If two masks are better than one, are three masks better than two?
The answer coming in from the “public health expert” class is a resounding yes.
This week, CNBC anchor Shep Smith opened up a new frontier on the cloth front.
In a “special report” for CNBC, Smith launched into a monologue praising “experts” like lifetime bureaucrat Anthony Fauci and his new guidance to wear two masks instead of one. Shep claimed that double masking is important because we have new variants coming into the country and claimed, without evidence, that they are more contagious, and that masks can block them.
Fauci, for his part, has only been wearing one mask or no mask over the course of the past year. Fauci has moved from dismissing the efficacy of masks entirely to swearing by them in the span of months. He now advocates wearing two masks in the name of The Science™.
“Put another layer on. It just makes common sense,” Fauci said earlier this week in advancing his baseless commentary that is grounded in nothing whatsoever.
In his CNBC segment, however, Shep Smith took the mask advocacy to even greater heights, appearing to one-up Fauci himself in promoting the “science” of wearing three masks. Not one, not two, but three masks to stop COVID-19.
“Since the start of the pandemic, experts have urged us to do three things: wash our hands, maintain our distance, and wear a mask.” Smith started. “But now the experts say … it’s time to double up and wear two.”
Shep continued, suggesting that stopping at two masks is for amateurs.
Smith then turned to his correspondent, who claimed that based on some random academic model out of Virginia Tech, double masking boosts your protection level to 75%(!). No, there are no studies to confirm this.
“Doubling up these cloth masks increases the efficacy from 50 to 75%,” said correspondent Contesse Brewer.
But wait, there’s more.
CNBC then displayed a graphic advertising going even further, claiming that wearing three masks boost you up to 90% protection levels! “Three layers … could block up to 90% of the particles,” Brewer commented.
All of these disposable masks may seems kind of expensive, but don’t worry, CNBC suggested a solution for stocking up – Buy them from China!
“The chinese version, KN95 masks are widely available .... I bought these on Amazon. I wore them through the airport,” Brewer added.
Of course, this whole segment was patently insane and baseless. America has already adopted a far higher threshold than universal masking standards, and universal masking has done absolutely nothing to stop the spread of the virus.
Still, CNBC is not alone. Several “public health experts” and public health institutions have taken to advocating for three layers, or three masks, since around the end of Fall.
It’s worth recalling that there is no actual scientific evidence that masks work to stop the spread of a submicroscopic infectious particle, which in this case, is the virus known as SARS-CoV-2.. There are a lot of hypotheses about how masks could work, but there is no data to confirm these academic models. In fact, the limited randomized controlled trial data (see: Danish mask study) that we have available shows that masks do not do anything at all to minimize the spread of COVID-19.