Finally! Members Of Congress Ask The CDC Why They Picked 2 Years Old As The Age To Require Masks; When Will Airlines Stop Kicking Toddlers Off Their Planes?

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Early on in the pandemic, the CDC wrote “Masks should NOT be worn by children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”

Airlines inferred that to mean toddlers from the age of 2 need to wear a mask, and all US airlines except Delta made that a requirement last year. I think Delta was the only airline that actually read the CDC’s original statement correctly…

I called out the Washington Post for incorrectly reporting that Delta would also require 2 year olds to wear a mask, which they then corrected.

I’ve written here many times asking why 2 years old is the magical cutoff. Is there any science that says those under 2 aren’t spreading COVID, but toddlers magically become COVID spreaders at 24 months?

If it’s arbitrary, then why 2? Nearly every other country exempts toddlers from wearing masks as they lack the maturity to keep a mask on.

And like I pointed out many times, commenter aaron said it best , “I have a hard enough time getting my 2 year old to keep his pants on!”

President Biden’s executive orders then forced Delta to change their rules and require 2 year olds to wear a mask.

Airlines like Lufthansa exempt children under 6 from wearing a mask, but they are required to enforce President Biden’s executive order requiring masks on 2 year olds for US flights.

Sure enough, countless incidents have occurred on US airlines.

There are countless more stories like this.

I do think some would have been avoided if people fed their kids before boarding and made their kids wait to eat until the flight was in the air. But that’s neither here nor there.

My wife and I are fully vaccinated, but have no plans to bring our 4 kids onto a plane anytime soon. Our toddler simply won’t keep her mask on, so we’re not going to voluntarily put ourselves into a situation that may end up with us being kicked off a plane.

Sure, most flight attendants look the other way. But by the rules of the book, they’re not doing anything wrong if they enforce the rules and kick you off the flight. And we’ve all encountered surly flight attendants that insist on everything being by the book.

That’s fine and dandy for us as we have nowhere we need to critically go to, but what about families that need to travel for business or medical reasons? How is it fair to require a toddler to wear a mask when they’re not mature enough to understand or follow the rules?

And how did we get here in the first place?

That’s why I was glad to see Bethany Mandel’s tweet today that 30 members of Congress have written to the CDC demanding answers on the science behind the rule and why small children need to be masked:


You can read the letter to the CDC here.

It cogently outlines all of these questions and points out that other countries have mask rules for 6, 11, or 12 years old.

It also shows data supporting that young children aren’t the ones spreading COVID.

And it clearly asks, why exactly was the age set to 2 and what is the science supporting it?

As Bethany writes, if your representative hasn’t signed on, be sure to call or write to them and let them know this is an important issue for you,


You can find your representatives by typing in your address here.

You can also like and retweet Bethany’s posts and these posts:

Hopefully the CDC will respond with the science behind requiring 2 year olds to wear a mask, or by changing the rules to exclude toddlers from wearing a mask, as is done by nearly every other country in the world.

Will you write to your representatives to let them know how you feel?

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112 Comments On "Finally! Members Of Congress Ask The CDC Why They Picked 2 Years Old As The Age To Require Masks; When Will Airlines Stop Kicking Toddlers Off Their Planes?"

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Parker Kamis

I absolutely support airlines having mask requirements. It’s their right as companies however I think most if not all minors should be excused. Btw i scored $280 round trip from stl-hnd. Thanks Dan!

concerned citizen

if they are excused, then an infected kid can potentially spread it throughout the whole plane? there may be a person on the flight in the high risk category and your putting his life at risk by having even a 3 year sitting on a flight unmasked for a long duration flight.


So what about a child under 2?


If YOU are wearing a mask, what does it matter if anyone else isn’t? I mean, masks protect you from sucking in a virus. Right? lol/smh

Boogey woogey

I hate masks as much as the next guy and never wear one when I don’t have to but please stop with that ridiculous argument it’s not helping anything and makes us all look dumb.

No one believes the masks are 100 percent effective so if the potential spreader is wearing a masks that lowers the chance of it getting thru and then the potential spreadee wears a mask which is for those cases where the droplet gets thru it has to get thru another mask. It’s like if asking if you have locks why do you also have an alarm.

