A study by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that Americans are adhering to mask mandates, but they don't appear to have slowed or stopped the spread of the coronavirus.
And further, mask-wearing has negative effects.
In its survey of symptomatic COVID-19 patients, the CDC found that 70.6% reported "always" wearing a mask. An additional 14.4% say they "often" wear one, investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel reported.
That means 85% of infected COVID-19 patients reported they regularly wear a mask.
Only 3.9% said they "never" wear a face covering.
"The study offers insight into the reality that tens of thousands of Americans are acquiring COVID-19 on a daily basis despite overwhelming adherence to mask wearing," Schachtel said.
And it counters the claim of White House coronavirus member Dr. Anthony Fauci and others that Americans are not following the CDC guidance on wearing masks.
The spreadsheet below shows the results of the study's symptomatic group on the left and the control group on the right are similar:
Schachtel noted that the survey also contradicts the claim of CDC Director Robert Redfield in a recent hearing that a cloth mask is "more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine."
Mark Changizi, a theoretical cognitive scientist researcher, noted on Twitter the study showed that usage of a face mask leads to:
- Increased rebreathing of expelled carbon dioxide
- Significant increase in respiration, increased respiratory rate, and hyperventilation
- Increased heart rate
- Increase in Co2 in the blood
- Hypoxemia, which is an abnormal decrease in the partial pressure of oxygen in the arterial blood
- A hypercapnia, which is an increase in the pressure of Co2 in the blood
- General cognitive decline
- Greater difficulty in psychomotor tasks
Changizi also noted masks increase the risk of injury by impairing sight downward.
Confirmed by other studies
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has compiled a page of "Mask Facts" that explains the basic science behind mask wearing and summarizes a variety of studies.
It shows that the consensus prior to the coronavirus pandemic was that the effectiveness of mask-wearing by the general public in slowing the spread of a virus is unproven, and there's evidence it does more harm than good.
On April 6, the World Health Organization said the "wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks."
Just two months, later, however, as the pandemic surged, the WHO changed its stance without providing any evidence with radomized controlled trials.
On March 5, the Centers for Disease Control said masks "are usually not recommended in "non-health care settings."
But on Aug. 7, the CDC said it "recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don't live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."