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Mask Mandates are Unscientific and Futile

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The Australian Medical Professionals’ Society today informs all policy-makers, health facilities and businesses that there is no scientific evidence for mandating masks for healthy employees, patients or customers. 

Dr Duncan Syme, AMPS Vice President, said, “A recent Cochrane Meta analysis, Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses[1], has confirmed what has been long standing scientific consensus: surgical, cloth and N95 masks do not stop viral transmission.”

This new Cochrane report conclusively shows again that masks are not effective for protection against respiratory viruses like influenza and COVID-19. Not only are masks ineffective but when not used correctly masks can increase the risk of transmission.

“This evidence confirms a previous systematic review in 2020, the well known Danish Study of 2021, in addition to the 2019 Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza and the CDC policy review in May 2020. These show there is really no evidence of any significant benefit from wearing masks, whether surgical, cloth or N95, in preventing respiratory viral infection,” said AMPS President Dr Christopher Neil.

AMPS believes in advocating evidence-based public health interventions, unlike the CDC whose Director says their guidance doesn’t really change over time. It is abundantly clear that mask mandates imposed by governments, regulators and employers for the purpose of preventing infection or stopping transmission are ineffective. Masks do not stop infection and, by extrapolation, transmission of respiratory viruses.

Health authorities imposed unscientific mask mandates on Australians. Chief Health Officers who failed to follow basic scientific principles, inflicting useless and potentially harmful masking measures on the Australian public, are in breach of their codes of conduct and should stand aside pending an investigation.

Medical regulatory executives of AHPRA and National Boards who threatened doctors with regulatory action for questioning unscientific and potentially harmful government public mask mandates should also stand down pending an investigation into their conduct. Practitioners have a duty of care to practice evidence-based care, not blindly enforce unscientific misinformed government-mandated policy.

Now that COVID-19 masking protocols are the responsibility of individual hospitals and institutions, these organisations must ensure any risk assessments undertaken into public masking take into account this Cochrane report evidence.   

Dr Jeyanthi Kunadhasan, AMPS treasurer, said “Obviously masking healthy people is futile, expensive, environmentally irresponsible and likely harmful. Medical authorities should stop spreading misinformation. We must return to pre-covid mask policies that were in place for decades. Follow the science and end all mask mandates.”


For further comment contact Dr Duncan Syme at hotline@asn.amps.au

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[1] The Cochrane review by Tom Jefferson et al, which provides a meta-analysis of 78 RCTs definitively shows the ineffectiveness of surgical masks to reduce or stop the transmission of respiratory viruses, such as SARS Cov2 or Influenza viruses. Quote from the conclusion of the Cochrane review: “The pooled results of RCTs did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks. There were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection.”See this link for access: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub6/full