Dr. Fauci Says There Is No Truth At All to This Common Mask Myth

In a recent interview, Fauci debunked one of the biggest face mask rumors that's been circulating.

The coronavirus continues to rage on, and with it comes misinformation about how to slow the spread. While scientists and medical experts have proven that wearing face masks is one of the best ways to battle the pandemic, there are still many conspiracy theories that have been circulating. One such common mask myth is that they can lower your oxygen levels and make it hard to breathe. This false claim has been debunked before, and now, Anthony Fauci, MD, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is speaking out as well.

In a live Facebook interview on July 16, Fauci disputed the rumors that there are adverse effects of wearing a mask: "There has not been any indication that putting a mask on and wearing a mask for a considerable period of time has any deleterious effects on oxygen exchange or anything like that. Not at all."

Girl wearing a mask outside

Not only are there obvious benefits of wearing a face mask—like containing respiratory droplets that may harbor the coronavirus—but it's also perfectly safe to have on, Fauci said. "I wear a mask when I'm outside all the time, particularly making sure that I don't remove it when I'm close to people," he explained. "And, you know, it doesn't bother me. I even run with a mask on."

Though your face mask may be a little bit uncomfortable—or sweaty in the hot months of summer—it will not hinder your ability to breathe.

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Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has set the record straight, saying that medical masks don't cause hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) or carbon dioxide intoxication. They go on to explain that for the most effective use, the mask should fit properly and be snug around your face while still allowing you to breathe normally. And for more things you shouldn't fall for, check out the 25 Coronavirus Myths You Need to Stop Believing, According to Doctors.

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