US Doctors' Group Says All Mask Mandates 'Must Be Rescinded'

The group said mask mandates 'are contrary to the fundamental medical principle of informed consent.'
US Doctors' Group Says All Mask Mandates 'Must Be Rescinded'
Kindergarteners wear masks while listening to their teacher amid the COVID-19 pandemic at Washington Elementary School in Lynwood, Calif., on Jan. 12, 2022. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)
Jack Phillips

A medical group issued a warning this week about wearing masks for respiratory viruses such as COVID-19, arguing that studies show they don't prevent their spread and instead violate patients' rights to informed consent.

"As mask mandates are contrary to the fundamental medical principle of informed consent, all masking mandates currently in place must be rescinded, and no future mandates should be imposed," the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a longtime conservative-aligned medical group, said in a statement, likely responding to recent hospital mask mandates that were reimposed in August.

The group made reference to research, including a recent paper from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews that concluded numerous studies "did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks," while there "were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection."
In contrast, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies have said that masking is effective and have cited several studies for the claim. Previously, the CDC had recommended masking across a broad range of settings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it also maintained an emergency order requiring the wearing of masks on public transportation, which was struck down by a judge last year.

Disagreement Over Safety

The federal public health emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic expired in May.
But over the years, there have been numerous studies from around the world that have shown that masking may not be effective. Other studies have also shown that there are downsides to wearing face coverings and masks, which—if worn for a lengthy period of time—can cause impaired cognition, skin problems, and headaches, according to the physicians' group.
It also made note of a recent paper, citing experimental data, that has shown that "carbon dioxide content in inhaled air rises on average to 13,000 to 13,750 ppm no matter whether children wear a surgical or an FFP2 mask," which "is far beyond the level of 2,000 ppm considered the limit of acceptability and beyond the 1,000 ppm that are normal for air in closed rooms."

In children, masking can be detrimental to a child's speech and language development, while "society requires facial recognition as a most basic component of interaction and communication," according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

"Studies in individuals with age-related macular degeneration have shown that 'poor face perception in AMD is an important domain contributing to impaired social interactions and quality of life,'" the organization said. "Voluntary masking with no gain contributes to societal alienation."

 Miami Beach police officers wear masks outside the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla., on April 8, 2020. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Miami Beach police officers wear masks outside the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla., on April 8, 2020. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The warning comes as a handful of U.S. hospitals, schools, offices, and at least one county government has required face masks amid a small increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

New Mandates

On Friday, the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois announced that employees are mandated to wear masks while dealing with patients. Starting in August, several hospitals in Upstate New York, California, and Massachusetts issued mask mandates, although several of the facilities did not require them for patients or visitors, only staff.

In August, a liberal arts college in Atlanta confirmed it had reinstated a temporary mask mandate in response to what it said were student infections. The college later rescinded the rule after two weeks, the college's president told news outlets in early September.

Most recently, an elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland, announced that it would require masks for a kindergarten class after it said several students tested positive for the virus. That drew outcry from several conservatives on social media, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

“To be clear, the rumors of a federal mask mandate are not true,” Jeff Nesbit, assistant secretary for public affairs for Health and Human Services, told The Associated Press. “We now have a range of tools for people to protect themselves from the impact of COVID-19, including vaccines, at-home testing and treatments. Masking is one of several steps people may choose to take to protect themselves if they wish.”

Previously, officials with the CDC and the Transportation Security Administration have told news outlets, including The Epoch Times, that no discussions about mask mandates or lockdowns have been held.

When the CDC recommended new COVID-19 vaccine shots for nearly all Americans over the age of six months, the agency's director, Mandy Cohen, was asked by reporters about whether mandates are on the table.

"What I see is I don’t see any need for mandates or those kinds of things right now. But we have to keep watching this virus, seeing how it changes, and if we need to make other recommendations, we will," the CDC director said on Tuesday.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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