In the many studies, in which the known bias of self-reporting is eliminated by using laboratory-confirmed infection detection, no statistically meaningful advantage is ever found, in either health-care or community settings, with either surgical masks or N95 respirators. No study, and there have been many, has been able to establish any advantage of wearing a mask or respirator, with viral respiratory diseases.
This means that, even in controlled professional health-care settings, any benefit is too small to be detected by science, and that other factors must be overwhelmingly more important.
Regarding all viral respiratory diseases — which are both known to be transmitted by small aerosol particles (i.e., “droplets” of less than a few microns in diameter) and known to be highly infectious in terms of the so-called minimum-infective-dose (i.e., the number of virions that will likely be sufficient to cause illness or detectable infection) — in plain language, this means “masks don’t work”. (A “virion” is a single virus unit, the RNA and its shell.)
Therefore, any societal debate about the virtue or responsibility of wearing a mask to reduce the risk of infection, whether it involves Pence or anyone else, is occurring in a science vacuum. It is a political and psychological debate, not one that is science-based.Do Masks and Respirators Prevent Viral Respiratory Illnesses?