Finally, it has been published.
The Danish study on the effectiveness of masks – or lack thereof – in protecting us from COVID-19 was just published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study has been around since June, but no medical journals were willing to publish it. Now we can understand why.
Before I share the results, it’s worth noting that this is the most comprehensive study on masks and COVID-19 that exists. This was a tightly run trial that was incredibly well-balanced. It is the best scientific study available on this subject.
There were 4,862 participants selected for the trial who were very carefully balanced among a wide range of characteristics that we can see below.
Characteristics of Participants Completing the Study
Source: Henning Bundgaard, DMSc, et al.
The participants in the face mask group were all given high-quality surgical masks with a filtration rate of 98%. Worth noting is that this quality of mask is even better than the N95 masks that some use today, and it is many times better than the cloth masks that we are told to wear “for our own safety.”
The members of the control group did not wear masks.
What were the results?
- 1.8% of those who wore masks got infected with COVID-19.
- 2.1% of those who did not wear masks got infected with COVID-19.
Almost exactly the same.
I’d be willing to bet if the face masks the study used were cloth masks, the face mask group’s infection rate would have been much higher. Scientific research shows that particles from an airborne virus get trapped in a cloth mask, which is porous and prolongs the wearer’s exposure to the virus.
But here is the conclusion of the Danish study in the authors’ words:
Our results suggest that the recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mask wearers in a setting where social distancing and other public health measures were in effect…
I’ll put this a simpler way: Masks don’t protect the wearer from COVID-19.
And now we know definitively that is the “science.”