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Stanford University has backed a study claiming that masks do not protect against COVID-19.

The study's author has no affiliation with Stanford, which has rejected the research and its claims.

Several articles online have claimed that Stanford University has produced a respected study showing that masks are ineffective in stopping the spread of COVID-19. This is untrue. The study in question is linked to Baruch Vainshelboim, who is no longer an affiliate of Stanford University. Steve Cortes, the former advisor to former President Donald Trump, was suspended from Twitter after he claimed that a Stanford Study had found masks to be ineffective.

Baruch Vainshelboim originally made the unfounded claim in a study published in the Medical Hypotheses journal. Challenging the efficacy of face masks, he hypothesizes that facemasks have compromised safety and should be avoided from use.

However, legitimate organizations such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since February 2021, the U.S. national public health agency has mandated wearing masks on trains, buses, and planes. The FDA states that surgical masks help block droplets or germs, including viruses and bacteria. As some countries grapple with a second wave of the pandemic, wearing two masks has been recommended.

On April 2022, Stanford Medicine's official Twitter account clarified that the research was "not a Stanford study" and that Vainshelboim had been incorrectly affiliated with the university. It stated that the University had requested a correction to articles by fake news sites, such as Gateway Pundit, which had claimed that the research was a Stanford paper. Stanford confirmed that Vainshelboim had not been associated with Stanford since 2016. when he completed a one-year term as a visiting scholar on issues that were unrelated to the research on masks.

Stanford University encouraged the public to continue to wear masks to protect themselves from COVID-19.

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