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: