A controversial new study out of Denmark has found that wearing surgical masks did little to protect wearers from contracting COVID-19—clashing with the CDC and other researchers, The New York Times reports.
The Annals of Internal Medicine study didn’t contradict mounting evidence that masks can prevent the wearer from spreading the virus.
The study’s lead author Henning Bundgaard unequivocally urged people to wear masks.
But that didn’t stop a flawed interpretation—that the study proves masks don’t stop spread of SARS-CoV-2—from lighting up social media, Forbes reports.
Meanwhile, critics highlighted the study’s limitations, including its reliance on self-reported data and antibody tests.
Former CDC director and Resolve to Save Lives head Tom Frieden wrote a full-throated critique in the same journal, noting that the study wasn’t designed to analyze key variables like mask type and exposure.
Frieden’s Takeaway: “An N95 mask is better than a surgical mask. A surgical mask is better than most cloth masks. A cloth mask is better than nothing.”
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