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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Weakening Questions

More than 83 people have died from the symptoms of an unknown virus. To prevent contamination, health officials are urging people in the vicinity to wear masks at all times while in public areas.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the preventative action suggested by the health officials?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the health officials' suggestion as it provides general information about viruses and their symptoms, and mentions nothing about contracting the virus and masks (notice the word contracting in this answer choice is only used to described the symptoms).

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the health officials' suggestion. The use of protective masks in sport is irrelevant as it does not help to undermine the usefulness of masks in avoiding the virus.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the health officials' suggestion as only provides information about how the body handles viruses in general and does not mention how the new virus is contracted and whether masks can help avoid it.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice strengthens the conclusion, but you are asked to weaken it. Claiming that many viruses are passed via the mouth just gives us another reason to believe that masks are very useful in preventing the contraction of the virus.

Bravo!

[[snippet]]

This answer choice weakens the health officials' suggestion by providing an example of another virus outbreak. The example undermines the suggestion because the virus in Tropalle was contracted through the skin. Masks would be useless in preventing the spreading of such a virus.

The type of symptoms experienced by the contraction of a virus depends on the characteristics of that particular virus.
In a number of sports, protective masks are used to prevent injury to the face and jaw.
Organisms use antibodies to fight against attacking viruses.
Many viruses are contracted through the mouth via food, breathing, and even kissing.
In the city of Tropalle, a virus contracted through the pores of the skin killed hundreds before a vaccine was found.