Do masks work? | Vincent Racaniello and Lex Fridman

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Vincent Racaniello is a virologist, immunologist, and microbiologist at Columbia. He is a co-author of the textbook Principles of Virology and co-host of This Week in Virology podcast.

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Written by Lex Clips


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  1. Racanielle appears to implicitly deny the single-hit hypothesis which appears to be the most common assumption regarding the required viral load to cause an infection, i.e. a single virion CAN lead to an infection. See also the paper. "Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission".

    Rather interesting from that paper:
    "In contrast to the high number ofemitted respiratory particles, the number ofviruses in 30-min samples of exhaled air (Nv,30,ex)are typically low, with mean values of ~53 forcoronaviruses (HCoV-NL63, -OC43, -229E, and-HKU1), ~38 for influenza viruses (A and B),and ~96 for rhinoviruses (11) (supplementarytext, section S1.2, and Fig. 2)."


    Scientific proof based on factual statistics: MASKS reduce the possibility of contamination by AIRBORNE VIRUSES (i.e. "influenza A"/"coronavirus/variants"). Compare Missouri health statistics during the same week in February, one year apart, deep into flu season. There's a HUGE difference between "not wearing masks" in February 2020 to "wearing masks" in February 2021. Statistics are available for all 50 states, week by week, every week of the year:

    ⭐NOT WEARING MASKS; 2/23/20—2/29/20: Influenza in Missouri is WIDESPREAD. (9,351=E.R. verified influenza cases were reported) (51=Influenza deaths were reported) (8=Outbreaks were reported) (7=School closures were reported) Influenza in the United States is HIGH.

    ⭐WEARING MASKS; 2/21/21—2/27/21: Influenza in Missouri is SPORADIC. (29=E.R. verified influenza cases were reported) (1=Influenza death was reported) (0=Outbreaks were reported) (0=School closures were reported) Influenza in the United States is low.

  3. In Australia they tell people not to wear a mask during bushfires. Because the mask will not block smoke particles . An aerosol is a lot smaller than a smoke particle . The elites never wear them that says it all

  4. Trouble is you need to spread the virus to reach herd immunity . The data shows masks make no difference to the spread of infection
    In the UK cases quadrupled after mask mandates came in . Already many studies already done going back decades. All concluded masks don’t work. Otherwise we would have been advised to wear masks during previous pandemics and every flu season. Masks are part of the fear control agenda

  5. So the overwhelming scientific conclusion is that our leaders are completely incompetent, nothing new here….We need a solid plan to get far better people making decisions, fairly simple really.

  6. In absence of certainty excercise caution. Simple as that. Wear a mask!

    There is ample scientific evidence that masks provide the best protection, short of not getting in social contact at all.

    The problem is not lack of scientific study, there is a lack of acceptance of facts.

  7. Question STILL not answered. This guy dances a lot. He basically implied that NOW is the time for lab tests on the efficacy of masks. NOW? This is why a lot of us don't trust vaccines or even the accuracy of Covid. These people dance around questions, seem to truly either not know or not want to educate. If you can't even do what would be a simple test for mask efficiency, why would I take your vaccine this soon. He said people won't wear masks because they don't work perfectly. That's BS! The politicizing of masks is a result of completely inept research and proof that they work. Why hasn't this been done? Racaniello sits there (grinning as if he knows this is all BS) and basically answers nothing, which is the result of all the censorship. Such a cluster____!

  8. The only mask that works is one made of impermeable plastic firmly sealed around the neck of the wearer preferably the ones demanding mask mandates.
    Masks actually increase transmission of viruses because HUMANS are using them not lab equipment. and humans do stupid ignorant things without even realizing it.
    The CDC etc were correct in the first instance as health advice. Masks mandates are a political measure designed to either look like something is being done at best and at worst the masks are meant to serve the exact same purposes as the star some people were forced to wear on the chests.

  9. The science is that masks are significantly better than no mask when reducing the spread of respiratory transmission. We didn't produce enough PPE in the beginning due to our private healthcare system and having manufacturing mostly done overseas to 'save money'.

  10. The absolute certitude and assumed moral superiority of those demanding that others wear masks ensured that many will not wear them. It is the same people who insist that the CDC had the authority to prohibit evictions and OSHA to mandate vaccines. I for one, am far more concerned about the effects of ceding so much power to politicians and unelected bureaucrats than I am about the virus. They insist that we all "follow the science" but then they suppress dissenting views. Not surprisingly, just like the "global warming science" the approved science on COVID leads invariably to their socialist utopia that they can't get through normal legislative means. Screw those people and the horse they rode in on.

  11. Masks never were and never can be the solution to our locked-down situation.
    The virus shares the planet with us now. We need to encounter it and to allow our innate immune system to deal with it. Fortunately, 99.98% of people deal with it without even knowing. Attention should be paid to helping those vulnerable while the rest get on with their lives.

  12. So it seems like we should just admit that we wear masks just in case. We can't tell who the 20% that do most of the trasmission are. We think it's only talking that spreads dropplets and we want everyone to wear them so they don't forget and start spreading dropplets. Basically, let's just say we don't know but we're al in this together so please let's all just wear masks in public just for the sake of trying whatever we can to keep society moving and if they don't work, at least they didn't hurt.

  13. And an issue about the masks I've never heard broached: You're wearing a mask all day. Don't the virii collect? Isn't your mask more deadly at the end of the day vs the beginning? Doesn't the mask provide a cozy nesting/interbreeding place for both incoming and outgoing virii? After all, I'm providing a nice warm moist environment. Could it be that that mask at the end of the day is worse than no mask at all?

  14. What vexes me about the discussion on masks is that nobody seems to care to weigh in the potential negative effects, even if it were certain that masks were effective. I can’t believe there are no potential health issues of attaching a piece of chemically proceed cloth to your face all day, reducing the flow of oxygen. What about the psychological issues?

  15. Theres a difference between the efficacy of masks worn by properly trained health care professionals in a clinical setting (which many of the laboratory studies are based on) and the efficacy in society where currently we still lack high grade evidence of any statistical significant good effects

  16. If the mask stops only 50%, I would still wear one. I also don’t give a shit about Y’all-Qaed. If they don’t want to get vaccinated and choose to go mask free, please by all means, good luck. At this point the majority of people that are dying know that they could have avoided this when it’s to late.

  17. Remember Vinny was against masks when his political colleagues were against them.

    Lex hit the nail on the head about the damages done by the political class…….. science has no room for politics.

  18. I agree that most people are intelligent. Unfortunately, most people aren't brave enough to find out, so they will fall in line with the rest of the rats in the race. It's not our fault, but now it is.

  19. While there are assholes on "both sides", are we pretending such is equal? Can masks help significantly if properly used, YES

    Are most people using the proper masks and wearing them correctly? NO

    There are those who are helping reduce the spread of the virus and those who clearly are not. Which can rightfully labeled *THE ASSWHOLES*?

    Lex said, "the fact that this [mask wearing] was politicized, was heartbreaking"… QUESTION: Who politicized masks?

    – those who followed the best and most advantageous solutions of mask and social distancing followed vaccines hen available.


    – those who refused to perform the most simplistic tasks and shared misinformation like it was candy?

  20. Your viewers Lex… Read the comments section here on your videos. It horrendous, I mean Lex is very much a scientific literate channel, but look through the comments section??? Fuckin disturbing.

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