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A new study published in the Physics of Fluids scientific journal demonstrated wearing a used mask is potentially riskier than wearing no mask at all.

According to researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and California Baptist University, a three-layer surgical mask is 65 percent efficient in filtering particles in the air. That effectiveness, however, falls to 25 percent once it is used.

“It is natural to think that wearing a mask, no matter new or old, should always be better than nothing,” said author Jinxiang Xi.

“Our results show that this belief is only true for particles larger than 5 micrometers, but not for fine particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers,” he continued.

Using a computer model of a pleated three-layer surgical mask, researchers determined that wearing masks “significantly slows down” airflow and alters “particle motions near the face,” making people using already-worn masks more vulnerable to inhaling aerosols in the nasal region.

“In this study, we found that the protective efficacy of a mask for the nasal airway decreases at lower inhalation flow rates,” the study states, noting that the nose, while usually the first l ine of defense to the lungs, is “one of the three confirmed binding sites for COVID-19 viruses.”

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The study also found that the pleats in surgical masks maintained high airflow but contained high levels of particles and droplets that could be potentially inhaled.

While mask efficacy is reduced once worn, researchers clarified that wearing a mask still “significantly reduces particle penetration into the lungs.”

They also specified that masks “protect the upper airway (particularly the nose and larynx) best from particles larger than 10 µm, while it protects the face and lungs best from particles less than 10 µm (PM10),” but noted that other studies should be conducted with masks that do not perfectly fit the face to “refine the assessment of mask protection efficiencies.”

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.



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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

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Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III, is facing federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 breech of the U.S. Capitol.

Bozell is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, according to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

The official affidavit includes photos and videos that appear to show Bozell inside of the U.S. Capitol Building, including the Senate chambers.

At least one photo shows Bozell wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a logo for a Christian school at which he once coached girls basketball, according to the Huffington Post.

The FBI obtained a photo of him posing with a student of a school, in Hershey, Pa.

His father founder, who founded the Media Research Center and other conservative groups, has condemned the riots, saying, “You can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national capitol being breached like this. … I think it is absolutely wrong,” according to NewsBusters.

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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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