In regards to the July 17 letter to the editor, “My informed decision to not wear a mask” by Cyrynda Walker of Crystal River, it should be noted that the source of her information is the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) which is a conservative nonprofit association founded in 1943. The group was reported to have about 5,000 members in 2014. The association has promoted a range of scientifically discredited hypotheses, including the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, that being gay reduces life expectancy, that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, and that there is a causal relationship between vaccines and autism. It is opposed to the Affordable Care Act and other forms of universal health insurance.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Let’s get some very recent information from Fox News : “U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director under President Trump, Dr. Robert Redfield said Tuesday if all Americans wore a mask, it could bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control in weeks. ‘I think the data is clearly there, that masking works — whether it’s a face covering, whether it’s a simple surgical mask,’” Redfield said.

Refield spoke in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) regarding an editorial piece Redfield contributed to in the medical publication. The editorial, titled, “Universal masking to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission — the time is now” commented on various studies.

The CDC director said if the American public embraced masking now and did it rigorously, the U.S. could see relatively swift changes in the trajectory of the pandemic.

“If we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really do think over the next four, six, eight weeks, we could bring this epidemic under control,” Redfield said.

I, like the original letter writer, am also informed. I know cloth masks are not 100% effective, yet I choose to wear a mask in public, not out of fear for myself, but compassion and concern for my fellow beings and a personal desire to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Why does this have to be so hard people? What happened to caring about your fellow humans?

Matthew Clemons