Doctors from USC, UCLA say mask mandates for COVID-19 not effective, as debate goes on


Daily News

A letter from top-level doctors and researchers arguing against the effectiveness of indoor mask mandates, along with pushback from health departments, cities and business groups, possibly played a role in a surprise decision not to re-institute the mandate in Los Angeles County last month.

This newspaper obtained a copy of a February 2022 letter signed by doctors from UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine and USC's Keck School of Medicine sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, asking the county to end the mask mandate that was in effect this past winter, claiming the policy did not work.

On July 22, some of the same doctors published their views in an op-ed in the Orange County Register, one of the newspapers in the Southern California News Group. At the time in July, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) was strongly considering reimposing an indoor mask mandate — but on July 29 decided not to do so.

The letter to the Board of Supervisors, part of a campaign to educate the board, was signed by Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner, clinical professor of medicine, population and public health sciences at USC’s Keck School of Medicine; Neeraj Sood, professor of public policy at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy; James E. Enstrom, retired professor of epidemiology at UCLA; Dr. Noah Kojima, senior resident for internal medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine; Dr. Catherine A. Sarkisian of UCLA’s Geffen School; James E. Moore, II, professor at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering; Dr. Gabe Vorobiof, associate professor of medicine and cardiology at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine; and Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, professor at UCLA’s Anderson School.