Fact Check: 'Someone' Is NOT Lying About The Need To Wear Masks Against Coronavirus Spread; Masks Work

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: 'Someone' Is NOT Lying About The Need To Wear Masks Against Coronavirus Spread; Masks Work Masks Work

Does a seeming dichotomy of face masks' effectiveness -- if masks work, let families visit loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes; if masks don't work, don't make children wear them -- mean "someone is lying"? No, that's not true. Masks do work in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, as many experts and nearly every health agency and government have declared.

The "someone is lying" claim is made in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on August 24, 2020, with just a meme that read:


This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Aug 25 20:33:46 2020 UTC)

According to science and medical experts, masks are one of the most essential tools used to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 and the deaths it causes -- at least 815,240 deaths globally and about 178,000 deaths in the U.S.

But masks are not absolute barriers, and other measures and restrictions are taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 especially in facilities where residents or patients could be at risk. Moreover, contrary to the meme's implication, some facilities do allow visitors but only under certain conditions to protect the health of patients and of the visitors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advocate the use of face masks, along with other preventative measures including including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting.

For facilities, the CDC, lists reasons why visitors should be limited, and also what care should be taken for those who are allowed to visit including this key point:

Visitors are strongly discouraged from visiting patients who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If visitors are allowed, facilities should follow national policies regarding the use of medical masks or face covers (e.g., homemade mask) by healthy visitors.

Masks are effective but because they are not absolute protection, hospitals and nursing homes, where staff members use PPE, or personal protective equipment, are taking extra precautions to try to arrest the pandemic.

As for the World Health Organization, it also spells out the recommendation for masks -- which are also touted by political leaders, including President Trump's administration -- for children, as well.

For the general public, WHO changed its guidance on mask-wearing, releasing new guidelines in June 2020, according to WebMD:

June 8, 2020 -- The World Health Organization has changed its stance on wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.People over 60 and people with underlying medical conditions should wear a medical-grade mask when they're in public and cannot socially distance, the WHO said. The general public should wear a three-layer fabric mask in those situations.

The WHO also updated their advice for medical workers, saying all of them should always wear a medical mask while in clinical areas, not just people working with COVID-19 patients.

The organization had previously said there wasn't enough medical evidence to support members of the public wearing a mask, unless they were sick or around people with the coronavirus. The widespread wearing of masks might lead to a mask shortage for medical workers and create a false sense of security in the public, WHO officials had said."

So to the meme's question about whether someone is "lying," the answer is, no. Officials, experts and doctors are not lying. While it's not a foolproof way to slow the spread of the virus, some officials have said the pandemic could be brought under control in a short period if everyone adhered to wearing masks.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion