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A Critical Look at the Data on Masking


Published June 21, 2022

How effective are masks at blocking transmission of COVID-19? How does “masking” in real life differ from “masks” in the aggregate? Are there costs to widespread mask mandates? Atlas considers these questions and summarizes the data from early in the pandemic.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is forced compliance ever justifiable during a pandemic?
  2. What would it take for medical experts to regain the trust of the public?

Additional Resources:

  • Read Scott Atlas’s book A Plague upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying AmericaAvailable here.
  • Read “During COVID, the More Prestigious the College, the Lower the Quality of Education,” by Paul Peterson, John Schoof, and Jay Greene via The HillAvailable here.
  • Watch “An Endless Summer: How COVID Has Reversed Academic Achievement,” with Macke Raymond on PolicyEd. Available here.