Top Canadian WHO adviser under fire after downplaying airborne threat of COVID-19 – CBC

Dr. John Conly says N95 masks cause ‘harms,’ focus should be on physical distancing

Apr 21, 2021

An influential Canadian doctor and top adviser to the World Health Organization has come under fire from international experts for his controversial comments downplaying the risk of airborne spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. John Conly, an infectious diseases physician and professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, not only denied that aerosol transmission is a primary route of transmission, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, but also said that N95 masks can cause “harms” — including acne.

“Any time you look at benefits, you need to look at harms, of which there are many harms with N95s — and I think to ignore them you are at your peril,” Conly told a panel discussion at the University of Calgary on April 9 on the role of airborne transmission in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is acne, also issues with eczema, conjunctivitis, CO2 retention; there has been decreased O2 concentrations in pregnant women — many side-effects to this.”

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