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Horowitz: E-MASK-ulation: How we have been lied to so dramatically about masks

Op-ed

What did the scientific literature say before the issue became political?


Rattankun Thongbun/Getty Images

If you are looking for the scientific rationale behind universal mask-wearing, you certainly won't find it now that the issue has become as political as guns, abortion, and taxes. We are now at a point where Canada's chief public health officer is calling on people to wear masks when engaging in sexual activities and 19-month-old babies are being forced to wear them on airplanes. There is no rational thought in a political cult. But what did the governmental and scientific literature say on the issue before it became political?

On April 3, already several weeks into the unprecedented lockdown over coronavirus, but before the big media push for universal masking, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for respiratory protection for workers exposed to people with the virus. It stated clearly what governments had said all along about other forms of airborne contamination, such as smoke inhalation — "Surgical masks and eye protection (e.g., face shields, goggles) were provided as an interim measure to protect against splashes and large droplets (note: surgical masks are not respirators and do not provide protection against aerosol-generating procedures)."

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