Did The CDC Report That 85% Of The People That Wear Masks Catch Covid Like Trump Said?
On the 15th of October, President Donald Trump claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study stating that 85% of people who wear masks contract Covid-19. This claim is false.
In a morning interview with Fox News, the President mentioned that; "CDC comes out with a statement that 85% of the people wearing masks catch it."
Again on Thursday, in a rally in Greenville, Trump told the audience; "Did you see CDC? That 85% of the people wearing a mask catch it, OK?"
Finally, during his town hall on the same day, the president said; "Just the other day, they came out with a statement that 85% of the people that wear masks, catch it."
When Trump was confronted by the Moderator about the correctness of the claim, Trump maintained his claim by stating that he was only repeating what he "heard" and "saw". However, this is not true.
The CDC report Trump used as his basis was not designed to examine the effectiveness of wearing masks to prevent Covid-19. Rather, it was meant to look at how dining outside and other communal behavior such as going to the gym raised the risk of coronavirus.
The real result of this study was that; "participants with and without COVID-19 reported generally similar community exposures, with the exception of going to locations with on-site eating and drinking option".
The claim has also been clarified by CDC on Twitter to be in relation to communal behaviour. According to the tweet, people with or without Covid19 had high levels of mask use in public. What differentiates the two are activities where masks cannot be worn like eating or drinking and people with Covid19 were more likely to eat in public.
Accordinging to Christopher Lindsell, a co-author of the report and co-director of the Center for Health Data Science at Vanderbilt University Medical Center via CNN, the question asked in the study was different from "the question of how many or what percentage of people who wear masks contract the virus".
Therefore, the claims made by Donald Trump were unfounded.