Children under 12 are amongst the most vulnerable in this current surge of COVID-19 infections. Los Angeles County has seen a dramatic increase in infection in recent days. It takes a special kind of logic to convince ones' self that failing to enforce a mask mandate intended to protect the more vulnerable is actually protecting them better, yet LA County Sheriff Villanueva does just this; he convinces himself but not CNN host Pamela Brown or likely anyone else.
"When I interviewed the health official who imposed this mask mandate you mentioned earlier, a lot of this was about the unvaccinated, including children — children that can't get vaccinated yet. As we've seen, there is a big explosion of cases there in LA county. Do you see this also — I mean, couldn't you argue that enforcing a mask mandate is part of your role in protecting these kids, sheriff?"
"You may be trying to tug at heartstrings, but your argument falls apart when 99 percent of everyone in the hospital right now in the ERs and the ICUs are the unvaccinated," said Sheriff Villanueva.
"Right, that's what I'm saying," said Brown, talking about the hospitals being filled with unvaccinated people.
"I'm not trying to pull at heartstrings; I'm just trying to get to the facts here that kids under the age of 12 can't get vaccinated. And so, doctors say, it's about protecting them as well."
"Well, just like any population is vulnerable, you've got to pick and choose where you're going to expose yourself. If kids under 12 are not vaccinated, then their parents need to pick and choose exactly where they're going to expose them publicly," said the sheriff. "That's up to the family member to understand and make those risk assessments on an individual basis."