NYT columnist denies pressuring scientists behind study that found masks make little difference

Zeynep Tufekci was a finalist for last year’s Pulitzer Prize for commentary largely due to her pandemic-oriented writing.

View Source | September 6, 2023 8:22 am

  • New York Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci helped set the popular narrative that science supports mask-wearing as an effective COVID-19 intervention.
  • Now the Princeton sociologist is challenging accusations she used her pulpit to discredit and pressure the scientists behind 17 years of systematic reviews of mask research, which most recently concluded masks “may” or “likely” make “little to no difference” against influenza or COVID-19.
  • Senate Finance Committee investigator Paul Thacker, who helped expose financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies before becoming an independent journalist, said Tufekci is offering up “personal viewpoints” and has “zero scientific credibility on the issue of masks,” pointing to two articles Tufekci wrote in February and March 2020.

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