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‘There’s no debate’: Fox News co-hosts shoot down colleague defending dueling mask science

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Fox News hosts and contributors on Friday discussed the wearing of masks in public as a way to get Americans back to work, but one of them was shut down after suggesting there was scientific disagreement about their effectiveness in protecting against COVID-19.

During a segment on “Outnumbered,” Rachel Campos-Duffy, a Fox Nation personality and the wife of former GOP lawmaker Sean Duffy, said there was debate within the scientific community about whether masks were “good or not.”


(Source: Fox News)

“I agree with Lawrence, we need to get back to work. We don’t want American people [sic] addicted to government to get us through this. We want to be addicted to work like we were in the pre-COVID Trump economy,” Campos-Duffy said.

“I think we’re smart enough to figure out where there’s a spike [in COVID-19 cases] we can shut down,” she continued. “But in places like where I live, there’s no need for so much of this…onerous regulation and shutting down businesses unnecessarily.”

At that point, Fox News host Harris Faulkner stepped in.

“I hear you saying that, and you’re in line somewhere, and nine people around you don’t have a mask, and there is science that shows that a two-way protection exists with mask-wearing. What do you do about that?” Faulkner asked.

“And I mean, I fear for the greeters at some of these companies, these grocery stores, I fear for them ‘cause I’ve seen people just get nuts in line about something that’s so simple,” Faulkner continued.

“I think that there is some debate even within the scientific community about whether masks are good or not,” Campos-Duffy said.

That prompted an immediate response from co-host Dagen McDowell. “There’s no debate. There’s no debate,” she fired back, shaking her head.

In fact, there is debate within the healthcare and scientific community regarding the effectiveness of mask-wearing.

“Face masks in public spaces do not provide any greater protection to the population,” Johan Carlson from the Swedish Public Health Agency Folkhälsomyndigheten told a May 13 press conference.

Sweden never shut down during the pandemic.

“There is a risk of a false sense of security, that you believe that you can’t be infected if you wear a face mask,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said during the same news conference.

Swedish media outlet The Local noted further, “Swedish health authorities argue that keeping a distance, washing your hands, not touching your face, and staying at home if you experience any symptoms are still the best ways to halt the spread of the coronavirus. There is a concern that wearing face masks would make people follow these guidelines less strictly.”

Also, some mask fabric is not necessarily as effective as others, nor are all masks equal in terms of providing protection.

“The use of cloth masks during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is under debate. The filtration effectiveness of cloth masks is generally lower than that of medical masks and respirators; however, cloth masks may provide some protection if well designed and used correctly,” says the abstract of a study published in the October 2020 issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Other studies have shown that even cloth masks protect others from contracting the disease from infected persons.

Jon Dougherty

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