Public opinion should not matter in making face coverings compulsory - Dr Ellie Cannon

11 July 2020, 09:15

Dr Ellie Cannon on public opinion and face masks

By Seán Hickey

The Prime Minister should be focussing on scientific opinion of face masks when deciding to make them compulsory.

As Boris Johnson hinted at the possibility of making face masks compulsory in some public places in England, Dr Ellie Cannon, who has been a prominent voice in advocating the wearing of masks in public the whole way during coronavirus lockdown joined Andrew Castle to discuss the rumours.

Dr Cannon told Andrew that "there was a growing body of not just scientific evidence, but natural evidence where there was early adoption of face masks and their cases just weren't rising like ours were" and this possibly convinced the Prime Minister to think about face coverings more seriously.

The resident doctor for The Mail on Sunday told Andrew that it would make sense for the government to make it policy.

Andrew brought up that the PM said public opinion was changing on face masks and that has pushed his thought on the subject. Andrew said that he wants to know "about the scientific evidence behind it" rather than public opinion. Dr Cannon agreed.

Boris Johnson hinted at making face masks compulsory in England
Boris Johnson hinted at making face masks compulsory in England. Picture: Twitter

The Doctor argued "who in the public would have ever agreed to lockdown" and suggested that we would have a massive coronavirus problem if public opinion was taken into consideration.

"Public opinion is important, but it is not essential when we're fighting a pandemic where the virus grows exponentially" said Dr Cannon.

She added that the goal of wearing a mask is altruistic rather than a benefit to yourself. Dr Cannon said that it is "not you protecting yourself or me protecting me, but me protecting you."

Dr Cannon went on to say that if most of the public get on board with the process, England will see a convincing reduction in cases. "If enough people are doing it, it doesn't really matter about the few people that don't because there'll be enough of us doing it that the virus can't really go anywhere."

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