Dr. Tam’s previous anti-mask advice excluded from coronavirus report

A timeline of Canada’s coronavirus response excluded any mention of Dr. Theresa Tam’s contradictory mask advice.

Yesterday, the Public Health Agency of Canada released the 2020 report on the state of public health in Canada titled “From risk to resilience: An equity approach to COVID-19.” 

Included in the report was a timeline ranging from December 2019 to August 2020 detailing milestones in the coronavirus response. 

The only mention of mask-wearing recommendations listed in the timeline was on April 7th when a Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health issued a statement “supportive of wearing non-medical masks as an additional layer of protection.” 

However, Dr. Tam had repeatedly advised Canadians against wearing masks as far back as March. 

“Right now there is no need to use a mask for well people,” said Tam during a March 28th briefing.  

At one point Tam even warned that masks could lead to spreading the virus and said that “the effectiveness of the use of non-medical masks has not been well demonstrated” on April 1. 

“What we worry about is actually the potentially negative aspects of wearing masks where people are not protecting their eyes or, you know, other aspects of where the virus could enter your body, and that gives you a false sense of confidence,” said Tam on March 30th. 

Even by January, Canada’s Public Health Agency was telling Canadians abroad to not wear masks even while in Chinese quarantine zones. 

“Do you recommend travelers wear masks while visiting China or quarantine-blocked cities within the country such as Wuhan? No,” said a January 29 briefing note

“It is not recommended that healthy travelers wear masks while visiting China or quarantine-blocked cities within the country.”

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