Carl B Maltzman

No, WRONG. A mask is NOT 100% effective, not even close.


yeah, it is like asking if you wear seatbelt, why are you worried about intoxicated drivers…


When Japan is going to open up for US travelers?




The age of 2 was selected because it is the youngest age where a mask doesn’t pose a hazard or that a child can communicate distress from the mask.

It therefore stands to reason that all children should wear masks when it is safe to do so, as children can spread COVID as well.

There are exceptions for medical reasons, which would include a child who is developmentally disabled such that he or she either cannot wear the mask or cannot communicate distress.


Great point. It does sound, however, that either you never had children or you are a male and do not hear your babies cry if you think that kids under two cannot communicate distress


Excuse my language. This is pure sophistry, or at the very least casuistry. Your fallacious arguments are based on a presumption attenuated from reality. The medical experts who articulated this reasoning most likely lack acquaintance with children.

Carl B Maltzman

Aha! But YOU are an expert epidemiologist!


It becomes manifest that you have a hard time with reading comprehension


Huge Yasher Koach and a great read!!


Are any of the signatories Democrats? Because if they’re not I pretty much envision this either being ignored and/or nothing changing


You mentioned that Spirit told you they’ll Psaki back to you. However, you don’t say whether or not they came full circle. Me suspects that you did hear from them, but off the record…


Has anyone shared a sample text of the email to be sent to your local rep or senator?


My friend’s two year old granddaughter was banned from flying Lufthansa FOR LIFE because she wouldn’t keep her mask on. Beyond ridiculous. (And apparently there were non Jewish (or at least not visiblly Jewish) passengers sitting near them who kept taking theur masks off the the FA did nothing.) Police met my friend’s daughter SIL and granddaughter when the plane landed in NY. The officer laughed when he saw who he was brought there to deal with.


If the airlines voluntarily adapted these ridiculous policies before it was a federal law, why would they change it if the law does? They chose these policies because they felt it’ll make passengers more comfortable flying, so why would this change it?
The CDC recommendation is true that probably all masks help on some level, being impractical isn’t the CDC’s problem, it’s the airlines’. I don’t think Biden’s mask order would’ve applied to 2 year olds if most of the airlines weren’t doing it anyway.


I see both sides of this to some degree. It’s the CDC’s job to give guidance based on the best medical data available. At the same time, they do account for what they think will be most effective overall, partially based on what they think people can handle. For example, they changed the number of days required for quarantine from 14 to 10, not because they thought 10 was just as good medically, but because they thought most people would abide by 10 and not 14, and the risk differential between 10 and 14 was small enough to justify it.


Masks don’t stop the spread of covid.


PEOPLE stop the spread of covid


I sure hope they come to their senses. I’ve enjoyed 3 very needed vacations to Florida during the pandemic. From our first trip, I have a nice picture of (unimaginable pre-pandemic) an empty Philadelphia airport on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. On our 2nd and 3rd trips, the airports are starting to look more normal. Lucky for us, our kids are over 10 and understand the rules. I wouldn’t have attempted flying had my kids been under 6 for sure.


To those who believe that passengers over 2 shouldn’t be exempt from wearing a mask: Would you feel more comfortable if those aged 2-6 could go maskless only if they have a negative test from the past 24 hours?


why can we just agree according to the data, meaning there is virtually -none 0 – that throughout this whole pandemic there has been a chief transmission,outbreaks on airplanes?? and please dont tell me its bec were all wearing masks! airlines were crunching people in like sardines. while btw our shulls were closed/having restrictions for capacity. at the beginning there were people on airlpanes (i admit very few) but there was hardly any masking going and yet no case i heard of from people catching it on an airplane.


It not just about data – it’s people’s perceptions – I just want folks to feel comfortable about travelling, and reasonable for parents of small children so I proposed a solution that I thought was reasonable for both sides of the argument.


Most people don’t seem to understand that when the CDC issues guidelines, they are exactly that..guidelines. They’re not meant to cover every possible scenario that one may encounter. The airline employees in your videos seem incapable of understanding that concept. Medicine is never black and white. There are countless shades of grey. The airlines need to train their employees much better for when the oddball case inevitably presents itself.


because sometimes people dont use there brains!! whatever the CDC said they used as gospel. one thing this pandemic has done weve thrown logic out the window. i know i know, its very logical that wearing masks, works..i get it! thats why if its logical to you the you should wear one. see that but that wasnt the pitch to us, the pitch was -“we were masks not to protect yourself BUT so we can protect others” “were all in this together” very smart marketing!!!!! this whole mask thing was a great divider!


I hate the saying “we’re all in this together”. Yeah we are all together unless I disagree with how our leaders want to proceed. Then our leaders want to destroy me and my business. They have no intention of being together with me.


Can you post a form letter to copy/paste into the emails?


Because there has to be a cutoff. Otherwise you and I both know that many folks would say “my 8 year old can’t wear one”


I really don’t intend to sound patronizing but I think that your sentiment that little children have a harder time wearing masks is completely wrong. In fact I know it is wrong and so will every one who is living out of town and sending their kids to a school that actually enforced mask wearing.

Within two weeks of the beginning of school it became quite obvious to all the parents that in fact the ~2.5 to 6 year old age group has by far the EASIEST time wearing masks. They started doing it with help from teachers, they got used to it, accepted it, don’t have political hang ups about it either way, they don’t know any different because a couple of weeks at those ages is enough to make something feel natural, and done! No struggle at all for the vast majority of parents since then.

Whereas if in your home and school, Shuls and supermarkets, parents and teachers make a stink over having to wear a mask…. then wonder of wonders… so will kids! And kids make more obvious tantrums then adults (usually).

Even the parents here in my community who probably still won’t wear a mask if they were 6 inches away from someone with COVID-19, their kids have no problem wearing…Because that’s what all the other kids are doing.


Spot on, I have experienced the same with my kids. My 3 year old has no problem with masks, because she sees her parents and siblings taking it seriously.


The age of 2 was chosen because it’s simpler to enforce. Most airlines know if I child is older than 2 because they have their own seat. It’s unlikely scientific, but it’s practical because FAs aren’t forced to recheck birth certificates. Not saying it’s right or wrong, but I don’t believe it’s arbitrary.


Dan says he doesn’t want this post to turn into an anti-mask tirade (another person wrote that masks don’t prevent the spread of coronavirus). On the other hand the signatories to this letter to the CDC are anti-science, anti-mask, covid deniers. We have Marjorie Taylor Greene who believes Jewish people have space lasers. We have Rand Paul that has gone to an employee gym after being exposed to Covid (and being positive). We have Ted Cruz which has supported reopening his state which has led to a strain of coronavirus in Texas that is resistant to anti-bodies. These congressmen (and women) are the ones sowing doubt in the public’s mind to the detriment of public health. Should this (2 year old cutoff) be the focus of anyone’s efforts? They only want the CDC to state that this was a policy decision rather than a scientific one in an effort to discredit the CDC and further push denialism as a treatment for the pandemic. Dan should be more responsible as he has been throughout the pandemic to protect our communities. The ability to fly commercial requires that we all adhere to policy rules that both the government and the airlines have decided on. Taking off our shoes, submitting to pat downs, and having our nail clippers confiscated. This is another rule. 2-year old’s do not need to travel, if they can’t adhere to the rule leave them home with their grandparents, neighbors, family, friends.

concerned citizen

wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bravo!!!! bravo!!!!!!!

concerned citizen

taylore greene debunked the whole laser story,the original piece didnt say that it was taken out of context.


As Dan has pointed out multiple times, kid’s are not at risk from covid, nor do they infect others. So what in the world is the point in masking them up for no good reason ??? How is masking children at the age that they can’t use a bathroom “pro science”?


Thank you to everyone involved in this! Let’s get more congressmen and women involved!


The only science used is political science

Challah baker

The thing I’m surprised about, that I’ve never heard anyone discuss, is aren’t masks a choking hazard? It’s the kind of product that would generally come with a label on the package warning not to be used by anyone under 3.


TPG has an article saying that airlines and their FA, along with passengers want the mask mandate extended.

Dan, at least you present facts and perspectives from all avenues. TPG has become so politicized with so many of their articles of global warming, LGBTQ travel, *their* perspective of covid.



