Open Letters to Government Officials

Following are letters the author of The Vermont Mask Survey has written to public officials requesting a cost/benefit analysis of the use of masks.

To this date, no public official has responded.


by Amy Hornblas 

By recommending it’s “time to get out the N-95’s” again for use during flood clean-up, Dr. Levine is  crossing a serious line. 

N-95’s are considered official “respirators” according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health  Administration). OSHA has an entire set of standards to protect employees who wear them in  workplace settings. 

OSHA recommends the use of N-95’s in order to protect the lungs from mold and dust particles which  may be dispersed into the air while doing actions such as demolition of water-damaged materials or  using fans in indoor spaces. Their Information Bulletin titled A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplaceincludes information and suggestions which would be of use to residents and employers conducting  flood clean-up.  

One of the important points the OSHA document contains is this reminder to employers: 

“As specified by OSHA in 29 CFR 1910.134 individuals who use respirators [N-95’s and Dust Masks]  must be properly trained, have medical clearance, and be properly fit tested before they begin using a  respirator. In addition, use of respirators requires the employer to develop and implement a written  respiratory protection program…” 

Medical clearance means conducting a 10 page review of the numerous health and work conditions  which may make wearing a respirator more dangerous for that individual.  

Fit-tested means the wearer is given a respirator that fits their face tightly, and are trained on how to  wear it properly, so that it will work.  

A respiratory protection program is a multi-step process which assures that employers are doing their  best to avoid and/or mitigate the known harms which can be caused by respirator use.  

Why so many requirements? Because if they are not used properly, respirators will not work, and can  cause an even greater hazard, in and of themselves. Especially for people with pre-existing conditions,  in hot conditions, and those who are wearing them for prolonged periods. 

Sound like anybody you know conducting flood clean-up? 

Perhaps Dr. Levine’s advice around the use of respirators lacks these details because he is not a PPE  (Personal Protective Equipment) expert. Doctors are trained and supervised in their own PPE use by  industrial hygienists and other environmental health and safety professionals, which is a specialty  requiring years of training in subjects doctors learn nothing about.

At least this time, Dr. Levine is recommending the appropriate protection: N-95’s. This time he is not suggesting people use cloth or medical masks, or inferior K-95’s, since it takes a very tight seal, as well as a high-quality product, in order to keep those dust and mold particles out of your lungs.  

However, that tight seal comes at a cost. N-95’s have a very tight seal that makes it much more  difficult to breathe, talk through, and work with one on. In response to Covid, the Center for Disease Control encourages people to choose other types of masks (cloth or medical) if they find it is too  difficult to breathe through an N-95. They also warn that about 60% of the K-95’s were of poor  quality. (K-95 is a respirator made in China- it was approved for emergency use in the U.S. to meet the demand during Covid.)  

If the masks people have been wearing for the past three years are unable to keep out mold and dust  particles, then clearly their gaps are too large to keep out Covid-carrying aerosolized droplets.  

In other words, they never worked for Covid, either.  

Perhaps now would be a good time to ask why we’ve been encouraged to wear “face coverings” in the  first place? Countless people are still wearing them- and requiring them of others- in the belief that  they are beneficial and harmless, yet they are neither.  

Only two months ago OSHA-trained experts came to Vermont to raise awareness of the harms caused  by the inappropriate use of masks, and to address the fact that medical settings and schools in the state  are still enforcing mask mandates on patients, staff, and children. 

Information is power, and our rights are not going to defend themselves. It’s time for a second opinion  from the real experts in the field, the ones who are transparent about the benefits, limits, and risks  associated with their recommendations. 

Check out these resources to learn more: 
• OSHA’s A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace: 

• OSHA’s standards pertaining to respiratory protection in the workplace: 

• CDC’s Mask Guidance page: sick/types-of-masks.html 

• To learn more about the respiratory hazards of masks, and hear the speakers who came to  Vermont last spring to raise awareness, go to:

Author is a health educator with

January, 2023 UPDATE:

Vermont AOE has No Evidence Masks are Safe for Children:


Most people assume that if the Vermont Agency of Education is allowing schools to make children wear masks, they must have ample evidence to assure concerned parents that it is safe. However, after 3 years of mask mandates in Vermont schools (yes, they are still going on), we finally have this admission:


“…in response to your public records request, dated 1/9/2023, seeking ‘public records that
contain any evidence the Agency of Education has used to determine that the use of
face masks are safe for any age student, including students with special health needs,
for both short and prolonged periods of time.’

After consulting with relevant Agency staff, I
can and do certify pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318(b)(4) that no records as specified by your
request exist at this Agency.”

There is no evidence of safety, because it would be too dangerous to conduct such a study.

We only have evidence masks are harmful.

See the letter below for details:




Regional planning commissioner resigns, citing censorship, harsh pandemic policies, denying human access to nature – Vermont Daily Chronicle, November 3, 2022:

Health educator asks Legislature to weigh cost/benefit of VT pandemic response – Vermont Daily Chronicle, April 15, 2022:




To contact this website author with questions or evidence to share: