The Case for Universal Mask Wearing by the Public

Webinar sponsored by NECOEM and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Friday, November 6, 11:45 am to 12:45 pm

Dean Hashimoto, MD, Chief Medical Officer,
Occupational Health Services, Workplace Health and Wellness, Mass General Brigham

Moderated by Kenji Saito, MD, JD
President and Chief Medical Officer, MedLaw. LLC.

ZOOM opens at 11:30. Presentation begins at 11:45.

Dean is the chief medical officer who oversees the Workplace Health and Wellness division of the Mass General Brigham system.  This division includes the Occupational Health Services and the Workers Compensation department.  Dean serves as the chair of the Health Care Services Board of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.  His book, "The Case for Masks" was recently published by the major distributor for Simon & Schuster. Dean teaches health law and policy at Boston College Law School.

Talk description: I will describe the importance of mask wearing as the key public health tool in controlling the coronavirus pandemic. On July 14, the CDC announced its support in the Journal of the American Medical Association for universal masking of the public as the means to bring the pandemic to a halt. The CDC cited our Mass General Brigham study of healthcare workers in the same issue of JAMA as the basis for its recommendation. I will describe the scientific support for universal mask wearing from biosafety, medical, and population-based research. I will also discuss the substantial barriers and resistance to wearing masks based on cultural concerns, as described in the historical and sociological literature. Finally, I will describe the importance of adopting universal masking that is integrated into our culture of community safety.

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