California asks residents to keep mask on ‘in between bites’ of food
SACRAMENTO, California, October 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The office of California’s Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom raised eyebrows over the weekend with a statement urging people dining in restaurants to remove and replace their masks between individual bites of food.
“Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don't forget to keep your mask on in between bites,” reads the tweet, which accompanies a graphic bearing the contradictory advice to “minimize the number of times you take your mask off”:
Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don't forget to keep your mask on in between bites.— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) October 3, 2020
Do your part to keep those around you healthy. #SlowtheSpreadhttps://t.co/snYe5v55Rw pic.twitter.com/Y4fcDO5Zke
The tweet was met with a deluge of mockery, including people noting that the advice would, aside from the inconvenience, dramatically increase how much the wearer touches the mask, which contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) own guidance to touch one’s mask as little as possible while wearing it (the California government’s own COVID-19 page also states: “do not touch the mask when wearing it”):
CDC guidance... touch the mask as little as possible and wash hands as soon as you remove it... so each bite of food, you have to get up and wash hands, but that means putting the mask back on to go wash hands... let’s stick with not touching our masks while food is at the table! pic.twitter.com/AKQglJwKVF— Martin Dennison (@MartinLDennison) October 3, 2020
Beyond the logic of this specific guidance, the evidence on the effectiveness of general masking remains far from conclusive.
Last month, the CDC acknowledged that masks cannot be counted on to keep out the coronavirus when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone. A May 2020 study, backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and published by the CDC’s peer-reviewed journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility” (influenza particles are sized between 80 and 120 nanometers in diameter; COVID-19 particles are sized between 60 and 140).
Further, much of the skepticism over masks is due to the CDC and other public health authorities sending out conflicting signals on the subject.
In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, the CDC and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams counseled against masking, which the public later learned was because they wanted to conserve the supply for health workers. Controversial White House pandemic adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has similarly contradicted himself, from declaring “absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask” in February to urging not only masks but face shields by July.