During the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of U.S. states mandated masks to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but accumulating research shows mask mandates and use do not lower the spread of the virus.1 While rules requiring masks did increase compliance, they didn’t translate to lower transmission growth rates, whether community spread of SARS-CoV-2 was low or high.
Even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, mask mandates were put in place without ever properly evaluating efficacy, but that didn’t stop them from dividing communities and being used as a form of virtue signaling and a visible reminder of compliance with the “new normal.”
Now, with research showing not only that masks don’t protect you but may actually make you sick, the rationale behind their widespread mandated usage must be questioned.
Mask Mandates Didn’t Lower COVID-19 Cases
Using CDC data, researchers with the University of Louisville calculated total COVID-19 case growth and mask use for the U.S. No significant differences were found in case growth between mandate and non-mandate states during periods of low or high transmission.
“Surges were equivocal,” they noted, concluding, “Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID-19 spread during COVID-19 growth surges.”2 While stating that their findings “do not support the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates decrease with greater public mask use,” they did note that “masks may promote social cohesion as rallying symbols during a pandemic.”3
Similarly dismal results from mask mandates were demonstrated in Europe. A study published in Cureus analyzed data from 35 European countries, including morbidity, mortality and mask usage, over a six-month period. The researchers noted:4
“Mask mandates were implemented in almost all world countries and in most places where masks were not obligatory, their use in public spaces was recommended … These mandates and recommendations took place despite the fact that most randomized controlled trials carried out before and during the COVID-19 pandemic concluded that the role of masks in preventing respiratory viral transmission was small, null, or inconclusive.”
When the data were analyzed, the study also revealed that the widespread use of masks did not reduce COVID-19 transmission. Worse, a moderate positive correlation was found between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe, which “suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.”5
- 1, 2, 3, 22, 23 MedRxiv May 25, 2021
- 4, 5 Cureus. 2022 Apr; 14(4): e24268
- 6 MMWR October 1, 2021
- 7, 8 The Lancet May 25, 2022
- 9 Townhall June 1, 2022
- 10 U.S. CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report May 21, 2021
- 11 Medicine February 18, 2022
- 12, 13 Medicine February 18, 2022, 4.1
- 14, 16 Psychology Report in respect of Civil Proceedings April 9, 2021
- 15 Express April 11, 2021
- 17, 18 Health, Safety and Wellbeing Report in respect of Civil Proceedings April 9, 2021
- 19, 20, 21 JAMA Pediatrics June 30, 2021
- 24 US District Court Middle District of Florida Case No: 8:21-cv-1693-KKM-AEP
- 25 KHN June 1, 2022
- 26 Health Freedom Defense Fund April 20, 2022