The Great Mask Mandate Debate (Featuring Preston Bobo, Ph.D. versus Doctor Jim Meehan, MD) | 7 Questions Everybody is Asking

Show Notes

Preston Bobo, Ph.D. joins to debate Dr. Jim Meehan about the mask mandates being implemented around the world by governments in response to COVID-19.

Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes!!! Thrivetime National on today’s show are going to interview two men who have gained much formal education throughout their years. I’m going to be hosting the GREAT DEBATE about MASK MANDATES between Preston L. Bobo, Ph.D. and Doctor Jim Meehan, Medical Doctor. 

Dr. Bobo, welcome onto the show!

Doctor Meehan, welcome onto the show!

Alright, my friends, here are the rules of the debate.

  1. Rule #1 – No personal attacks
  2. Rule #2 – You must answer your question in 90 seconds or less?
  3. Rule #3 – You will attempt to speak in a common language that the average person can understand so that I know what the heck is actually going on.
  4. Rule #4 – You must cite your sources so that we know that you aren’t arguing using feelings over facts.


Alright, Dr. Bobo we will start with you, what is your educational background sir?

Alright, Dr. Jim Meehan, what is your educational background?


Dr. Bobo, what is the death rate of COVID-19?

Dr. Jim Meehan, what is the death rate of COVID-19?


Dr. Bobo, how dangerous and treatable is COVID-19?

Dr. Jim Meehan, how dangerous and treatable is COVID-19?


Dr. Bobo, mask mandates –  are you in favor of them and why?

Dr. Jim Meehan, are you in favor of mask mandates and why?QUESTION #5 – 

Dr. Bobo, does wearing a mask reduce oxygen levels for humans that wear them?

Dr. Jim Meehan, does wearing a mask reduces oxygen levels for humans that wear themQUESTION #6 – 

Dr. Bobo, why do you believe many mask wearers report feeling dizzy, and nauseous?

Dr. Jim Meehan, why do you believe many mask wearers report feeling dizzy, and nauseous?QUESTION #7 – 

Dr. Bobo, does wearing a mask effectively stop the spread of COVID-19?

Dr Jim Meehan, does wearing a mask effectively stop the spread of COVID-19?

Links to studies. (Community masking) (Singing with masks) (Hydroxychloroquine Meta-analysis) (This will get you to the place where you can make the graphs with CRF.)

If I referenced another study please drop me a text and I will add the hyperlink. Thank you again.


Supporting Documents

“The Great Mask Mandate Debate”

Clay Clark Moderating
Jim Meehan, MD vs Preston Bobo, PhD.

Jim Meehan, MD represents the position: “Masks do not work”

Preston Bobo, PhD represents the position: “Masks work”

Dr. Meehan’s Supporting Data and References


What is your educational background?

I’ll leave my brief description of my credentials to the video version.


What is the death rate of COVID-19?

Death rate data from the CDC: COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios

Table 1. Parameter Values that vary among the five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios.

  • Age Group sCFR iCFR “Survival”
  • 0-19 years: 0.00003 = 3 per 100,000 = 0.003% 0.00195% 99.99815%
  • 20-49 years: 0.0002 = 2 per 10,000 = 0.02% 0.012% 99.988%
  • 50-69 years: 0.005 = 5 per 1,000 = 0.5% 0.3% 99.7%
  • 70+ years: 0.054 = 54 per 1,000 = 5.4% 3.24% 96.76%


  • Scenario 5: Current Best Estimate, R0 = 2.5, 40% asymptomatic
  • For a definition of R0, see HealthKnowlege-UK (2020): R0 is “the average number of secondary infections produced by a typical case of an infection in a population where everyone is susceptible.” The average R0 for influenza is said to be 1.28 (1.19–1.37); see the comprehensive review by Biggerstaff et al. (2014).
  • According to the CDC’s latest best estimate, 40 percent of COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic.
  • Parameter values are based on data received by CDC through August 8, 2020.
  • These estimates are based on age-specific estimates of infection fatality ratios from Hauser, A., Counotte, M.J., Margossian, C.C., Konstantinoudis, G., Low, N., Althaus, C.L. and Riou, J., 2020
  • Here’s an example of how you calculate iCFR:

How treatable is COVID-19? 

Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Zinc

Dr. Meehan’s Treatment Protocol – here is how the medications are prescribed:

Prescription medications:

  1. Hydroxychloroquine, 200 mg tablets
    Sig: Day 1: One 200 mg tablet by mouth two times per day (400 mg on day one).
    Days 2-5: One 200 mg tablet by mouth once a day for 4 days (200 mg per day).
    Qty: Six (6) Refills: 1
  2. Azithromycin, 250 mg tablets
    Sig: Day 1: One 250 mg tablet by mouth two times per day (500 mg on day one).
    Days 2-5: One 250 mg tablet by mouth once a day for 4 days (250 mg per day).
    Qty: Six (6) Refills: 1

Non-prescription supplements that should accompany the prescribed medications:

  1. Zinc (sulfate or other chelate), 200 to 250 mg total daily dose (total should be divided into multiple smaller doses taken throughout the day), beginning 2-3 days prior to treatment and continuing (daily) during treatment.
    Note: Zinc supplementation can deplete the body’s stores of the trace mineral copper. Therefore, I recommend that every 15 mg of supplemental zinc be balanced with the intake of 1 mg of supplemental copper. Thus, 200-250 mg of zinc should be matched with 13-16 mg of copper supplementation.
  1. Copper, 13-16 mg total daily dose (total should be divided into multiple smaller doses and taken with each dose of zinc)  

How HCQ, AZI, and Zinc Work Against Viruses like SARS CoV-2

Both Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin are autophagy inhibitors which alter the acidity in lysosomes. The virus uses lysosomes for replication. By altering acidity in the lysosomes, coronavirus replication is prevented.

This is explained in this article: Yang, Naidi, and Han-Ming Shen. “Targeting the Endocytic Pathway and Autophagy Process as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy in COVID-19.” Int J Biol Sci 16.10 (2020): 1724-1731.


Here is how I prescribe ivermectin:

  1. Ivermectin, 3 mg tablets
    Sig: One 3 mg tablet by mouth once per week for 8 weeks
    Qty: Eight (8)
    Refills: One (1)

Data Sheets on Ivermectin

Medical Research Studies

Articles on Ivermectin for CoVID-19

Boosting the Immune System with Supplements

Dr. Meehan’s OTC immune enhancing protocol to reduce your chances of becoming infected with SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, CoVID-19. Dr. Meehan believes their is sufficient evidence to suggest that this protocol may be equally effective against influenza and other viral illnesses (however, ):

  • Vitamin A, 30-40,000 iu/day
  • Vitamin D, 6,000 iu/day
  • Vitamin C, 3-5,000+ mg/day
  • Iodine, 25-50 mg/day
  • Quercetin, 500 mg to 1,000 mg per day
  • Zinc sulfate, gluconate or acetate (lozenges or capsules), 25-30 mg twice daily
  • Good hydration: drink plenty of fluids with your vitamin C while convalescing from any viral illness.

Quercetin — A Safer Alternative to Hydroxychloroquine?

Considering the risks of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and the evidence suggesting the reason these drugs work for COVID-19 is because they act as zinc ionophores, it’s worth questioning whether other more natural zinc ionophores can be used. One prime example would be quercetin, which is a naturally occurring zinc ionophore. 

Quercetin is one of only three natural products found to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The only natural product found to be slightly more effective is luteolin, a polyphenol found in radicchio, green peppers, serrano and green hot chili peppers, chicory, celery and many other foods.

Research has already demonstrated that quercetin is a powerful immune booster and broad-spectrum antiviral. As noted in a 2016 study in the journal Nutrients, quercetin’s mechanisms of action include the inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) production in macrophages.

TNF-α is a cytokine involved in systemic inflammation, secreted by activated macrophages, a type of immune cell that digests foreign substances, microbes and other harmful or damaged components. Quercetin also inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and histamine by modulating calcium influx into the cell.

In vitro studies have shown quercetin exerts antiviral activity against SARS-CoV, and preliminary findings35 suggest quercetin can inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease as well. You can get even more details about the anti-inflammatory and antiviral powers of quercetin in “Quercetin Lowers Your Risk for Viral Illnesses.”

