Just the News:
Results will be published “as soon as a journal is brave enough,” researcher says.
A major study out of Denmark that sought to examine the efficacy of face masks at limiting the spread of COVID-19 has reportedly been rejected by multiple academic journals amid hints that the study found face coverings are not effective in protecting individuals from the coronavirus.
Masks have been among the most persistent and controversial flashpoints of the COVID-19 epidemic for months. Health officials around the world initially argued strongly against their use, claiming that studies over the years had demonstrated that masks were ineffective at stopping respiratory viruses and unnecessary for the current pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, for example, told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in March: “Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.”
In spite of their now-ubiquitous presence in most of the Western world today, relatively little evidence exists to support widespread use of face-masking to prevent the spread of respiratory disease. A 2019 World Health Organization review of pandemic mitigation measures, for instance, found “no evidence” that face coverings helped to stop the spread of influenza.
Whether or not studies on influenza transmission can apply to COVID-19 is unknown; the disease’s relatively recent emergence means that scientific studies on it are in short supply. Studies can take many month to secure funding, develop methodologies, carry out experiments, interpret the findings, write a research paper and get it peer-reviewed and published.