An infectious disease expert who served on President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board during the presidential transition says wearing two face masks as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 may actually do more harm than good.
Michael Osterholm said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that double masking could raise the chances of becoming infected with the virus.
“When we talk about double masking, remember what we’re really talking about is just trying to prevent the virus from being excreted by me into the air or me inhaling the virus from someone else in the air, and it’s both a function of face fit and face filtration,” Osterholm said.
Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said “think about your swim goggles. When’s the last time anybody leaked at the lenses? They leak at the fit.”
“So, what we’re concerned about is that many of these face cloth coverings do have already compromised fit or filtration capacity,” he said. “If you add on another mask, you may actually make it tougher for the air to move through the two-cloth area, and then at that point, it causes more air to actually leak around the sides, which actually enhances your ability to get infected.”
“I’m not saying that some couldn’t be used in a better way. But at the same time, there are many that actually, you may do more harm. Let me just say right now one thing that’s really, to me, very important is we see up to 25% of people who wear it under their nose. You know, that’s like fixing three of the five screen doors in your submarine. You know, what’s going on there? We’ve got to get people to start using these right. That would help right there tremendously,” Osterholm said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force and is now President Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, said last month that wearing two masks is likely more effective than wearing one.
“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on it; just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci told NBC News on Monday.
The New York Times said earlier this month that if one mask works, maybe two will be twice as nice.
“Football coaches do it. President-elects do it. Even science-savvy senators do it. As cases of the coronavirus continue to surge on a global scale, some of the nation’s most prominent people have begun to double up on masks — a move that researchers say is increasingly being backed up by data,” the paper wrote.
The Times cites Linsey Marr, an expert in virus transmission at Virginia Tech, who said “if you combine multiple layers, you start achieving pretty high efficiencies” of blocking viruses from exiting, and even entering, the nose or mouth.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.