‘Cloth Masks Useless’ Experts Now Say

‘Cloth Masks Useless’ Experts Now Say

Throughout 2020 and 2021, officials mandated the use of cloth masks as a means to slow the spread of . Now, in a massive messaging shift, experts are saying that most masks are not helpful at all. (RELATED: Why Did the Flu Disappear? Hint: It Wasn’t the Masks.)

The Washington Examiner reports:

“Cloth and surgical masks do absolutely nothing for protection from ambient virus,” said Chad Roy, a microbiologist at Tulane University School of Medicine, referring to the virus spreading through the air. “All this song and dance of wearing cloth masks with some presumption that you’re being protected from ambient virus is completely and positively 100% counter to how masks and respirators work.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention () recently updated its guidance for best masking protocols to reflect a growing body of evidence that Omicron spreads much more rapidly in the air than previous variants. The updated guidance comes with the agency conceding that commonplace “loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection.” The new guidelines, which had not been changed since October, mark the first time the agency explicitly addressed the varying levels of efficacy with each type of mask. (RELATED: Infographic: Making Children Mask is Misguided Health Policy)

Public health official Leana Wen, a professor of health policy at George Washington University, elaborates:

“Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. There’s no place for them in light of omicron”

“This is what scientists and public health officials have been saying for months, many months, in fact,” Wen said in a separate interview with CNN. “We need to be wearing at least a three-ply surgical mask … You can wear a cloth mask on top of that, but do not just wear a cloth mask alone.

The Biden administration announced this week that it would prioritize distributing 400 million free high-quality N95 face masks to be made available through local pharmacies and community health centers, beginning early next month.

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