Dr. Mercola’s 18 minute video quoting politicians, policy makers, and health experts on masks… healthy or not?
Some may be useful down the road…
Time line from 1/20 when mask use was discouraged from general public to 12/20 when masks have become mandatory
1/28/20 Chris Smith, Cambridge University, “You can use a face mask if you’d like but it is not really any protection.”
2/5/20 Christine Francis, Consultant, Infection, Prevention and Control WHO Headquarters, “Medical masks like this one cannot protect against the new corona virus when used alone. When you wear them, you must combine with hand washing and other preventative measures. WHO only recommends the use of masks in specific cases. If you have a cough, difficulty breathing, fever, you should wear a mask and seek medical attention. If you do not have these symptoms you do not have to wear masks because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick.”
3/1/20 US Surgeon General, Twitter: “Seriously people stop buying masks! They are not effective in preventing general public from catching corona virus. But if health care providers cant get them to care for sick patients it puts them and our communities at risk.”
3/4/20 Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty “In terms of wearing a mask, our advice is clear that wearing a mask if you don’t have infection, rarely reduces the risk or almost not at all. We do not advise that.”
3/8/20 Fauci - “Now when you see people and look at them, at the films from China, South Korea, whatever, everybody is wearing a mask. Right now in the US people shouldn’t be walking around with masks on. (Interviewer:) Your sure of it, because people are listening really closely to this. (Fauci:) Right now people should not be wearing masks there is no reason to be walking around with a mask on. When your in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask, might make people feel better and it might even block a droplet, but its not providing the perfect protection that people think it is. And often there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face…”
3/9/20 Dr. April Baller, WHO Health Emergency Programs: “If you don’t have any respiratory, fever, runny nose symptoms, you don’t have to wear a mask. Masks alone can give you a false feeling of protection and can even be a source of infection, when not used correctly. Masks should only be worn by health care workers, caretakers, sick - those with symptoms of fever cough.”
3/11/20 “I see people wearing masks, people buying hand sanitizer, but is there any reason why people should be using masks? (Answer:) The general public with no symptoms should not wear masks. The virus can still get in through the eyes, so if someone sneezes on you the mask will only protect the nose. It wont protect your eyes. People who are symptomatic need masks. The masks people are buying at the supermarket, have gaps and are not fully protecting you. The ones the health care workers have are different, and have a full seal around the face.”
3/11/20 Boris Johnson asking Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jenny Harries: “Tell us about the value of people wearing face masks all around the place is there any point to that? (Jenny:) If a health professional hasn’t advised you to wear a mask its usually quite a bad idea. People tend to leave them on, or they contaminate the face mask then wipe it over something, so its really not a good idea.”
3/12/20 Dr. Harries " The average member of the public wandering around the streets, this is really not a good idea. People will have a mask, and they will take it off when they get home. They will put it down on a surface that haunt been cleaned. They’ll be out and they haven’t washed their hands, they’ll go and have a cup of coffee, they have to take it off, then they will wipe something over it, and then they will put it back up. In fact you can trap the virus in the mask then start breathing it in. (Interviewer:) So they would be putting themselves more at risk? (Dr. Harries) Well, it just doesn’t, because of this issue, (behavioral issues, which are really important when were talking about infectious disease. People can adversely put themselves at more risk then.”
4/1/20 News 9, “Healthy people are being warned against wearing a mask to protect themselves against the virus. Justine Conway explains incorrect use can lead to more infection. It’s becoming common place among the street and in the supermarkets. More and more people are wearing face masks as a precaution. The governments advice on wearing face masks is in line with WHO, under it’s guidelines, masks should only be worn if a confirmed covid-19 case, or if you have a cough, fever, difficulty breathing, caretaker. Although masks may offer some since of security, experts warn, if you wear a mask the wrong way, it could actually make you sick. Dr. Holly Seale: “When I see people touching the masks, adjusting the masks, and the touching other things, what we must remember is the front of the mask picks up different pathogens, and the same goes for gloves.”
4/3/20 “Evidence on masks and wearing face masks by the general public has been a controversial issue in pandemic preparedness planning for the 15 years that I have been involved in it. I was on the phone this morning to a colleague in Hong Kong, a Professor who has done the evidence review on face masks for the WHO. We are of the same mind, there is no evidence that wearing a face mask by the general public who are well, affects the spread of disease in our society. Yes its true, that we do see large amounts of mask wearing particularly in South east Asia, but we have always seen that, it is wired into some cultures, masks worn frequently in open spaces. But in terms of hard evidence the UK Government recommends- We Do NOT recommend wearing face masks for the general public.”
4/8/20 “The recommendation from SAGE is perfectly clear, which is that there is weak evidence or small effect, in which face masks can prevent source of infection of going from someone who is infected to going to people around them.”
4/23/20 Matt Hancock Health Minister UK: “Patrick the evidence on face masks has always been quite variable, quite weak, quite difficult to note. There is no real trials on it. W eve undertaken a review, we give our advice to ministers and they will make decisions.”
4/24/20 Matt Hancock health Minister UK: “If you are working in a hospital, care home, then there is a need for a mask. So we now must make sure that is the top priority. The evidence of the general public wearing masks especially outdoors, is extremely weak.”
7/10/20 Deborah Cohen: “The debate is political, the WHO committee which reviewed the evidence on use of face coverings in public didn’t back them. After political lobbying The Who recommended them.”
7/14/20 Matt Hancock Health Minister UK “We have therefore come to the decision that face masks should be mandatory in shops, & supermarkets. Last month we made face coverings mandatory on public transport and in NHS settings. Under new rules people who do not wear face coverings will face a fine $100. in line with sanctions of public transport. Should an individual refuse to wear a face covering a shop can refuse entry and call police if people refuse to comply. The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine.”
7/15/20 Peter Hitchens: “It doeskin make sense on science, it doesn’t make sense of facts. Here is another fascinating thing, a few months or a few weeks ago, if you looked for policy papers, research papers, saying whether masks were a good idea, there were several announcements in the papers, which disappeared from the net, that were hostile to muzzles - the statement by the WHO was definitely against wearing muzzles… (31 March 2020) Does WHO recommend wearing a mask for healthy people during the covid-19 outbreak? No WHO does not recommend that asymptomatic individuals i.e. those with no respiratory symptoms in community should wear masks, as currently there is no evidence that routine use of medical masks by healthy individuals prevents covid 19 transmission. Now a few weeks ago the WHO did a reverse… (6 June 2020) Dr. Tedros Adhanom: " In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises Governments should encourage general public to wear masks where there is wide spread transmission, and if physical distancing is too difficult, public transport, shops or in other confirmed crowded areas.” Now policy changed, and while it was advised that people be encouraged to wear masks, governments went further than this - (4th and 13th June 2020) Department of Health UK - As of Monday the 15th of June, Face coverings will become mandatory on public transport, under National Rail Conditions Travel and Public service Vehicle regulations, you can be refused transport if you don’t comply - And you can be fined. Transport and travel operators will be able to refuse permission to travel when someone isn’t using a face covering. This weekend I’m taking powers through the Public Health Act, leading to fines for non compliance."
7/19/20 “First and foremost face coverings will from 11:29 pm Wednesday eve. be mandatory for everybody in Melbourne. 7 News: 176 people fined by Victoria police in past 24 hours for breaches of state corona virus restrictions.”
8/12/20 “We could still see mandatory masks we haven’t done it as yet, one of our concerns is not everyone is prepared.”
8/24/20 Auckland: “We continue to ask everyone on public transport and planes, to ware masks. Cabinet decided to mandate wearing face coverings on public transport for level 2 and above. New orders will be enforced Monday. We know masks protect you and those around you.”
On June 6th Director General Tedros Adhanom of WHO, spoke of evolving evidence as being reason why they changed on face masks. In light of evolving evidence WHO advises governments should encourage face masks for general public where there is wide spread transmission and physical distancing is difficult. But how has the actual evidence evolved from March up to December according to the WHO’s own guidelines on face masks?
WHO 3/19/20 Mask use in the context of covid 19, a medical mask is not required for people who are not sick as there is no evidence of its usefulness in protecting them.
WHO 4/6/20 Mask use in context of covid 19, as described above, the wide use of masks by healthy people in community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks.
WHO 6/5/20 Mask use in terms of covid 19. Many countries recommend fabric face coverings for general public. At this time, wide spread mask use by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence, and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.
And finally December where we see a reference to the landmark Danish study
WHO 12/1/20 Mask use in terms of covid 19 at present only limited and inconsistent scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of masking healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including SARS COV - 2.A large randomized community based trial with 4862 healthy participants divided into one group wearing masks and the other not wearing masks, there was no difference in infection with SARS COV - 2