Mask Facts – A Critical Analysis

A compilation of reviews and commentaries that are themselves authored by individuals free of vested interests and with credibility with regard to their respective backgrounds and experience.

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Mask Facts – A Critical Analysis – 14 Sources


This list of hyperlinked sources was reviewed for currency of the hyperlinks as of 9/30/21.

It is not a comprehensive review of the literature, but rather a compilation of reviews and commentaries that are themselves authored by individuals free of vested interests and with credibility with regard to their respective backgrounds and experience.

These sources reflect my personal conclusions drawn from studying CoVID-19 since my retirement from a 49-year career in pediatrics on March 16, 2020 and devoting an estimated 1,700 hours studying all aspects of the related issues.

Bose Ravenel, MD, FAAP, Retired

AAPS (American Association of Physicians and Surgeons) Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD  September 26, 2020

This is a comprehensive review of studies and reviews of studies with multiple references and a well organized and coherent presentation of the relevant information.

Dr. Marilyn Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist and member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). 

Dr. Jim Meehan   November 12, 2020

Key Points:

  • Decades of the highest-level scientific evidence (meta-analyses of multiple randomized controlled trials) overwhelmingly conclude that medical masks are ineffective at preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses, including SAR-CoV-2.
  • Those arguing for masks are relying on low-level evidence (observational retrospective trials and mechanistic theories), none of which are powered to counter the evidence, arguments, and risks of mask mandates.
  • Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children in schools and daycares is very rare.

Jim Meehan, MD is an ophthalmologist and preventive medicine specialist with over 20 years of experience and advanced training in immunology, inflammation, and infectious disease.

Dr. Meehan is a former editor of the medical journal, “Ocular Immunology and Inflammation.” Dr. Meehan has peer-reviewed thousands of medical research studies.

CDC Study  October 12, 2020

A CDC report released in September shows that masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, even for those people who consistently wear them.

SPR (Swiss Policy Research)

Are Face Masks Effective? The Evidence.  Updated: September 2021   First published: July 2020

Numerous hyperlinked sources are documented, including those that demonstrate the fallacies in a relative handful of studies purporting to show effectiveness of masks as source control.

Mask Mandates by Governors

December 16, 2020


  • The Cooper administration sent a list of 22 studies, all published this year, containing what they state is “overwhelming” “scientific evidence for the protective effect of face masks and respiratory virus infection in healthcare and community settings.”
  • A careful analysis of each of the 22 studies fails to support effectiveness of mask wearing by asymptomatic individuals to reduce spread to others. 

Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary Of The Science Kelly Victory, MD

Written by Kelly Victory, MD

This review of studies and of reviews of studies (“meta-analyses”) shows minimal to no benefit from masks worn by asymptomatic individuals in reducing spread of CoVID-19 to others. 

Masks Worn by Asymptomatic People Ineffective for Slowing CoVID-19 spread and pose serious harms to wearers*  January 2021


This study was retracted following disavowal by Stanford University based upon the contention that the author’s credentials listing was inaccurate, as his affiliation with the University was a past one-year term as a visiting scholar, as well as the University’s disagreeing with the conclusions that mask wearing is ineffective.  No rebuttal of the content of Vainshelboim’s material was provided, however.

Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis.  Free PMC article

Medical Hypotheses November 2020  Baruch Vainshelboim, Ph.D.

Cardiology Division, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System/Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, United States

67 References

The Plain Truth About Face Masks By Michael J. Talmo. Global Research, September 27, 2020 Comprehensive review of multiple studies, logical and empirical evidence against effectiveness, and established harms to wearers
CDC Mask-Wearing Policy Not Supported by Science May 2021

Mask mandate and use efficacy in state-level COVID-19 containment

Damian D. Guerra, Daniel J. Guerra  Posted May 25 ,2021

Results Case growth was not significantly different between mandate and non-mandate states at low or high transmission rates, and surges were equivocal. Mask use predicted lower case growth at low, but not high transmission rates. Growth rates were comparable between states in the first and last mask use quintiles adjusted for normalized total cases early in the pandemic and unadjusted after peak Fall-Winter infections

Conclusions Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID-19 spread during COVID-19 growth surges.

The Dangers of Masks

April 9, 2021  Paul E. Alexander with Contributing authors

  • Paul E. Alexander received his bachelor’s degree in epidemiology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, a master’s degree from Oxford University, and a PhD from McMaster University’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact.
  • Howard C. Tenenbaum DDS, Dip. Perio., PhD, FRCD(C) Centre for Advanced Dental Research and Care, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Dr. Parvez Dara, MD, MBA

Multiple Hyperlinked References to a variety of adverse effects from mask wearing

Study shows how masks are harming children

Wed Mar 3, 2021  Article by Joseph Mercola, MD

From a study reporting a parent survey of adverse effects observed in their children

Note: This kind of survey does not establish causality between mask wearing and observed adverse events but is consistent with other reports.

From the study itself:

In the context of the multi-study complex, an online registry has been set up where parents, doctors, pedagogues, and others can enter their observations. On 20 October 2020, 363 doctors were asked to make entries and to make parents and teachers aware of the registry.

By 26 October 2020, a total of 20,353 people had taken part in the survey. The group of parents alone entered data on a total of 25,930 children. The average reported wearing time of masks was 270 min per day. Of the respondents 68% reported that children complained about impairments caused by wearing the mask. Side effects included irritability (60%), headache (53%), difficulty concentrating (50%), less happiness (49%), reluctance to go to school/kindergarten (44%), malaise (42%) impaired learning (38%) and drowsiness/fatigue 37%

*Carbon Dioxide levels in Children wearing masks elevated in experimental study

Published online June 30, 2021  Harald Walach, PhD1; Ronald Weikl, MD2; Juliane Prentice, BA;

JAMA Pediatrics.

The lowest carbon dioxide level was 3-fold greater than the limit of 0.2 % by volume. The youngest children had the highest values, with one 7-year-old child’s carbon dioxide level measured at 25,000 ppm.  A level of 0.2% by volume or 2,000 ppm is the limit for closed rooms according to the German Federal Environmental Office, and everything beyond this level is unacceptable.

*This study was retracted by the Editors after a few weeks, but the following article in Epoch Times suggests that the reason was political, not from specified deficiencies:

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