There is no solid proof masks ever slowed the spread of Covid and they may have made things worse, England’s former Deputy Chief Medical Officer said on Wednesday. The Mail has more.
Professor Dame Jenny Harries, who now heads up the U.K. Health Security Agency, said the evidence that coverings reduced transmission is “uncertain” because it is difficult to separate their effect from other Covid curbs.
She also told the U.K.’s Covid Inquiry that Government advice on how to make a mask using two pieces of cloth was “ineffective”.
Studies showed at least three were needed for even a small effect on the spread of viruses, Dame Jenny said.
Meanwhile, she warned advice for the public to wear masks during the pandemic may even have given people a “false sense of security” that they could reduce their risk of becoming infected if they wore one while mixing with others.
Dame Jenny wrote in her witness statement that the evidence base for using face masks in the community “was, and still is to some degree, uncertain”.
She noted that the evidence for mask wearing varied depending on what materials it was made from. For example, a “one or two layer cloth covering” is “not particularly effective”, she said.
And if someone doesn’t wear it properly – fully covering the mouth and nose – “it won’t work”, Dame Jenny added.
Wait for it – she’ll be referring to the results from the actual randomised controlled trials next.
So will Tom Jefferson, Carl Heneghan and everyone else who has been pilloried for pointing this out all along now get an apology?
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Watch Dame Jenny Harries admit that the masking policy was not evidence-based, that masks were “ineffective” as a prophylactic against infection and may have made people more vulnerable to infection by giving them a false sense of security.