"Moist Masks" The Salt Lake Tribune 1918
"During the discussion Dr. F. V. McGillicuddy and Dr. Clarence E. Edwards, both of the United States army, but detached from federal service in order to assist local state health authorities in the battle against influenza, and sent here from the Pacific coast where they have operated in a similar cause for several weeks, expressed opinions against the wearing of "flu" masks. They obtained staunch support from Dr. W. H. Harrison, a federal official, who is operating in connection with Dr. Beatty in the state health work.
All of these outside surgeons declared that the mask possesses no virtue as a prophylactic measure, except, perhaps, in the most minor form. They introduced experiences which tended to prove that the "flu" germ is a "moist" bacteria, and since the inhalation and expulsion of breath through a gauze fold creates moisture these moist areas are, consequently, particularly fertile breeding and propagation fields for the germ.
This theory was supported by practically every other medical man present. Dr. Critchlow being particularly emphatic denying the efficacy of the mask. Others pointed out that in cold weather the wearing of a mask has the effect of driving the germ into the eyes, entering the human system through the lachrymal canal. Mr. Swanson told of danger he had encountered through the clouding of his spectacle glasses from moisture gathered on a mask he wore as a forced expedient while he was in Denver recently."
The Salt Lake Tribune Salt Lake City, Utah 30 Nov 1918