In mid-March, only ~10 countries recommended wearing masks.
As of mid-May:
1. 100+ countries and 10 U.S. states require them
2. The U.S. CDC recommends them
3. 95% of the world’s population lives in countries that require or recommend masks (including China, the USA, Germany, Russia, South Korea, Brazil, India, and France)
What happened and why did this change?
In March, a group of researchers and scientists started #Masks4All after realizing that there was clear scientific evidence showing that cloth masks limit the spread of COVID-19 (which contradicted the global consensus at the time).
Our message went viral and hundreds of thousands of people all over the world heard our message and took action on a scale much greater than we ever could have imagined.
The story was repeatedly covered by every major global news outlet and as a result, many health and government leaders re-examined the science and changed their opinions.
March 31st Update: Our video and Washington Post article both went extremely viral within days of launching and the story has almost instantly been picked up by almost every major media outlet in the world.
April 2nd Update: “It’s hard to explain just how fast the debate is moving here. When my article came out in The Washington Post on Saturday [March 28th] it was into a void – there was no mainstream discussion of this at all. Today I am briefing a bipartisan group of US senators and staffers on the issue and talking to international policy experts at Yale University. I was on Good Morning America yesterday telling people how to make masks. This has completely taken over my life.” – Jeremy Howard in a Sydney Morning Herald Interview
April 3rd Update: The U.S. CDC changed its stance and now recommends masks! The U.S. “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings” because “a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms” and they can be contagious spreaders of the virus.
Jeremy Howard, Co-Founder & Leader
Distinguished Research Scientist at USF; Founding Researcher at fast.ai; Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Council
Petr Ludwig , Original Founder of #Masks4All
A bestselling author, and an expert on critical thinking and the popularization of science
David Keating, Co-Founder
President, Institute for Free Speech
Vojtech Petracek, Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., Co-Founder
Particle Physicist, President of the Czech Technical University in Prague
Vladimir Zdimal, Ph.D., Co-Founder
Head of the Department of Chemistry and Aerosol Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences
Emil Pavlik, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder
Microbiologist and Virologist
Leos Navratil, Prof., M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder
Population Protection Expert, Head of the Department of Health Care and Population Protection, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague
Martin Hausenblass, Co-Founder
Entrepreneur and investor.
Josef Prusa, Co-Founder
Entrepreneur, an expert on 3D printing, founder of Prusa Research
Misha Chellam, Co-Founder
Founder at Council on Technology & Society & Tradecraft