Stop Forcing People to Wear Masks Over COVID-19 Fears
An abundance of research shows masks offer little or no protection against infection from respiratory viruses, and some masks can actually increase one’s risk of infection.
A 2009 randomized clinical trial found that surgical masks offered no protection at all. A 2015 study concluded rates of infection were especially high in cloth masks, finding particle penetration in nearly 97 percent of them. A 2016 paper that analyzed six clinical studies found that N95 respirator masks fared no better than medical masks in preventing respiratory infection.
As recently as April 7, a paper analyzing data from 15 randomized trials concluded that “compared to no masks there was no reduction of influenza-like illness cases for influenza for masks in the general population, nor in healthcare workers."