‘RHOC’: Lydia McLaughlin Contradicts Medical Experts, Says Masks Don’t Work and Families Should Gather for Thanksgiving

Lydia McLaughlin from The Real Housewives of Orange County went against widespread medical advice and tried to prove that mask-wearing didn’t protect the community against COVID-19. She then shared a copy of the Constitution as a “permission slip” to gather for Thanksgiving.

Lydia McLaughlin
Lydia McLaughlin|Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Franz Skincare

McLaughlin answered questions on Instagram which included sharing her views on the pandemic. A fan asked her how she felt about mask enforcement. “There is no scientific data to support that masks protect you from Covid,” she wrote. “I believe a masks main job is to remind us of the pandemic and perpetuate fear.”

“If you feel safer because you are wearing a mask, you should wear a mask!” she continued. “In the same vein, it is your freedom to choose not to wear a mask and breath fresh air. The culture of ‘you’re killing my grandmother if you don’t wear a mask’ is propaganda that is not based on science.”

McLaughlin included a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that shared findings from a study conducted in Denmark.

Medical experts criticize the study

The study actually didn’t prove that “you’re killing my grandmother if you don’t wear a mask.” In fact, medical experts reviewed the study and said it did not dispute that masks reduced virus transmission by the wearer, The New York Times reports.

So while the study questioned personal protection from the virus, experts insist wearing a mask still protects others from you transmitting COVID-19. “There is absolutely no doubt that masks work as source control,” preventing people from infecting others, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives, told The New York Times.

Lydia McLaughlin and Doug McLaughlin |Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Nobu Newport Beach

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Mask type may influence the level of protection the wearer is given. Medical experts agree that bottom line, mask-wearing is vital to controlling the virus. “If you show this article to a health care provider who works in a Covid ward in a hospital, I doubt she or he would say that this article convinces them not to wear a mask,” Dr. Elizabeth Halloran, a statistician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said.

Lydia McLaughlin joins others in ‘RHOC’ who aren’t taking the pandemic seriously

McLaughlin’s Instagram is filled with group videos and photos she’s shared since the pandemic began. Kelly Dodd, who is a current cast member has been roasted for her behavior about the pandemic.

“Yay, we finally get to have a meal out,” Dodd said in her Instagram story in May. “Yay, no one is wearing a mask. I love it. Yay! No one is wearing masks here in Orange County. Yup, because no one is dying here of the virus. It’s not the government’s job to protect my health. The government’s job to protect my RIGHTS. It’s my job to protect my health. When you trade liberty for safety you end up losing both.”

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Producer Andy Cohen asked Shannon Beador which RHOC cast member is least likely to follow COVID-19 guidelines. “Kelly Dodd,” Beador replied, The New York Times reports. Beador and her daughters contracted the virus and have since recovered.