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CDC Ignores Scientific Studies on Masks

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance requiring continued mask use in most settings, despite multiple studies showing masks provide negligible protection from COVID-19.

The CDC’s new rules are puzzling, especially after the agency reported 141.8 million people receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 27, with 96,747,454 fully vaccinated. The CDC states that fully vaccinated people can take off their mask when attending small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated or unvaccinated family and friends; walking, running, or biking outdoors with members of the same household; or dining outdoors. However, the CDC cautions that fully vaccinated people should not take off their masks during a crowded outdoor event or in any indoor setting outside of one’s home.

People who are not vaccinated, including children, are told to mask up in just about all circumstances except walking, running, or biking outdoors with members of the same household and attending small, outdoor gatherings with those fully vaccinated.

Although many states have removed their mask mandates, the tentacles of the guidance extend deeply into the private sector. Businesses and employers may be held liable for violating federal guidance. Several states are still mandating masks, and in some cases are even broadening the rules to include toddlers, like in Michigan. Student-athletes are required to mask up during competition—which ended up harming an athlete in one case, where a high school runner wearing a mask collapsed during a track meet while she was trying to break her record.

Studies Debunking Masks

There have been a number of studies and articles debunking the effectiveness of masks in protecting people from the virus.  Below is a sampling of articles including links to scientific papers on masks:

Outdoor Transmission Accounts for 0.1 Percent of State’s Covid-19 Cases

Restrictions, Masks Fail to Stop COVID Case Growth

CDC Finds Masks, Indoor Dining Bans Don’t Stop Virus, Media Ignores

Large Randomized Trial Shows Masks Offer Little Protection Against Virus

Do Masks Protect People from Virus, CDC?

Mask Mandates Persist Despite Cautionary Article Early in Pandemic

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Among Marine Recruits During Quarantine

Unmasking the Surgeons: the Evidence Base Behind the Use of Facemasks in Surgery

COVID-19: Is Your Mask Safe?


AnneMarie Schieber (amschieber@heartland.org)is the managing editor of Health Care News.
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.


  1. This is amazing it certainly seems clear that masks are ineffectual at best. Yet the politicians are still pushing the narrative. There solution is always do something DO SOMETHING ANY THING. Otherwise it will seem as though we do not care.

  2. There is a thought that if the government and federal agencies didn’t order people to take precautions and appealed to people’s patriotic sensibilities, we would have much more compliance with masks, social distancing, and vaccines. But maybe there isn’t much confidence in our level of patriotism these days. Why is that?


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