Behind the state’s school masking policy: a collision of science and politics

 Behind the state’s school masking policy: a collision of science and politics

The determination to follow this middle path may be in part political. When a Massachusetts General Hospital doctor asked in an e-mail why the state was not following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, a top state health official was blunt: pressure.

“There has been considerable pushback from parents groups that feel that masks interfere with social interactions and speech and language development,” wrote Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director for the state health department’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, in a July 30 e-mail to Dr. Regina LaRocque, his former student at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The e-mail was obtained through a public records request to the state health department.

The administration tightened its mask policy about a month after the exchange between LaRocque and Madoff, but current policy still falls short of the recommendations of both the CDC and the Massachusetts…

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