Reader's View: Reject misleading claims about masks

There is, of course, clear evidence for the use of masks in pandemic situations.

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At least two Opinion pieces for which the News Tribune provided space recently suggested there’s little scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in combating COVID-19 infection. This is Opinion-page malpractice.

There is, of course, clear evidence for the use of masks in pandemic situations. The Centers for Disease Control has published a review of the international literature, " Science Brief: Community Use of Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 ,” that lays out the truth of the claim that wearing masks reduces the risk of transmission of airborne disease, including COVID-19 of all variants. This review cites scientific studies from around the world and in the U.S., in various settings, from public transport to in homes and in schools. The review also includes larger community studies.

The News Tribune, as a publication of record, needs to take seriously the impact from giving space to misleading and/or inaccurate claims. If, for some reason, the paper feels there is a justifiable reason to allow space for these voices, the editors could flag the claims with asterisks and links to correct information. Not doing so is unconscionable.

I call on the News Tribune to be more careful and discriminating about the material presented for readers and to better fact-check incorrect or decidedly dangerous material on its Opinion pages.

Lynn Johansen



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