A study that purportedly criticized the efficacy of wearing face masks during the pandemic is about to be retracted after some funky facts came to light.
From Retraction Watch:
A study that warned of the perils of using face masks as a precaution against contracting Covid-19 appears slated for retraction, Retraction Watch has learned. The 2020 paper, “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis,” was written by Baruch Vainshelboim, who listed his affiliation as Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health System.
But the study gained wide circulation earlier this month, thanks in part to some conservative politicians, and became the subject of fact-checks by the Associated Press and Snopes, which pointed out that the paper was published by an exercise physiologist with no academic connection to Stanford University or the NIH in a journal that accepts “radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas.
Stanford has disavowed both Vainshelboim and the paper.
Snopes, the fact-checking site, cited the study as false and misleading: “The paper was published by an exercise physiologist with no academic connection to Stanford University or the NIH in a journal that accepts ‘radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas.'”
Vainshelboim is not a medical doctor but reportedly holds a PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Porto in 2014.
The paper got renewed traction this month after the far-right leaning fake-news site, The Gateway Pundit, which has been banned from Twitter for repeatedly posting misinformation.
Stanford Medicine strongly supports the use of face masks to control the spread of COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/DiY3sWezCN
— Stanford Medicine (@StanfordMed) April 21, 2021