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Facebook post from Oklahoma doctor’s office suggests wearing mask can be ‘harmful’

Oklahoma

CHOCTAW, Okla. (KFOR) — A Facebook post of the mask policy of an Oklahoma doctor’s office has caused a social media stir.

The post features a picture of a mask policy that appears to be from Choctaw Family Medicine & Aesthetics.

In the policy, Choctaw’s Dr. Cary Carpenter apparently tells patients that wearing a mask for a long time is bad for you, saying, “MASKS are not designed to be worn all day long and have been proven to be harmful to your health if worn for extended periods of time.”

The policy also says his staff “has the option of wearing masks,” stating that they have “very good” immune systems.

University of Oklahoma Medicine Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Douglas Drevets refutes the idea that masks are harmful.  

“The answer is in general, no, they are not harmful to you. They are not harmful to other people,” Drevets said.

Drevets agreed that the immune system plays a part in battling the virus, but said the clinic’s policy on that misses the point.

“That is true. In fact, most people’s immune system will be strong enough to fight off the virus without serious problems,” Drevets said.  “The issues really are that when you’re doing that, you are going to be able to transmit the virus to other people for some period of time and that’s the critical thing.”

The post also says Choctaw Family Medicine believes it saw cases of COVID-19 in November 2019, something Drevets says is possible but highly unlikely. 

According to the CDC, the first reported case of the virus in the United States was in late January of this year.

The policy no longer appears on the office’s Facebook page, but a recent post says the picture of the policy was removed because of comments from non-patients. 

Though it was taken down, the office said, “We stand by the post and its message.”

There was no immediate response to requests to interview Carpenter.

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