Dr. Michael Osterholm Reiterates: Cloth Masks Do Not Work

‘If you’re in a room and have a covering on your face and you can smell the smoke, then you know you’re also getting virus in there’


OSTERHOLM: “Well, in fact it is confusing for the public and I understand why. Because in this business today you cannot nuance anything. It’s either left or right, or it's either blue or red, it's either yes or no. And in fact science isn’t that way. A year ago last April, we put out a statement from our center as well as others being with it, that basically pointed out that this virus is an aerosol, it’s transmitted in the air, just like we see with cigarette smoke. If you’re in a room and you have a covering on your face and you can smell the smoke, then you know you’re also getting virus in there if in fact you had an infected person in there. We know that face cloth coverings can reduce the amount of virus that you may inhale. But to be fully protected in the way that we believe, particularly with this variant that we have today, Delta, you need to have the kind of protection that comes with a N95 or KN95 for kids which are available in children sizes. And just putting something over your face in and of itself doesn't protect you. Now that doesn’t give anybody license to take my statement and say masking doesn’t work. What you have to do is use effective masking and we have done a poor job of communicating that and I think CDC is -- is in part responsible for that. They for many months did not come to the point of realizing that aerosols were a very important part of the transmission and as such their messaging has portrayed that. And we need to let people know that’s not the case.”

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