Dosage Recommendations for Quercetin and Zinc

While the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing — and for any future influenza season — supplementing with quercetin and zinc may be a good idea for many, in order to boost your immune system’s innate ability to ward off infectious illness. As for dosage, here are some basic recommendations:

  • Quercetin — According to research from Appalachian State University in North Carolina, taking 500 mg to 1,000 mg of quercetin per day for 12 weeks results in “large but highly variable increases in plasma quercetin … unrelated to demographic or lifestyle factors.”41
  • Zinc (and copper) — When it comes to zinc, remember that more is not necessarily better. In fact, it can backfire. When taking zinc, you also need to be mindful of maintaining a healthy zinc-to-copper ratio. As noted by Chris Masterjohn, who has a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences,42 in an article43 and series of Twitter posts:44

“In one study, 300mg/day of zinc as two divided doses of 150 mg zinc sulfate decreased important markers of immune function, such as the ability of immune cells known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes to migrate toward and consume bacteria.

The most concerning effect in the context of COVID-19 is that it lowered the lymphocyte stimulation index 3 fold. This is a measure of the ability of T cells to increase their numbers in response to a perceived threat. The reason this is so concerning in the context of COVID-19 is that poor outcomes are associated with low lymphocytes …

The negative effect on lymphocyte proliferation found with 300 mg/day and the apparent safety in this regard of 150 mg/d suggests that the potential for hurting the immune system may begin somewhere between 150-300 mg/d …

It is quite possible that the harmful effect of 300 mg/d zinc on the lymphocyte stimulation index is mediated mostly or completely by induction of copper deficiency …

The negative effect of zinc on copper status has been shown with as little as 60 mg/d zinc. This intake lowers the activity of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme important to antioxidant defense and immune function that depends both on zinc and copper …

A study done with relatively low intakes of zinc suggested that acceptable ratios of zinc to copper range from 2:1 to 15:1 in favor of zinc. Copper appears safe to consume up to a maximum of 10 mg/d.

Notably, the maximum amount of zinc one could consume while staying in the acceptable range of zinc-to-copper ratios and also staying within the upper limit for copper is 150 mg/d.”

How Much Zinc Do You Need?

Masterjohn goes into even greater detail in his zinc article, discussing maximum absorption rates and much more.45 In summary, he recommends taking 7 mg to 15 mg of zinc four times a day, ideally on an empty stomach, or with a phytate-free food.

The recommended dietary allowance in the U.S is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women, with slightly higher doses recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women,46 so we’re not talking about taking significantly higher dosages.

Additionally, you can take one zinc acetate lozenge per day, which will provide you with an additional 18 mg of zinc. If you’re exposed to the virus, take one additional lozenge after the exposure.

Masterjohn stresses that you’ll want to keep your total zinc intake below 150 mg per day to avoid negative effects on your immune system. He also recommends getting at least 1 mg of copper from food and supplements for every 15 mg of zinc you take.

Keep in mind that there are many food sources of zinc, so a supplement may not be necessary. I eat about three-fourths of a pound of ground bison or lamb a day, which has 20 mg of zinc. I personally don’t take any zinc supplement other than what I get from my food, which is likely in an optimal form to maximize absorption.

Intravenous vitamin C for Severe Cases

For those unfortunate enough to develop viral pneumonia and require treatment in the ICU on a ventilator, many of these patients can be saved by intravenous vitamin C.  Intravenous vitamin C is being used in these severe coronavirus ventilator patients in New York Hospitals with success. Demand your doctor give your family member I.V. vitamin C in the hospital. It can save a life.(23-34)

Link to article on Dr. Andrew Weber New York Post:

Treating Corona Virus with IV Vitamin C in New York City

Elderly and Hypothyroidism, Immune Dysfunction

Thyroid function is important for proper functioning of the immune system.  This is explained in the article: Hypothyroidism and Risk for Infection. Because of the reduced immunity in hypothyroidism, hypothyroidism is an underlying risk factor for increased mortality from any type of infection, including viral infection.  In the elderly, undetected hypothyroidism is quite common.  And, this prevalence of hypothyroidism is another reason the elderly have increased mortality from coronavirus infection. (55-64)

Iodine, Selenium and B12 Deficiency

The elderly have increased prevalence of gastric atrophy , and are at greater risk for micro nutrient deficiency involving iodine, B12 and selenium, all involved in immune function.(65-74)

Protecting the Elderly from Coronavirus

These are a few of the many reasons why special precautions should be taken with the elderly to avoid contact with anyone who might be an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus  or any other respiratory virus, for that matter.(75-84)


Are you in favor of mask mandates and why?

