The dentistry journal Oral Health Group has removed a research paper from its website which found masks do not work to halt the spread of disease. They claim the paper is “no longer relevant in the current climate”.
The article – “Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review” – has been used as a source before by us before (see here), and was a great collation of all the research studies done on the effectiveness of masks as a disease prevention tool. In general it found the evidence suggested masks have little to no value as infection preventatives.
The author, John Hardie (BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC), is a 30-year veteran of dental practice, specialising in infection control. The paper had over 30 references and sources from academic journals and peer-reviewed studies.
GEER Head Mask Full Fa... Buy New $79.99 (as of 04:45 EDT - Details) It’s hard to say exactly when the article was taken down, but the Wayback Machine shows it to be intact on 25th of June, simply missing from July 2nd-9th, and replaced with the current statement on July 10th.
Fortunately once something is on the internet it is there forever, and you can view an archived version of the article here.
The statement itself is worth reading, not for what it says so much as what it doesn’t say:
If you are looking for “Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review” by John Hardie, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC, it has been removed. The content was published in 2016 and is no longer relevant in our current climate.
Note it doesn’t say the work was “inaccurate” or “factually incorrect”, only that it is “no longer relevant in our current climate”. It also doesn’t say if it was taken down at the author’s request, or that he has formally repudiated his work.
This is not the first time evidence that masks don’t work has been removed from the internet.