Face masks are more effective at stopping COVID-19 infections than vaccines? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released a public service announcement featuring Rochelle Waensky, agency director.
Walensky claims that the evidence “is clear” in the video of 37 seconds. postedOn Twitter, last Friday. On Friday, Twitter, I posted the following: “Masks are able to help stop the spread COVID-19. They reduce your risk of contracting an infection due to the flu, coronavirus or common cold. Your mask can be worn in combination with the other important steps such as getting your vaccine, washing your hands, and maintaining a distance to prevent us from becoming sick.
Walensky appears to believe that a mask would reduce your chance of getting infected by more than 80 percent. This safeguard is incredibly effective. This risk reduction is higher than what has been shown in real-world studies on mRNA vaccines. Six studies were conducted with the dominant delta variant of the vaccine. In these six cases, there was a range in infection rates from 54% to 89%. Five of the six studies showed a 80% effectiveness rate, but the decreases in severe illness, symptomatic patients, hospitalizations, and death were greater. This is an important fact to consider when considering the health benefits of vaccination.
Walensky claimed that masks can prevent infections better than vaccines. I contacted CDC and haven’t heard back. Walensky relies on a journal-reported laboratory study to support face masks as evidence, according to the CDC summary. Science Advances last September.
To record the laser-illuminated droplets of respiratory gas from speakers, 14 different types of facial coverings were used by researchers. They included surgical masks, N95 respirators, bandanas, and neck gaiters. The valveless N95 mask was 99.9 percent effective at retaining “droplet sizes larger than 0.5 μm” (the estimated detection limit), while the neck gaiter seemed worse than useless, apparently because it broke larger droplets into smaller ones. The number of drops detected was reduced by various types of cloth masks, including three-layer surgical masks. The CDC summarizes that human tests have shown that at least 80% of the droplets in all of their respiratory drops were blocked.
This gloss might be misleading considering the detected limit, but it’s still far away from Walensky’s statement that masks “reduce.”[e]You have a greater chance of contracting infection by 80 percent. This study can be used to show that wearing face masks may reduce COVID-19 infection. Walensky does more: You can quantifyBased on an unmeasured laboratory study, the masks’ real-world effects were not measured.
You should not draw such conclusion without considering the differences between what you see in a laboratory and reality. The study involved one participant wearing a mask who spoke into a hole in an enclosed box. The mask-wearing person recited “Stay Healthy, People”, but did not cough, sneeze or shout. Although the masks were properly worn, this is not always true in reality. Walensky implicitly implies that every person will select the best models, despite the fact that it was found that cloth masks had an impact on their performance.
Worse yet, Walensky’s unclear statement could mean that mask-wearing people reduces their visibility They are responsible for their own risksCOVID-19 was “more than 80 per cent” of what it is. Walensky supports that impression with a tweet in which she states “wearing masks” can help you “stay well.” Study that looked at drops emittedMask-wearing people, there is no evidence to support such an assertion.
Walenksy seems to have reaffirmed her estimation with her tweet, “m.”You can ask questions Get helpReduce your chances of #COVID19“Infection by over 80%” Even if the masks used in Walensky’s video are less effective, this could still be true – provided you have been vaccinated.
Walensky’s interpretation and the difference in the results of the study should have been obvious to her.This is the misleading precision of “more than 88%” overall. It would be reasonable to think that a public-health official who is repeatedly accused of distorted COVID-19 research might have been more cautious in presenting the scientific results to the public. Walensky’s exaggerated use of masking to undermine her credibility makes it seem that vaccination is the best tool to stop COVID-19 spreading. That message doesn’t bode well for public health.