Face Mask Efficacy Update

Back in April, I blogged about a study that said masks don’t make any difference. I have just learned that this study, “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis” [Medical Hypotheses 146 (2021) 5] has been RETRACTED. The reasons are listed below, but first I want to give you the results of the “facemask efficacy” search I just did.

MAY 2021: A meta-analysis of fourteen published studies of the effectiveness of face masks found limited evidence for face mask benefit in limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2. There is an urgent need for evidence from randomized controlled trials to investigate the efficacy of surgical and cloth masks on transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and user reported outcomes such as comfort and compliance

RETRACTION STATEMENT: Medical Hypotheses serves as a forum for innovative and often disruptive ideas in medicine and related biomedical sciences. However, our strict editorial policy is that we do not publish misleading or inaccurate citations to advance any hypotheses.

The Editorial Committee concluded that the author’s hypothesis is misleading on the following basis:

1. A broader review of existing scientific evidence clearly shows that approved masks with correct certification, and worn in compliance with guidelines, are an effective prevention of COVID-19 transmission.

2. The manuscript misquotes and selectively cites published papers. References #16, 17, 25 and 26 are all misquoted.

3. Table 1. Physiological and Psychological Effects of Wearing Facemask and Their Potential Health Consequences, generated by the author. All data in the table is unverified, and there are several speculative statements.

4. The author submitted that he is currently affiliated to Stanford University, and VA Palo Alto Health Care System. However, both institutions have confirmed that Dr Vainshelboim ended his connection with them in 2016.

A subsequent internal investigation by the Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher have determined that this article was externally peer reviewed but not with our customary standards of rigor prior to publication. The journal has re-designed its editorial and review workflow to ensure that this will not happen again in future.

The Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher would like to apologize to the readers of The Journal for difficulties this issue has caused.


Filed under Loose Pollen

4 responses to “Face Mask Efficacy Update

  1. “Seeing and showing the face is a fundamental aspect of human existence. A society that forgets this straightforward truth will likely also fail to realize that faceless people may make for compliant subjects but not generally for good citizens. […] Nor will COVID-19 be the last time public health officials and governors demand we embrace mask-wearing. The question is whether Americans—and the legislators who most closely represent them—will realize the high costs of wearing masks before this new and noxious practice becomes ingrained in our culture.” —The Masking of America


    • chrissythehyphenated

      I see my doctor once a month. Before COVID, we had a great relationship. Now, I feel like I haven’t really seen him at all in 18 months.

      Liked by 1 person