Great Game India (GGI) outlined more than 30 articles proving that face masks were useless against SARS-CoV-2. Among these was a statement by two respiratory protection experts from the University of Illinois Chicago. Lisa Brosseau and Margaret Sietsema penned the commentary on face masks, which was written in April 2020 – one month after the pandemic began.
In their commentary, Brosseau and Sietsema refused to recommend the general public to mask up. One reason they cited for this was face coverings caused people to relax other efforts to curb COVID-19 spread due to the masks providing a sense of protection. "Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as [personal protective equipment]," the two pointed out.
Brosseau and Sietsema cited a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that looked at how different materials filtered out particles. The institute analyzed commercial cloth masks, sweatshirts, T-shirts, towels and scarves.
As expected, the NIOSH study found that N95 respirators could filter out more than 95 percent of particles – while cloth masks only blocked 10 to 30 percent. T-shirts showed 10 percent filtration efficiency, while sweatshirts had 20 to 40 percent efficiency. Scarves only filtered 10 to 20 percent of particles and towels managed to filter 40 percent. Nevertheless, the NIOSH study found that all cloth masks and materials failed to block particles 0.3 micrometers in size – which easily entered the lungs. (Related: Dozens of peer-reviewed science papers prove that face masks are dangerous, ineffective.)
Meanwhile, the two experts noted that medical masks exhibited almost the same results as cloth-based counterparts. Given that medical masks were made from a wide range of materials, most of these exhibited an efficiency of between 30 percent and 50 percent. Surgical and other medical masks may "likely have some utility as a source control … from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread … and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles," they wrote.
Another article critical of face masks cited by GGI came from the Swiss Policy Research (SPR) website. According to the SPR piece, mask mandates by different governments actually contributed to a rise in COVID-19 cases. It included COVID-19 data from a number of European countries that required people to mask up.
Such trends were observed in Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, France and Belgium. Some U.S. states also exhibited the same pattern, such as California and Hawaii – incidentally Democrat-led states.
The SPR article also included a comparison between the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. Despite having both Republican governors, the two had very different responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The north imposed mask mandates and restrictions on businesses, while the south did not.
COVID-19 figures from the two states show North Dakota having higher case counts during the fall 2020 case surge. Both North Dakota and South Dakota almost have the same number of cases prior to the surge.
Ultimately, the GGI article echoed the sentiment of British expert Dr. Colin Axon, who described masks as "comfort blankets." According to Axon, some cloth masks have gaps that cannot be seen by the naked eye where infected particles can pass through.
"[Members of the] public were demanding [that] something must be done – [and] they got masks. It is just a comfort blanket. But now it is entrenched, and we are entrenching bad behavior," Axon said. He continued: "All around the world, you can look at mask mandates and superimpose [them] on infection rates. [You] cannot see that mask mandates made any effect whatsoever. (Related: Doctor raises serious doubts about effectiveness of face masks, busts common misconceptions.)
Pandemic.news has more articles about the uselessness of face masks against COVID-19.