Absolutely not!


Does wearing a mask reduce oxygen levels for humans that wear them?

Ways that wearing a mask can harm your health:

  1. Wearing a mask reduces blood oxygenation, especially in people over 35. 
    • A team of researchers from the Department of Neurosurgery at Ufuk University in Ankara, Turkey, in their study entitled, “Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery” reported that the longer a mask is worn the more the blood is desaturated. 
    • These researchers also assert that: “Surgeons in the operating room frequently experience physical discomfort, fatigue, and possibly even deterioration of surgical judgment and performance. Although considerable information exists about the effects of ambient environment on both mental and physical performance, the final “personal” environment for the surgeon beneath the surgical mask is often very inadequately conditioned…it is known that heat and moisture trapping occur beneath surgical masks…” (source).
  2. Wearing a mask increases blood carbon dioxide levels
    • Citing four separate scientific studies, Dr. Zheng Zhaoshi, PH.D. M.D. at the Department of Neurology, The Third Hospital of Jilin University, “Oxygen concentration inhaled by healthy subjects wearing a surgical mask covering an N95 respirator decreases to about 17%, and the concentration of carbon dioxide increases to about 1.2% – 3% in a short period of light work (2-3). 
    • Although participants did not show any obvious changes in physical function and did not have any discomfort ratings, the average carbon dioxide concentration inhaled was far higher than the limit of 0.1% of indoor carbon dioxide concentration in many countries. With prolonged mask wearing, untoward reactions may gradually appear. 
    • In another long-term study, after wearing an N95 mask for 12 hours the CO2 concentration of subjects increased to 41.0 mmHg, far higher than the baseline value of 32.4 mmHg at the beginning of the test (4). 
    • The subjects mainly reported headache, dizziness, feeling tired and communication obstacles. In real life, the situations and time of wearing masks are much longer than the above experimental research settings” (source).


Why do you believe many mask wearers reporting feeling dizzy, and nauseous?

  1. Wearing a mask increases risk of headaches, migraine-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia, movement sensitivity and neck discomfort. (source).
    • Source: Cimberle, Michela. n.d. “PPE-Associated Headaches Increase among Health Care Workers amid COVID-19.” Accessed September 19, 2020.
      1. “Nurses, physicians and paramedical personnel (n = 158) at the National University Hospital answered a questionnaire assessing headache disorders. On average, they wore the N95 mask and protective eyewear for 6 hours per day. De novo PPE-associated headaches were reported by 128 respondents (81%) and were mainly located in the areas of contact from the face mask or goggles and their head straps.” 
      2. “Headache intensity was graded as mild by 71.9% of respondents while 23.4% experienced associated migraine-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia, movement sensitivity and neck discomfort. The onset of pain was within 1 hour of wearing PPE and spontaneous resolution occurred in most cases within 1 hour from removal of the equipment.”
  2. Masks increase risk of brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and exhaustion, most likely due to insufficient oxygen and increased exposure to carbon dioxide.
  3. Masks made overseas have been found to be faulty and inadequate. Nearly all of them contain known carcinogens. This is why there is a warning label on the carton. Breathing in carcinogens during the day and having them in contact with your skin may increase your risk of cancer.
  4. Masks may increase your risk of infection, mostly because they are worn inappropriately, and also because mask-wearers fiddle with them, frequently touching their face.
  5. Cloth masks are ill-advised – in fact they may be increasing infections. Cloth masks are not now, nor have they ever been supported by the scientific research. 
    • In the first randomized clinical trial on the effects of cloth masks, A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers”, researchers found that people have 3x the risk of developing a respiratory illness if they wear a mask. 
    • The researchers conclude that “the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection”
      1. Cloth masks may be increasing aerosolization of infectious SAR CoV-2 particles. Aerosolized particles hang in the air longer and are more likely to be inhaled deep into the lungs. 
        1. When Duke Univ. researchers created a simple laser the test to analyzed the effectiveness of various types of masks, they found a surprising and alarming finding:
        2. Cloth gaiters, fleeces, knitted masks, and folded bandanas “…resulted in a higher number of respiratory droplets because the material seemed to break down large droplets into smaller particles that are more easily carried away with air.”
        3. “We were extremely surprised to find that the number of particles measured with the fleece actually exceeded the number of particles measured without wearing any mask,” Fischer said. “We want to emphasize that we really encourage people to wear masks, but we want them to wear masks that actually work.”
    • There is no scientific evidence that shows that cloth masks will help reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to Lisa Brousseau, ScD, and Margaret Sietsema, Ph.D. (source).
    • Additionally, Dr. Jenny Harries, UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer has warned that it was not a good idea for the public to wear facemasks as the virus can get trapped in the material and causes infection when the wearer breathes in.
  6. Wearing a mask concentrates the exhaled viruses in the nasal passages. Our bodies have several effective detoxifications pathways. One of the ways we rid ourselves of a viral infection is by exhaling. If you are sick with COVID-19 or any other viral infection, the last thing you want to do is impede your ability to breathe (source).
  7. Wearing a mask can cause severe and painful contact dermatitis, painful rashes, and other skin damage on your face (source).
  8. Wearing a mask concentrates oral bacteria. Dentists are increasingly reporting what is now being called “Mask Mouth.”
  9. Wearing a mask causes problems for people with special needs. Deaf people who rely on lip reading, people with autism who have trouble understanding verbal cues and need visual cues to help them, and anyone who is hard of hearing suffer the most when people are wearing masks (source).

Russell Blaylock, M.D., a retired neurosurgeon, does not mince words about how wearing a mask can harm your health. Especially if worn for extended periods, while exercising, or in hot weather, face masks can be deadly.

“In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections, and if so, having a much worse outcome,” Blaylock writes (my emphasis.)

Paul Thomas, M.D., a Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with over 30 years of medical experience, agrees. Wearing a mask “promotes fear, which we know is bad for the immune system,” Thomas, who is also my colleague and co-author, says. “It reduces breathing in fresh air, which is also bad for the immune system, and it does little to nothing to prevent spread of a virus.”


Does wearing a mask effectively stop the spread of COVID-19?

Neither Lockdowns nor Mask Mandates Lead to Reduced COVID Transmission Rates or Deaths

A new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper by Andrew Atkeson, Karen Kopecky, and Tao Zha focused on countries and U.S. states with more than 1,000 COVID deaths as of late July. In all, the study included 25 U.S. states and 23 countries

The paper’s conclusion is that the data trends indicate that nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) – such as lockdowns, closures, travel restrictions, stay-home orders, event bans, quarantines, curfews, and mask mandates – do not seem to affect virus transmission rates overall.

Review of the Medical Literature

No RCT study with verified outcome shows a benefit for HCW or community members in households to wearing a mask or respirator. There is no such study. There are no exceptions.

Furthermore, if there were any benefit to wearing a mask, because of the blocking power against droplets and aerosol particles, then there should be more benefit from wearing a respirator (N95) compared to a surgical mask, yet several large meta-analyses, and all the RCT, prove that there is no such relative benefit.

Likewise, no study exists that shows a benefit from a broad policy to wear masks in public.

Here are key anchor points to the extensive scientific literature that establishes that wearing surgical masks and respirators (e.g., “N95”) does not reduce the risk of contracting a verified illness:

Jacobs, J. L. et al. (2009) “Use of surgical face masks to reduce the incidence of the common cold among health care workers in Japan: A randomized controlled trial,” American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 37, Issue 5, 417 – 419.

  • N95-masked health-care workers (HCW) were significantly more likely to experience headaches. Face mask use in HCW was not demonstrated to provide benefit in terms of cold symptoms or getting colds.

Cowling, B. et al. (2010) “Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: A systematic review,” Epidemiology and Infection, 138(4), 449-456. review/64D368496EBDE0AFCC6639CCC9D8BC05

  • None of the studies reviewed showed a benefit from wearing a mask, in either HCW or community members in households (H). See summary Tables 1 and 2 therein.

bin-Reza et al. (2012) “The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: a systematic review of the scientific evidence,” Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 6(4), 257–267.

  • “There were 17 eligible studies. … None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”

Smith, J.D. et al. (2016) “Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” CMAJ Mar 2016

  • “We identified six clinical studies … . In the meta-analysis of the clinical studies, we found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in associated risk of (a) laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, (b) influenza-like illness, or (c) reported work-place absenteeism.”

Offeddu, V. et al. (2017) “Effectiveness of Masks and Respirators Against Respiratory Infections in Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 65, Issue 11, 1 December 2017, Pages 1934–1942,

  • “Self-reported assessment of clinical outcomes was prone to bias. Evidence of a protective effect of masks or respirators against verified respiratory infection (VRI) was not statistically significant”; as per Fig. 2c therein: 

Radonovich, L.J. et al. (2019) “N95 Respirators vs Medical Masks for Preventing Influenza Among Health Care Personnel: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” JAMA. 2019; 322(9): 824–833.

  • “Among 2862 randomized participants, 2371 completed the study and accounted for 5180 HCW-seasons. … Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

Long, Y. et al. (2020) “Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” J Evid Based Med. 2020; 1- 9.

  • “A total of six RCTs involving 9,171 participants were included. There were no statistically significant differences in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza, laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, and influenza-like illness using N95 respirators and surgical masks. Meta-analysis indicated a protective effect of N95 respirators against laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonization (RR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.43-0.78). The use of N95 respirators compared with surgical masks is not associated with a lower risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

Xiao, J. et al. (May 2020) Non-pharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Non-healthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures

  • “In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks”

The garbage-in-garbage out fallacy: the June 2020 WHO commissioned study of masks published in The Lancet. 

Source: Chu, Derek K., Elie A. Akl, Stephanie Duda, Karla Solo, Sally Yaacoub, Holger J. Schünemann, and COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review Group Effort (SURGE) study authors. 2020. “Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection to Prevent Person-to-Person Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” The Lancet 395 (10242): 1973–87.

Summary: This study is nothing more than a seriously flawed meta-analysis of 29 weak observational studies. None of the trials were randomized controlled trials. No matter how nicely you package garbage, when the package is unwrapped, and you examine the contents, what you find is nothing but garbage.  

For a more comprehensive analysis of the flaws and a thorough debunking of the relevance of this study, read this: WHO Mask Study Seriously Flawed, Swiss Policy Research (Sept. 9, 2020)

In the previous section I presented a partial list of the various meta-analyses and systemic reviews of multiple randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The studies represent the highest level of evidence that masks don’t work. 

This WHO commissioned study is the best counter to my arguments. To any trained researcher, this study falls far short of countering decades of the science previously presented. 

Pro-maskers simply don’t have the highest-levels of scientific evidence to support their arguments. They can only cite low-level science – retrospective observational studies. The WHO study is a cleverly disguised example of low-level garbage dressed up to appear better than what it is. You have to examine the details to detect the deception: 

Unknown Aspects of Mask Wearing

Many potential harms may arise from broad public policies to wear masks, and the following unanswered questions arise:

  1. Do used and loaded masks become sources of enhanced transmission, for the wearer and others?
  2. Do masks become collectors and retainers of pathogens that the mask wearer would otherwise avoid when breathing without a mask?
  3. Are large droplets captured by a mask atomized or aerosolized into breathable components? Can virions escape an evaporating droplet stuck to a mask fiber?
  4. What are the dangers of bacterial growth on a used and loaded mask?
  5. How do pathogen-laden droplets interact with environmental dust and aerosols captured on the mask?
  6. What are long-term health effects on HCW, such as headaches, arising from impeded breathing?
  7. Are there negative social consequences to a masked society?
  8. Are there negative psychological consequences to wearing a mask, as a fear-based behavioral modification?
  9. What are the environmental consequences of mask manufacturing and disposal?
  10. Do the masks shed fibers or substances that are harmful when inhaled?


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