The game that has been played up to this point in regards to “studies” surrounding mask-wearing has been to cherry-pick data from the summer of 2020, conveniently only looking at a time period when the Southern U.S. was going through their wave. With New York and much of the North East that was slammed early on having already “recovered” by that point (they would eventually see another wave), that data made it seem like mask mandates were a deciding factor in stopping the spread of COVID-19. They never were, and a look at the totality of the pandemic clearly shows that waves presented at different times for different areas but that masks never prevented or slowed those waves. You didn’t even need an in-depth study to observe that. A simple comparison of the infection curves of different states always showed that masks weren’t a deciding factor.