In yet another example of a business taking a government edict too far, an MSNBC host tweeted on Tuesday about his experience at a restaurant that refused to let his family dine inside because one of them wasn’t vaccinated — the four-year-old.
MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin called out a New York City eatery that “didn’t care” about the inane response to his unvaccinated 4-year-old daughter, sharing on Twitter that the restaurant’s actions were despite a lack of CDC guidelines on children under five years old.
“THREAD: today my family was denied eating indoors at a restaurant because, wait for it, my 4 yr old daughter was with me and they dont serve ‘unvaccinated’ people,” Mohyeldin took to Twitter on Tuesday. “I tried to explain theres no CDC guideline requiring children under 5 get vaccinated. But the restaurant didn’t care,” the MSNBC anchor tweeted.
The post included a photo of the front entrance to the tagged restaurant, Buvette NYC.
THREAD: today my family was denied eating indoors at a restaurant because, wait for it, my 4 yr old daughter was with me and they dont serve “unvaccinated” people. I tried to explain theres no CDC guideline requiring children under 5 get vaccinated. But the restaurant didn’t care pic.twitter.com/qFt48KZLWq
— Ayman (@AymanM) January 4, 2022
“Don’t get me wrong, restaurants have the right to apply their own health standards but at least ground them in public health policies and science,” Mohyeldin wrote, adding that” everyone else with me was vaccinated, boosted and/or had covid (me). My 4 yr old daughter has a letter from her doctor stating she recently had covid.”
“But they didn’t care and only offered us to sit outside even though they were seating customers indoors,” he noted.
Don’t get me wrong, restaurants have the right to apply their own health standards but at least ground them in public health policies and science. Restaurants have suffered so much in this pandemic so its sad that when you try and help by dining out that you get turned away.
— Ayman (@AymanM) January 4, 2022
And just to be clear, everyone else with me was vaccinated, boosted and/or had covid (me). My 4 yr old daughter has a letter from her doctor stating she recently had covid. But they didn’t care and only offered us to sit outside even though they were seating customers indoors.
— Ayman (@AymanM) January 4, 2022
From the city’s “Key to NYC” guidelines online, restaurant restrictions are as follows:
Children: Children ages 5 to 11 are now required to have proof of vaccination for the public indoor activities described further below. They must show they have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Full Vaccination: People 12 and older participating in the below public indoor activities are now required to show proof they have received two vaccine doses, except for those who have received the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Starting January 29, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 must also show proof of full vaccination.
People expressed mixed reactions to Ayman Mohyeldin’s assertions:
I think the problem is him and the child aren’t [vaccinated], and they refused to sit the child inside while they were willing to let him sit inside. Which is just stupid if that’s what the restaurant did.
— Brian (@MiniZenLife) January 5, 2022
I’m with team @ilovebuvette on this one. They did offer you the option of outdoor seating. In fact, with a 4 yr old who has already had Covid-19, I would have jumped at that option seeing how she could get it again. I’m glad @ilovebuvette is looking out for everyone’s health.
— Priscilla Galstaun🕯 (@PrisGalstaun) January 4, 2022
Yes, that is wisdom since we know anyone who has been vaccinated can’t spread it. Oh wait, they can in fact spread it. So how is this helpful?
— Rusty Popp (@rpopp23) January 5, 2022
Walked into Chipotle the other day. The server waited until i got to the front of a long line to tell me to put a mask on. I got off the line, sat at a table (no mask), ordered my food on the app n grabbed my food. Some ppl just like the false authority it gives them. Not science.
— Timmy Black (@TImmyBlack9) January 5, 2022
A restaurant has a right to refuse service to any customer who is not vaccinated especially since omicron is 70X’s more contagious than the delta variant. My friend just tested positive because she was with her unvaccinated 4 year grandson over the holidays.
— EH4 (@Golfisme) January 5, 2022
One Twitter user asked Mohyeldin if a vaccine is even available to children under five years old.
“It’s not. that’s exactly the point I was trying to make,” he responded. “What science, data, or public healthy policy or guideline is this grounded in? I couldn’t even get my 4 year old vaccinated if I wanted. Everyone else with me was vaxxed and boosted.”
As far as the assertion that children can spread the virus to others, no less an authority than JAMA Pediatrics addressed this issue in August of 2021:
“…most studies suggest that, in childhood, viral shedding may increase with increasing age [emphasis added].5 Additionally, prior work that has described that young children are more likely to have asymptomatic infections than older individuals6 and that asymptomatically infected individuals are less likely to transmit [emphasis added] than individuals who have symptomatic infection.”
“To understand why the youngest children may be more likely to transmit COVID to others once infected, we believe we need to consider the simple but elegant findings of Hall and Douglas—behavior matters [emphasis added]! … Cuddling and touching are part and parcel of taking care of a sick young child and that will obviously come with an increased risk of transmission to parents as well as to older siblings who may be helping to care for their sick brother or sister.”
The takeaway from the JAMA article is twofold:
- as age increases, so does the ability to transmit, therefore young asymptomatic children are not transmitting it effectively; and
- unless other restaurant patrons intend to cuddle or touch another family’s sick child during the meal, people should feel safe with small children present nearby.
Another commenter from Twitter had this to say:
That is the right of the business and it sucks, but people are afraid.
— The Devil’s Confession (@TheDevilsConfes) January 4, 2022
In the end, it does come down to that. Private businesses can set their own rules, over and above what the government regulations are, and we must recognize and respect that. But we look forward to a day that rules — both government and private — are once again based in common sense and science, and not in fear.
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