The Hidden Danger of Masks

Face masks have become a cultural symbol. To resist them “is nothing more than selfish, libertarian nonsense masquerading as a comic-book defense of freedom,” Thomas Friedman of the New York Times proclaims. Yet the science is far less certain than the moralism.

The question of how well masks prevent transmission and infection requires far more study. The decision to wear a mask would seem to be cost-free, apart from minor discomfort. But absolutism about masks and disregard for scientific uncertainties may promote a false…


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