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PETITION: No to radical mandatory mask mandates! Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Wearing a mask will not guarantee one’s safety from COVID-19 if worn in close proximity to an infected person for more than 15 minutes, according to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The guidelines recommend that anyone who has spent roughly 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 should “stay home until 14 days after last exposure and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others at all times,” “irrespective of whether the person with COVID-19 or the contact was wearing a mask or whether the contact was wearing respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE).”

“While research indicates masks may help those who are infected from spreading the infection, there is less information regarding whether masks offer any protection for a contact exposed to a symptomatic or asymptomatic patient,” the CDC explained. “Therefore, the determination of close contact should be made irrespective of whether the person with COVID-19 or the contact was wearing a mask. Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, it cannot be certain whether respiratory PPE worn during contact with an individual with COVID-19 infection protected them from exposure.”

State governments and private businesses across the country have mandated mask-wearing in the name of containing COVID-19, with some localities going so far as to encourage residents to report neighbors for non-compliance or even mandate masks in private homes. These mandates have become a subject of intense debate, with conservatives arguing that the science is less certain than many pundits and politicians are.

A “pooled (so-called ‘meta-’) analysis of 10 controlled trials assessing extended, real-world, non-healthcare-setting mask usage revealed that masking did not reduce the rate of laboratory-proven infections with the respiratory virus influenza,” Dr. Andrew Bostom of Brown University wrote. “The findings from this unique report — published May 2020 by the CDC’s own ‘house journal’ ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases’ — are directly germane to the question of masking to prevent COVID-19 infection and merit some elaboration.”

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 wearing mask, which the public later learned was because they wanted to conserve the supply for health workers.

Recently, the CDC also acknowledged that the vast majority of Americans officially recorded as dying from COVID-19 also had other factors contributing to their deaths, and The New York Times reported that the primary tests currently being used are so sensitive that “most” of the positive cases they identify “are not likely to be contagious” because they “may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.”

As of September 1, the United States is estimated to have seen 6.2 million cases of COVID-19 with more than 188,000 deaths and 3.4 million recoveries. But doubt and debate have surrounded those numbers all year, thanks in part to various health agencies admitting that they counted anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 before dying as having died from the virus, regardless of their actual cause of death.