Cherry-Picked Data From Flawed Report Used to Discourage Masks for Children

 Mask opponents on social media have cherry-picked data from a recent lab report to argue that masks attract dangerous pathogens, making them unsafe for children. In fact, masks are particularly important to protect children against COVID-19 because children under 12 are not currently able to get vaccinated. A widely shared post about the report features several carefully selected screenshots. The full dataset reveals that most of the “dangerous” pathogens identified on masks are normal components of the body’s ecosystem and were not found to be in excess. Some experts have also questioned the methods and credibility of the report, which they say fell short of scientific standards.

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The Public Health Communications Collaborative (PHCC) was formed in 2020 to coordinate and amplify public health messaging on COVID-19 and increase Americans’ confidence in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health officials.

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