Dear Senator Singer,
I’m sure you’ve read the countless stories of children and families being kicked off of flights because of a child who was not able to keep their mask on.
If we simply raised the minimum age a bit for the mask requirement we would avoid this issue, all the heartache and trauma for the families, and bad press it causes for the airlines.
Bethany Mandel started a petition to have the minimum age upped.
If you can take a look, read about this issue and consider supporting this cause, I would greatly appreciate it:—final-signed-4.22.21.pdf

Thank you for listening,
xxx xxxxx


Thank you. I used your letter (replacing the names) for my representatives.

Sam Lange

Happy to hear! GS

Carl B Maltzman

I LOVE the way the right wing media have taught their marks the word “arbitrary.” Every rule is now “arbitrary.” People can vote at age 18–not even one day earlier. Arbitrary! People can drink at 21. Who decided that? Not 20 years 11 months and 29 days. Arbitrary! A Bris is at 8 days. Not 7? Arbitrary!
Even funnier from Orthodox Jews, who have half a dozen “arbitrary” determinations of when Shabbos is over. Ashkenaz can’t eat rice on Pesach? Arbitrary!
Masks at 2 is arbitrary? If they made the limit at 3, the right wing media would tell you that that is “arbitrary” too.


1)Two year olds are not at risk from covid.
2)Two year olds do not spread covid to others.
3)It’s ABSURD and practically impossible to force a two year old to wear a mask for more then two minutes. Any thoughts ?

Carl B Maltzman

1) I don’t really value the epidemiological conclusions from people who are not expert epidemiologists.
2) See 1) above
3) Person who responded to my comments about “arbitrary” didn’t really address my comments. Person says you can’t make a 2 year old wear a mask. When can you make a child wear a mask? Not at 370 days? 371 days? 380 days? Again, the decision is “arbitrary.” And also, of course, not every child becomes willing to wear a mask at the same age.
4) Like masks, poster says “two year olds are not at risk from covid.” When do they become “at risk”? 371 days? 380 days? 400 days? Yet again, another “arbitrary” decision, that does not apply to all children.
5) See 4) above for “two year olds do not spread covid to others.”


Happy that you’re second guessing my “epidemiological conclusions”about the risk children are from getting covid. We are already a year in a half into this pandemic, can you please show me the data of children at risk to covid ?

Carl B Maltzman

Please define the term “at risk” if one in a million children die or get severely sick is that considered “at risk” to the point where preventive measures are necessary and should be mandated ?

Because prior to covid there was something called the flu which killed way more children by far, and I don’t recall anyone suggesting let alone mandating mask wearing!

A airline kicking off a family for disobedience, would’ve been an National scandal.

Carl B Maltzman

Gee, I hate to contradict or bring facts to an esteemed and renowned epidemiologist like yourself, but 188 children died from influenza last season. Last year, 133 died from Covid. However, don’t forget that over ONE MILLION children have contracted Covid, and we don’t know what the long term effects are of Covid. The ling term effects of influenza are nil.


So you’re arguing that 133 is greater then 188?

Carl B Maltzman

No. But YOU are saying that 188 is “way more” than 133.


Btw, due to the spread of covid, the flu last season was nothing compared to any other year, for example in 2019, 266 children ages 0-4 died from the flu.

Carl B Maltzman

Well, you give it a real right wing spin. MASKS are the reason that influenza was so diminished this season. You want to believe that Covid protected children from influenza?


Here’s the CDC’s own conclusion, on the effects face masks have on the spread of influenza, based on scientific research going back to 1946 (before this issue was politicized).


“ Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza”

Carl B Maltzman

So let me get this straight: YOU are the guy who boasts that influenza has almost vanished this year due to MASKS, but on the other hand, you’re AGAINST wearing masks because they’re not effective. Got it.


Reading comprehension dude! The influenza didn’t vanish due to masks, as the research collected by the CDC since the Spanish flu proves that masks have little to no effect whatsoever on the spread of influenza.

Carl B Maltzman

You’re wrong yet again. CDC says masks helped cut down on influenza rate.
“In the United States, influenza virus circulation declined sharply within 2 weeks of the COVID-19 emergency declaration and widespread implementation of community mitigation measures, including school closures, social distancing, and mask wearing, although the exact timing varied by location (2).”


