Masking – Make an Informed Decision – 8 1/2 x 11 printable flyer (pdf)
Further resources on our Taking Action COVID-19 page
For News items on Masking see our COVID-19 Page.
**New** August 3, 2020
Face masks, lies, damn lies, and public health officials: “A growing body of evidence” – Technical Report (PDF Available) · August 2020 – D. G. Rancourt – ResearchGate
June 21, 2020
“It is an unjustified authoritarian imposition, and a fundamental indignity, to have the State impose its evaluation of risk on the individual, one which has no basis in science, and which is smaller than a multitude of risks that are both common and often created or condoned by the State.”
As demonstrated in multiple reviews of the published science on the ability of masks and respirators to prevent viral respiratory illnesses, there is no high quality research that definitively concludes masking is protective. In Canada, the Ontario Nurses Association won two arbitration hearings against mandatory masking policies imposed on healthcare workers by hospitals.
In both arbitration hearings, the published science was scrutinized to determine whether masks can prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses. In both cases, the arbitration court found that there is no quality science showing that masks work to protect the person wearing the mask, nor those they interact with. In both cases, the arbitrations successfully struck down ‘mask or vaccinate’ polices in Ontario hospitals and found the evidence to prove that masks were effective against the transmission of influenza to be “insufficient, inadequate and completely unpersuasive.” The full transcript of the arbitration hearing can be read here.
Despite the dearth of science supporting the benefits of masking, the deceptive and false narrative of masking continues to be imposed on the public.
It is clear that cloth masks cannot prevent minute respiratory viruses from getting through to the wearer, nor protect others if one is infected. As well there is concern that many surgical masks serve mainly to “protect the patient, not the wearer, from the wearer’s saliva and respiratory secretions.”
In these Resources, we provide you with information on masking obtained from a number of well researched sources to help you make an informed decision on this contentious topic. We encourage you to share this information with others.
Professor Denis Rancourt Ph.D, is the lead analyst on this topic at the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. His report, “Masks Don’t Work”, is an extensive analysis of the medical and scientific literature on masking . He writes;
“No RCT study with verified outcome shows a benefit for HCW or community members in households to wearing a mask or respirator. There is no such study. There are no exceptions. Likewise, no study exists that shows a benefit from a broad policy to wear masks in public (more on this below). Furthermore, if there were any benefit to wearing a mask, because of the blocking power against droplets and aerosol particles, then there should be more benefit from wearing a respirator (N95) compared to a surgical mask, yet several large meta-analyses, and all the RCT, prove that there is no such relative benefit. Masks and respirators do not work.”
In an interview recently posted at OffGuardian, Dr. Rancourt stated that;
“In the many studies, in which the known bias of self-reporting is eliminated by using laboratory-confirmed infection detection, no statistically meaningful advantage is ever found, in either health-care or community settings, with either surgical masks or N95 respirators. No study, and there have been many, has been able to establish any advantage of wearing a mask or respirator, with viral respiratory diseases.
This means that, even in controlled professional health-care settings, any benefit is too small to be detected by science, and that other factors must be overwhelmingly more important.
Regarding all viral respiratory diseases — which are both known to be transmitted by small aerosol `particles (i.e., “droplets” of less than a few microns in diameter) and known to be highly infectious in terms of the so-called minimum-infective-dose (i.e., the number of virions that will likely be sufficient to cause illness or detectable infection) — in plain language, this means “masks don’t work”. (A “virion” is a single virus unit, the RNA and its shell.)
Therefore, any societal debate about the virtue or responsibility of wearing a mask to reduce the risk of infection,… is occurring in a science vacuum. It is a political and psychological debate, not one that is science-based.”
Articles, links and videos:
Dr. Rancourt’s ‘Masks Don’t Work’ report, first published at Research Gate was taken down and censored after it had “reached an unprecedented 400,000 reads on the site”.
Summarizing the censorship of his report on the ineffectiveness of masking, Prof. Rancourt writes, “This is censorship of my scientific work like I have never experienced before. It deprives me of the advantages of the ResearchGate platform. It also kills the many links to the article, from a multitude of media and social-media venues. As such, it infringes on the public’s right to freely access information in a democracy, without undue or illegal interference. The actions of ResearchGate are contrary to science, freedom, and democracy. In my opinion, ResearchGate is using the public internet infrastructure, while actuating an apparent bias aligned with its funding sources.”
“There is limited evidence that wearing a medical mask by healthy individuals in the households or among contacts of a sick patient, or among attendees of mass gatherings may be beneficial as a preventive measure. However, there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.”
