Unmasked. But still confused. | America’s Frontline Doctors | AFLDS.org

‘Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations’

Posted by Y Rabinovitz

“Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations,” according to CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, quoted in an article published last week. “This is what scientists and public health officials have been saying for months, many months, in fact,” she added.

It would be interesting to know exactly how many months Wen has in mind, given that until extremely recently, most of us have been seeing images of our favorite public health officials, all the way up to Dr. Fauci himself, wearing all kinds of masks, including the cloth type. And Wen went further, warning against relying on surgical masks too: “You can wear a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask,” she suggested.

But Wen’s actual advice wasn’t a combo of cloth and surgical mask or any other type of DIY face covering. “You should be wearing a KN95 or N95 mask,” was what she said, adding that she thought the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had made a “major mistake” in issuing guidance not to wear a N95 mask (the CDC suggested wearing two or more layers of “washable, breathable fabric” instead).

Well, lo and behold, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared this Monday in the White House sporting his very own N95 mask. Or was it a KN95? Probably not, as those are certified in China (N95s are U.S.-certified), and according to the CDC, around sixty percent of the Chinese type are counterfeit and shouldn’t be relied upon at all.

So, what happened? After all, back in June, 2020, Dr. Fauci said that, “You don’t need an N95 if you’re an ordinary person.” And although he later explained his original advice not to stock up on face masks as being due to fears that “ordinary people” bulk-buying masks would lead to shortages for medical personnel, he seemed quite content wearing a cloth mask until recently.

According to Dr. Wen, what happened is Omicron. “There’s no place for [cloth masks] in light of Omicron”, she told CNN. Was that because Omicron is thought to be highly transmissible? CNN told a different story, a story of how people are only just starting to understand how COVID moves around.

“It’s taken longer for people to appreciate the nature of airborne infection,” they quote Erin Bromage, an associate professor of biology, as saying. “This isn’t necessarily a hybrid infection … where it can both be spread by droplets, inhaled a little bit, on surfaces….

“The primary driver of infection is shared air,” he explained, and given that cloth masks “have 75 percent leakage both in and out,” they’re simply not good enough.

The CDC has known this for a long time, as its guidelines dating back to April 2021 illustrate: “Use a mask fitter or brace over a disposable mask or a cloth mask to prevent air from leaking,” they write. “Check for gaps … make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides…”

They also suggest layering up: “Use a cloth mask that has multiple layers of fabric,” or, “Wear a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask [which] should push the edges of the disposable mask against your face.”

This week they added that people should take care to wear “well-fitting mask.” But not a N95. Why not?

Continued on Source: Unmasked. But still confused. | America’s Frontline Doctors