Washington, D.C. — Today, on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its Tennessee chapter, Democracy Forward and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s order requiring universal masking in Knox County public schools to stem the spread of COVID-19.
As the brief notes, “Proper masking is the most effective mitigation strategy to prevent COVID-19 transmission in schools when vaccination is unavailable or there are insufficient levels of vaccination among students and staff.” That is the case in Knox County, where only 18% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have been vaccinated.
“The Omicron variant has led to a staggering surge in pediatric COVID cases around the country. In order for children to safely learn in person, including students with disabilities and those who are medically vulnerable, it’s essential that evidence-based measures are in place to protect their health,” said AAP Tennessee Chapter President Jason Yaun, MD, FAAP.
“The evidence is clear: masks are a safe, effective, and critical infection-control measure, especially in areas where there are insufficient levels of vaccination. That’s why we urge the Sixth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s order requiring universal masking in Knox County schools to stem the spread of COVID-19,” said President and CEO of Democracy Forward Skye Perryman.
Read more about Democracy Forward’s work with the American Academy of Pediatrics to amplify science in the courts to protect children’s health and ensure access to a safe, in-person learning environment here.
The Tennessee Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics represents the voice of more than 1,000 Tennessee Pediatricians who are dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information visit www.tnaap.org.
Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization founded in 2017 that litigates cases involving government action on behalf of organizations, individuals, and municipalities. The organization has taken 650 legal actions and achieved victories supporting democracy and improving the lives and wellbeing of people and communities. Democracy Forward Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
American Academy of Pediatrics