(I swear, pretty soon we'll be required to stick our finger up our butts before we go out in public to prevent farting - to declare our morality. American mind numbing has reached previously un-attained levels.
DaPeople said amen! –
remember vividly the day, at the tail end of March, when : either one cared about the lives of others and donned a mask,
or one was selfish and refused to do so.
Only a day or two
before, I had associated this attire solely with surgeons and people living in
heavily polluted regions. Now, my friends’ favorite pastime during our
weekly Zoom sessions was excoriating people for running or socializing without
masks in Prospect Park. I was mystified by their certitude that bits of
cloth were the only thing standing between us and mass death, particularly when
mere weeks prior, the message from medical experts contradicted this new
people – STOP BUYING MASKS. . . They are NOT effective in preventing
general public from catching #Coronavirus.”
report reached its conclusion based on observations of a “.” analyzed use of surgical masks on
people experiencing at least two symptoms of acute respiratory
illness. Incidentally, involved cloth
masks or accounted for real-world mask usage (or misusage) among lay people,
and none established efficacy of widespread mask-wearing by people not
exhibiting symptoms. Yet by April,
to walk the streets of Brooklyn with one’s nose and mouth exposed evoked the
sort of reaction that in February would have been reserved for the appearance
of a machine gun.
refused to wear a mask relatively early on, so resistance to them was equated
with support for him. By the same token, Democratic politicians across the
board eagerly adopted the garb; accordingly, all good liberals were wearing
masks religiously by the beginning of April. Likewise, left-leaning
newspapers such as the and
the after that March 27 article,
with no or consideration of opposing views
After all, if
the science was as airtight as those around me claimed, surely masks would have
been recommended by January or February, not to mention during prior infectious
disease outbreaks such as the 2009 swine flu. It seemed unlikely that the
scientific proof became incontrovertible sometime between late February and
late March, particularly in the absence of any new evidence surfacing during
that time period.
none of this is particularly surprising in this hyper-political era. A prime example is the Institute of Health Metrics
Evaluation’s (“IHME”) rather astounding, published in the journal and in countless afterward, that the lives of
130,000 people could be saved with a nationwide mask mandate.
it assumed that 49% of Americans were wearing masks based on a survey conducted
between April and June, while claiming that statistic represented the number of
Americans wearing masks as of September 21. In fact, by the summer,
around 80% of Americans were regularly wearing them. (Ironically, had Dr.
Fauci and the Surgeon General not bungled the message in March, mask use probably
would have reached much higher rates much earlier on).
This called into
question the accuracy of the 130,000 figure, since many more people habitually
used masks than the study presumed.
Magness contacted to point out the problem, after stalling for nearly two
weeks, the journal declined to address it. :
newspapers such as the undoubtedly would fail to correct the error and any
retractions certainly would be placed far from the front page, where the
initial article touting the IHME figure appeared. Thus, as expected, the
unfounded claim that 130,000 lives could be saved with a nationwide
mask-mandate continues to be repeated, including by and National
Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins.
That is further exemplified by ato the editor written in response to
Magness’s article. Dr. Christopher Murray acknowledged that rates of
mask-wearing have steadily increased, but then concluded that masks should be
used because they are “our first line of defense against the pandemic” and
current IHME modeling indicates that “if 95% of U.S. residents were to wear
masks when leaving home, we could prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of
Americans” because “masks work,” and
of this accounts for the failure of either or the IHME
modelers to recognize and correct the error. This sort of circular
reasoning is all-too typical of those who so vociferously insist that masks are
effective without going to the trouble of substantiating that contention – or
differentiating what is likely a modest benefit from mask-wearing in specific
indoor locations and around high-risk individuals from the media-driven
tendency to depict masks as a silver bullet for stopping the virus in all
The first randomized and controlled study of its kind, it
found an absence of empirical evidence that masks provide protection to people
wearing them, although it apparently did not assess whether they prevent
infection of those who encounter the wearer. The report was covered in
a article bearing the patronizing headline, “.”
“laboratory examinations of the particles blocked by materials of various
types,” the author remarked that, therefore, this research “is not likely to
alter public health recommendations in the United States.” Notably,
laboratory examinations, as opposed to the Danish study, do not account for the
realities of everyday mask usage by non-medical professionals.
author then quotes Susan Ellenberg, a biostatistician at the University of
Pennsylvania, who claims that the study indicates a trend: according to Dr.
Nor does anything in
this study suggest that it is useful to wear a mask, a fact that Dr. Ellenberg
(and the headline) conveniently ignores. Furthermore, if a result is
statistically insignificant, it should not be used to make the case for any
proposition — as even I, a layperson, know.
Scientists ought to
dispassionately analyze data that contradicts their biases and assumptions, and
be open to changing their beliefs accordingly. That the results of the
only randomized, controlled study were and continue to be automatically
discounted demonstrates that, when it comes to the subject of masks, anything
approximating the scientific method has gone out the window. That is all the
more evident given the lack of interest that mask proponents have shown in
conducting a randomized, controlled study themselves.
eceive a daily recap featuring a curated list of
in the . The author
cited, as supposedly compelling evidence that masks work, the low Covid-19
death rates in Singapore, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Indeed, according to
the , administered in mid-November, 83%
of Americans now wear masks in public, higher rates than Vietnam (77%) and
there are other explanations, apart from widespread mask usage, for the
remarkably low death rates in these countries. Some scientists believe
these regions may confer partial or total immunity to SARS-CoV-2. that obesity, or genetics could be the reason
that Europe and the United States have substantially higher death rates than
many Asian and African countries; after all, obesity is one of the most for severe
. A casual
observer might also note that coronavirus cases (albeit not necessarily deaths)
are, regardless of mask mandates or rates of
implementation. While not a controlled experiment, this fact at least
ought to be addressed when making such sweeping claims.
I do not have the credentials to determine whether or not –or to what extent —
masks work. But it is obvious that
And masks are only one
part of this story:, all have
been dogmatically embraced as a means of controlling infection. and those within the profession
who have refused to examine their confirmation biases, or manipulated the
evidence to score political points, are utterly unqualified for the job.