Author of Retracted Study on Harm of Mask-Wearing by Children Says Removal Was ‘Political’

The lead author of a now-retracted research note that claimed children’s masks trapped dangerously high concentrations of carbon dioxide has said that JAMA Pediatrics’ decision to pull the paper was politically motivated. The research note, “Experimental Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Content in Inhaled Air With or Without Face Masks in Healthy Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” authored by Harald Walach and colleagues, was published in June. Based on measurements of carbon dioxide in air inhaled by 45 children between six and 17 years of age, the study found that children wearing face masks were inhaling carbon dioxide levels “deemed unacceptable by the German Federal Environmental Office by a factor of 6.” The researchers concluded that their findings “suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks.” JAMA Pediatrics retracted the research letter on July 16. In a retraction notice, Dr. Dmitri Christakis and Dr. Phil Fontanarosa cited “numerous scientific …

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