WHO New Guidelines on Masking by Ted Kuntz
At the same time the WHO continues to admit that masking of healthy people “is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence”, they urge people to continue wearing masks for a variety of social and cultural reasons and even as an opportunity to earn extra money by making cloth masks.
WHO Flip flops on face Masks, June 1, 2020 – The WHO commissioned The Lancet to do a literature review on masking and is the basis of it’s new masking recommendations. In their paper titled ‘Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, the reviewers looked at 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, with no randomized controlled trials and 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care settings. While enthusiastically reported by CBC as definitive proof that masks protect, an analysis of the Lancet paper concludes otherwise.
In a critique of the attempt to put a positive spin on masking in this Lancet review, Dr. Rancourt writes ;
“The Lancet authors state: ‘Any recommendations about social or physical distancing, and the use of face masks, should be based on the best available evidence.” This is wrongheaded. Governments should never use ‘the best available evidence’ if the said ‘best available evidence’ does not cross the threshold of being good enough to be used by the government to make laws that affect citizens in their persons and movements and associations, etc. In the Lancet study, there is no usable evidence, and it is reckless for the WHO to use the Lancet authors’ dubious ‘results’.” Furthermore Dr. Rancourt points out that,
- There are NO randomized controlled trials.
- The infection is not necessarily laboratory confirmed, and can be based on self-reporting.
- There is no control for contextual co-factors.
Their own conclusion states: “Robust randomised trials are needed to better inform the evidence for these interventions, but this systematic appraisal of currently best available evidence might inform interim guidance.” In plain English, this means: “We don’t have any good studies but it would be nice if such studies existed.”
Their own evaluations of “certainty” of their estimated inferred benefits of the measures are (their Table 2):
- Physical distance: “MODERATE” = “we are moderately confident in the effect estimate; the true effect is probably close to the estimate, but it is possibly substantially different”
- Face mask: “LOW” = “our confidence in the effect estimate is limited; the true effect could be substantially different from the estimate of the effect”
- Eye protection: “LOW” = “our confidence in the effect estimate is limited; the true effect could be substantially different from the estimate of the effect”
Dr. Rancourt concludes his critique of the Lance paper with, “It is science posturing, or science at its worst. It is entirely unreliable and should not be used to “inform” or justify policy. In my opinion, it is sophisticated posturing intended to serve a client.”
“It is evident from this review that there is insufficient evidence that wearing a mask of any kind can have a significant impact in preventing the spread of this virus. The fact that this virus is a relatively benign infection for the vast majority of the population and that most of the at-risk group also survive, from an infectious disease and epidemiological standpoint, by letting the virus spread through the healthier population we will reach a herd immunity level rather quickly that will end this pandemic quickly and prevent a return next winter. During this time, we need to protect the at-risk population by avoiding close contact, boosting their immunity with compounds that boost cellular immunity and in general, care for them.”
Do Masks and Respirators Prevent Viral Respiratory Illnesses? – Interview with Professor Denis Rancourt Ph.D
Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review
“Health care workers have long relied heavily on surgical masks to provide protection against influenza and other infections. Yet there are no convincing scientific data that support the effectiveness of masks for respiratory protection. The masks we use are not designed for such purposes, and when tested, they have proved to vary widely in filtration capability, allowing penetration of aerosol particles ranging from four to 90%…It should be concluded from these and similar studies that the filter material of face masks does not retain or filter out viruses or other submicron particles. When this understanding is combined with the poor fit of masks, it is readily appreciated that neither the filter performance nor the facial fit characteristics of face masks qualify them as being devices which protect against respiratory infections.”
A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers.
“This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally.”
Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era
“We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”
‘Masks are symbolic’, say Dr. Fauci and New England Journal of Medicine
Both Dr. Anthony Fauci and the New England Journal of Medicine have admitted that masks are little more than symbols. Virtue signaling.
Science Review & commentary. Masks-for-all Covid-19 Not Based on Sound Data from UIC School of Public Health.
“We do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19-like illness to routinely wear cloth or surgical masks because there is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”
“Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in the Hubai province before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. 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 PPE.”
Healthy People Wearing Masks, Should They or Shouldn’t They? By Patricia Neuenschwander, M.S.N., R.N., C.P.N.P.-P.C
An important study evaluating cloth mask use to prevent infection was conducted in March 2011. It is a large, prospective, randomized clinical trial; and the first randomized clinical trial ever conducted of cloth masks. “This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.”
