Surgeon Debunks Mask Myths: “Mask wearing sounds good, but doesn’t work at all.”
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Getting to the truth about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and parsing the efficacy of the response to the virus has been a challenge. Social media companies, national media, and even local media have ignored, silenced, “fact-checked,” or have acted as gatekeepers for the acceptable discourse concerning the virus.
To break through this media blackout, America’s Frontline Doctors, an organization that has sprung out of the response to SARS-CoV-2, has been holding summits and educational sessions. Their goal is, “[to] have frontline doctors talk directly to the American public, educate and inform policy leaders, and create alliances to enable physicians to heal our nation.”
In the group’s most recent medical summit from October 2020, the White Coat Summit II, one of the sessions titled, “Masks: The Science & Myths” focuses on the efficacy of wearing masks. Dr. Lee Merit, MD, uses her experience as a surgeon, in addition to several peer-reviewed studies and basic common sense, to demonstrate that masks do not work to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
“The strongest argument for mask wearing is that it sounds good, the strongest argument against mask wearing is that it doesn’t work at all. But it actually might even be worse than that.”Dr. Lee Merit, MD. America’s Frontline Doctors. Masks: The Science & Myths.
In the video-recorded session, Dr. Merit notes that the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is 0.125 microns while the surgical masks many people wear only block particles larger than 100 microns. Surgical masks are intended to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids, according to OSHA and manufacturer recommendations.
A surgical mask is not a respirator. It cannot be used to protect workers who perform or assist with aerosol-generating procedures, which may create very fine aerosol sprays. A surgical mask can only be used to protect workers from contact with the large droplets made by patients when they cough, sneeze, talk or breathe.OSHA. Employer Guidance. Reducing Healthcare Workers’ Exposures to Seasonal Flu Virus.
And the masks that most people have purchased online or made at home? These typical cloth masks and N95 masks only block particles larger than 0.3 microns while coughing and sneezing exceed the flow that N95 masks are rated for. Additional data and information on mask efficacy is also available on the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Mask Facts page.
Merit also references the work of Dr. Ted Noel, who demonstrated that aerosols that carry virus particles can easily escape out the sides of the typical mask. To demonstrate the fluid dynamics of aerosols behind a surgical mask, Noel used a vaporizer to create more visible aerosols.
He also shows that aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 pass directly out the front of the mask for the more form-fitting styles.
She also debunks the claim that by looking at new cases over time, specifically in New York City, and comparing the case curve to draconian lockdown measures, that the efficacy of masking can be proved. Merit reveals that the standard epidemiological illness curve tracks the case curve making it unlikely that the measures from health-care authorities to restrict the population with lockdowns and face masks had any effect.
Merit also notes that CDC data shows that 85% of people who became infected with the virus reported wearing their mask always or often before onset.
Dr. Merit suggests that if people really want to do something to reduce their risk of infection, taking vitamin D and zinc may help. An Indonesian study conducted in April of 2020 showed that vitamin D deficiencies were associated with “increasing odds of death.” She also mentioned using fresh air and humidifiers to help clear the virus from the air.
Watch the full session: