Local Opinion – Face Masks Response

Face Masks Response

Submitted by Bob White

I would like to respond to a letter published in Issue 13 entitled “Local Opinion – Face Masks”.  I hesitate to wade into a political battle but since the author has attempted to cite science to support their position I believe I can offer some perspective.

The author of that previous article made two unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims: 1) “Only N-95 Masks would come close to giving protection from Covid 19”, and 2) “masks do a lot of physical and psychological damage to our children”.  I would be happy to compare scientific evidence with the author but they cite none. I am also happy to compare credentials with the author who graduated from Harvard Law; I graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Like law, medicine relies on facts to support a position; unsubstantiated assertions have no place in a court of law or a medical/public health decision.

This is not an “irrational bureaucratic mandate”, masking is a well-recognized and well-proven public health measure. I compliment the author for a career of protecting people from government overreach but in this effort you are on the wrong side of evidence and people will die if you are successful. Surgical masks and their equivalents that are not at an N-95 level do protect wearers; we use them in the hospital all the time. Physical and psychological harm to children is very rare from wearing masks, especially when it is not politicized but seen as a routine precaution – we also see this in the hospital all the time. Those are the facts; I have cited some references below – and would gladly supply more if needed.

To the readers, I ask, not as a Republican or Democrat, but as a pediatrician – please do not contribute to the continued unnecessary exposure of our citizens, especially our children, to an almost completely preventable infection that can cause death and severe disability.  History is full of examples of a citizenry mobilized by passion to do the wrong thing; please do not add Buchanan to the list of communities that responded to political rhetoric rather than science.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33483277/ “Mask-wearing and control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the USA: a cross-sectional study.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33896552/ “Views on COVID-19 and Use of Face Coverings Among U.S. Youth.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33651109/ “Assessment of Respiratory Function in Infants and Young Children Wearing Face Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33997986/ “Adherence to Masking Requirement During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Early Elementary School Children.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34009149/ “Can Very Young Children Safely Wear Surgical Masks?”

Bob White

Buchanan, MI

BHS Class of ‘67

*The Buchanan Chronicle wishes to provide a venue for public opinion to be heard. We may edit but only for typos, language, or length; as we desire to present submitted opinions as received.*

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