JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Many medical experts say as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed, wearing a mask in public is still a must.
On Sunday afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden tweeted about masks:
I know masks have become a partisan issue — but it’s a patriotic act. Experts say wearing a mask from now until April will save more than 50,000 lives.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 17, 2021
While there is still much to learn about the virus, Dr. Elizabeth Ransom, with Baptist Health, said one thing is certain.
“The best way to prevent spread is wearing a mask, good hygiene and physical distancing,” Ransom told News4Jax.
While no specific study was cited in Biden’s tweet, News4Jax did find a study published in the journal Nature Medicine. The study suggests that by Feb. 28, it’s estimated more than 511,000 people will die from COVID-19.
“When you look at it epidemiologically, we’re seeing very high death rates, sometimes up to 4,000 a day,” Ransom said.
That’s on pace with the numbers the study suggested.
The same study showed that in six months if 95% of people wore a mask, 130,000 fewer would die from COVID-19. It showed if 85% of people wore a mask, 96,000 people’s lives would be saved.
News4Jax used those same calculations and compared it to the four months Biden mentioned in his tweet. Those numbers reveal that if 95% of people wore a mask over the next four months, almost 87,000 lives could be saved.
By the same calculations, if 85% of people wore masks until April 18, 64,000 fewer people would die from COVID-19.
So on the Trust Index, we are marking Biden’s tweet as true.
If we base his numbers off the data available right now, the 50,000 thousand people is actually lower than the amount of people, the study shows, could be saved if people wear a mask.