or staff to wear masks because it did it’s own research, according to a letter it sent to parents.

However, their research uses debunked myths on masks including it causes legionnaires' disease, prevents needed herd immunity, lowers oxygen levels, and doesn’t stop COVID-19 from spreading.

Multiple public health experts from the University of Iowa, Linn County Public Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have encouraged mask usage. Dr. Fredric Gerr, who is a professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, said masks don’t reduce the amount of oxygen in a person’s body and only people with severe lung or heart disease need to worry about a mask restricting breathing. He said those with severe illness shouldn’t be able to complete everyday activities, like walking

The letter said it relies on information on doctors but didn’t specifically mention any doctors by name.

“Actually, reliable doctors and skilled specialists, even at the expense of much persecution, have come out and said that mask-wearing in mass prevents needed herd immunity, which in turn adversely affects the ability for antibodies to build up and properly fight off the disease and minimize further outbreak," the letter stated.

Harvest Christian Daycare declined to talk with us about the letter and instead threatened to call its lawyers.

Robert Redfield, who is the director of the CDC, disagreed with the daycare center in testimony to Congress last month.

“I might go as far to say this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me from COVID than a COVID vaccine,” Redford said.

The daycare isn’t the only one not mandating masks. The Iowa State Education Association found about a third of public schools in the state also don’t require face coverings. Most of those are in central and western Iowa, with a few in Eastern Iowa.

Gov. Kim Reynolds pointed to four districts in Sioux County - the only one that required masks had the fewest cases. But, she has stopped short of a statewide mask mandate, despite the White House Coronavirus Task Force previously urging Iowa to adopt one.

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