President's illness doesn't change the science

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Chris Woodward (

Biden wearing mask at podiumEven with President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, a health freedom organization continues its "Face Freedom" campaign that encourages people to go without masks on Fridays.

Twila Brase, RN and president/co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), says it is important to understand that no matter who gets the coronavirus, "the mask is not what is preventing it." It could, however, be what causes some people to get sick "because of how much they're touching their faces," she adds.

"The reality is if we're going to go with the science, the mask does not work against ... all viruses, and COVID-19 is one of those viruses," Brase asserts.

(Associated Press) - In a letter, Trump's doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Trump had a "restful" night at the White House and that on Tuesday “he reports no symptoms.” On Monday afternoon, shortly before his departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Conley offered that the president would not be fully “out of the woods” for another week.

President Trump tested positive last week for COVID-19 -- something many of his critics claim happened because of his refusal to wear a mask.

"It's very sad, but ... going into crowds unmasked was a brazen invitation for this to happen," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) told MSNBC.

"A face mask might have protected Trump and the people around him from the coronavirus," wrote Vox's Eliza Barclay in an article this week.

But Brase sees things differently.

Brase, Twila (CCHF)"While I realize that we're talking here about the president of the United States, that does not change the science about whether the mask is effective or not, and studies show that masks are not effective against COVID-19," she reiterates. 

CCHF points to the 2015 study that shows 97 percent penetration of cloth masks. It also features researchers and experts who say masks do not work as source control or PPE and also note the physical harms and risks from community masking. According to the World Health Organization, several potential harms and disadvantages include:

  • Self-contamination due to manipulating the mask and then touching the eyes
  • Facial skin lesions, irritant dermatitis, or worsening acne
  • False sense of security, leading to less physical distancing and hand hygiene
  • Potential headache and/or breathing difficulties

Earlier this year, Lisa Brosseau, M.D., a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases and a retired University of Illinois at Chicago professor, and Margaret Sietsema, Ph.D. wrote an op-ed for the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. They write that masks for all for COVID-19 is not based on sound data. Sietsema is also an expert on respiratory protection and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicag

CCHF launched "Face Freedom Friday" in late August and is still employing the campaign as a way to encourage people to move the country back to freedom.


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