What?? Are you kidding me??? Influenza declined sharply when the entire country locked themselves up in their houses in mid March, in the time the CDC, Fauci, the Surgeon general, and all other of our “esteemed experts” were yelling that masks should only be worn by health care providers, in an health care setting, (“Masks don’t work leave it for the health care providers”) masks were mainstreamed in may-June when influenza was long gone!

Give two yo some credit

How are people so confident that two year olds don’t spread or catch covid? That’s just not true… Plenty of children two and under have gotten seriously sick, and some have died. Yes, most are asymptomatic, but is it worth that risk?
And saying it’s so absurd for two year olds to wear masks is absurd. Get them a fun animal mask and they’ll keep it on for hours. If you as the parent don’t complain about it, neither will they.


Would like to know what you consider “at risk” from catching covid? If the covid death rate among children is lower then the death rate of, say the yearly flu, is it a “risk worth taking” ? Prior to covid no body made their 2 yr. olds wear a mask to protect them from the flu?

Give two yo some credit

Do you make your two year old get the flu shot every year? I’m sure you do. Why wouldn’t I want to protect my children the best I can?


But the flu shot only reduces the chances of infection by maximum 50% why not wear masks on top of that?


We’re in a covid pandemic, not a flu pandemic. The chances of catching covid are way higher. And the chances of getting sock are way higher. You pull stats out of your tuchus. But if you wanted to wear a mask to prevent getting the flu, by all means, I won’t judge.


Yet The non-pandemic flu, fatality rate among children is higher then the “pandemic” fatality rate. (Again talking specifically among children)


FACT: If in 2019 An airline kicked off an entire family off a flight, because one member (at the age of 2 yrs.) took off they’re masks (for the flu) in between bites, that airline would’ve been sued into bankruptcy by every single civil liberties organization.

And the stewardesses and staff involved would’ve been immediately escorted into a mental hospital.

Fact check

The infection fatality rate (IFR) measures how many infected people die from a disease. The majority of scientific papers report an IFR of 0.68% for COVID-19, meaning that 68 people out of 10,000 people who are infected will die. The fatality rate from COVID-19 is noticeably higher than that of the flu, which has an IFR of 0.1% in the U.S.

Carl B Maltzman

Yes parents: there is so little risk that your child will die, don’t bother to take precautions. Leave him under a tree in a thunderstorm. Don’t cover electrical outlets. Leave those nice looking detergent pods out. And please, please, for the sake of your walls, do NOT attach dressers to the wall!


No parents: for the sake of a virus that maybe kills a few in a million, (and even those are ones with pre existing conditions) close all schools and deny you’re children a education, or to interact with they’re friends. Or force them to sit through a full day of class wearing a dumb face mask that has little to impact what so ever on the spread of a virus. It’s pure child abuse!


Just wondering are you a parent?

Give two yo some credit

Yes, my two year old twins wear their masks to day care every day and whenever they play with other kids and don’t mind one bit.


Wow. Just wow.


We have been separated from our families because this stupid rule! How is it fair that we who are healthy and fully vaccinated can not travel Because one person in the plane MIGHT be of high risk? Shouldn’t this person be the one staying home taking care of their own health instead? I’m all for taking care of each other but this has become too much! There is so much more tthat can kill us and here we are freaking out about a little toddler not wearing a mask for hours in an airport+airplane. But we can go grocery shopping without a mask where we touch everything. That is just a bunch of BS from the CDC who probably just hate toddlers in an airplane, they are afraid of loosing power at this point. Now that the vaccine it’s here, let everybody take their own risk! If you are afraid, stay home, the percentage of high risk passengers is probably way lower than the percentage of healthy toddlers who should be allowed to fly without a mask. This is making airlines loose money since families can’t fly with their kids, this is also making families suffer because we are separated from loved ones. What’s better? A family of 4 who pays 4 airline tickets + food+hotel+ fun activities 2-3 times of year or one high risk passenger who probably just doing a business trip? just like I avoid driving when it rains outside at night because of the people who doesn’t know how to drive in the dark and under rain freaks me out, hight risk unvaccinated people should also stay home if they are scared of a toddler not wearing a freaking mask for hours in an airplane.