A Facebook user declared, “I’m starting a public movement called TAKE IT OFF,” in attempting a six-point takedown of facial coverings and how effective they are in fighting COVID-19.
The post features an image labeled “Face Mask Safety — Know The Facts Before You Wear One.” The image makes this six-part claim about masks:
“Decreases oxygen intake; increases toxin inhalation; shuts down immune system; increases virus risk; scientifically inaccurate; effectiveness not studied.”
“Well, that all sounds like a lot of dangerous nonsense,” Texas A&M University-Texarkana virologist Ben Neuman told PolitiFact.
As PolitiFact has reported, facial coverings are not in themselves totally effective in fighting the coronavirus and there is a need for more study. But health officials largely agree that wearing any kind of face mask, coupled with social distancing and frequent hand-washing, is more protective than going unmasked.
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t recommend masks for children under age 2 or for people who are unconscious or have breathing conditions, it generally recommends wearing masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. As the CDC puts it: “Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you.”
Click here for a rundown on why each part of the post is wrong.
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