Six Simple Science Questions On Masks
The public deserves to know the scientific evidence behind the New Zealand Government’s consideration of a public health order making masks mandatory in certain situations.
1. What scientific study has persuaded the Government to make masks mandatory?
2. Does the Government have better evidence than a meta-analysis of 10 trials (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994-f2) which shows no benefit from community use of masks to reduce the incidence of influenza transmission?
3. What is the specific threat prevented by masks in the situations covered by the mandatory order, and what has been the role of those situations in the infections found by testing?
4. What does the science show will be the result of the public order: what is the projected decrease or increase in positive tests, illness or death?
5. What specific level of transmission or cases is required to conclude that the mask order has worked or not worked?
6. If a new study in a mainstream science journal shows wearing masks in public makes no significant difference, will the government rescind its order?