Denis Rancourt Ph.D – video interview on negative effects of masking and social distancing on children –As an educator, Dr. Rancourt provides clear insight into why masking is detrimental to children
Could We Please Have at Least ONE Aspect of COVID-19 Public Health Policy Founded on SCIENCE? By James Lyons Weiler Ph.D
Citing a number of studies with an overall conclusion that, “Science does not support the use of masks in public spaces to reduce transmission of viruses the size of SARS-CoV-2. Pores in N95 masks are 95 microns in size, the virus is far smaller than that. Could We Please Have at Least ONE Aspect of COVID-19 Public Health Policy Founded on SCIENCE?”
“A total of six RCTs involving 9 171 participants were included. There were no statistically significant differences in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza, laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection and influenza-like illness using N95 respirators and surgical masks. Meta-analysis indicated a protective effect of N95 respirators against laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonization (RR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.43-0.78). The use of N95 respirators compared with surgical masks is not associated with a lower risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”
Covid-19 Face Masks by Roman Bystrianyk
“Historically, in any type of epidemic, only the infected would wear a mask, not all those who are not sick. This type of unscientific recommendations has never been used to contain any other virus pandemic or epidemic in history. So why are face masks being mandated for this virus where most people experience no or very mild symptoms?”
Scientific Information on Masks Against COVID-19 by David Crowe June 5, 2020
“Masks are being widely recommended as protection against the COVID-19 virus, both to protect the wearer from infection and to protect others from those who do not know that they are infected. The trouble is that most of the scientific evidence and recommendations are against the use of masks by the general public, and some harms from wearing masks have been documented.”
New Study Questions Effectiveness Against SARS CoV-2 by Medical News Today
“Research published at the beginning of April casts serious doubts about the effectiveness of both surgical and cloth masks in preventing the spread of infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles.”
The Science of The Impact of Wearing Masks By James Lyons Weiler Ph.D
“Public health policy should be founded on science. We’ve already seen how study after study show that masks do not reduce transmission in public spaces. Now it appears that a study from 2015 found that wearing cloth masks increases respiratory infections.”
Data do not back cloth masks to limit COVID-19, experts say – Posted at CIDRAP
“Limited, indirect evidence from lab studies suggests that homemade fabric masks may capture large respiratory droplets, but there is no evidence they impede the transmission of aerosols implicated in the spread of COVID-19, according to a paper published yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.”
To citizens wearing medical masks; You’re whacko conspiracy theorists By Jon Rappoport
“Mask wearers of the world, take them off—you have nothing to lose but your insanity… Journal of the American Medical Association, April 17, 2020, “Masks and Coronavirus Disease”. “Unless you are sick, a health care worker, or caring for someone who has COVID-19, medical masks (including surgical face masks and N95s) are not recommended.” Jon also reports on masks being recycled and disinfected with toxic chemicals with this quote from the Washington State Nurses Association: “Nurses are reporting that respirators and face masks at WSNA represented Providence facilities are being collected for reprocessing using ethylene oxide to decontaminate. The EPA has concluded that ethylene oxide is carcinogenic to humans and that exposure to ethylene oxide increases the risk of lymphoid cancer and, for females, breast cancer. Reprocessing masks using toxic chemicals is not a solution”
Face it: The evidence proving the effectiveness of community mask wearing doesn’t exist By GreenMedInfo
“Indeed, meta-analyses of clinical research into use of face masks for the transmission of viruses that present with clinical similarity to COVID-19, such as influenza, have found little evidence in support of the effectiveness of such an intervention.”
New York Times Lies that the Mask Debate is Settled by Jeremy Hammond
“My purpose here is not to extensively review the existing literature on masks or to detail all the variables that must be taken into consideration, but to simply illustrate how utterly absurd it is for the Times to authoritatively declare that the science has been settled in support of universal mask wearing.” Hammond points out, “that the endgame of authoritarian lockdown measures has from the start been mass vaccination. The public has been conditioned to submit to executive orders, with governors declaring “law” by fiat and enacting faith-based lockdown policies for which the exit strategy is based on hope in the pharmaceutical industry to save us with drugs or vaccine technology.
MASK: Open Letter to Physicians & the Public of Alberta – “Re: Alberta Health recommendation that Albertans wear N95, surgical or non-medical masks in public to reduce the likelihood of transmitting or developing a condition from the coronavirus known as COVID-19. I have been teaching and conducting respirator fit testing for over 20 years and now currently for my company SafeCom Training Services Inc. My clients include many government departments, our military, healthcare providers with Alberta Health Services, educational institutions and private industry. I am a published author and a recognized authority on this subject. Filter respirator masks, especially N95, surgical and non-medical masks, provide negligible COVID-19 protection for the following reasons:”