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GOP senator warns that new CDC guidance against leisure activities will harm students

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FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Sent a letter to the CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky On Wednesday, the agency's new guide, which encourages K-12 schools to shut down some personal leisure activities, will harm students' health.

In a guide updated on January 6, the CDC recommended that elementary schools in areas with a "high" transfer rate of COVID-19 cancel "high-risk" leisure activities defined as "those where increased exhalation occurs, such as activities that involves singing, shouting, banding or exercising, especially when performed indoors. "

Blackburn pointed out how the CDC classifies more than 99% of U.S. counties that experience high transmission rates, and said the CDC effectively suggested that almost all counties should close activities outside of education.

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Blackburn described the protocols as "misleading" and accused the Biden administration of "using the disguise of COVID-19 to remove liberties, apparently without any regard for the welfare of our country's children," and suggested banning activities such as sports and band . will further harm the mental health of young people.

She cited the CDC's own report, which found soaring rates of suicide attempts among young people since the pandemic. A review of 36 other studies showed increases in anxiety, depression and other health problems.

Late.  Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Listens during the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (Stefani Reynolds / Pool via AP)

Late. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Listens during the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (Stefani Reynolds / Pool via AP)

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"It's also hard for Americans to trust that the CDC guidance is based on scientific evidence, especially given the Biden administration's propensity to - and the CDC's past history of - bowing to teachers' unions," Blackburn added.

"Prior to the February 2021 CDC Communication on School Reopening Guidelines, emails indicate that some CDC languages ​​in the School Reopening Guidelines were actually written by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)."

Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speaks during a hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in Washington, DC, on January 11, 2022.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speaks during a hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in Washington, DC, on January 11, 2022. (Shawn Thew / EPA / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Blackburn concluded by asking Walensky to explain what evidence the CDC used to conclude that a halt to children playing sports would slow down the spread of COVID-19 and cite any communications the agency has had with external groups that could have influenced its guidance.

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"The health and well-being of our children is at stake, and it is long overdue for this administration to stop trying to micro-control the decisions Americans make about their own health," Blackburn said.

The CDC did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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