(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.
And all DaPeople said amen! – CL)
I 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 doctrine.
“Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS. . . They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.”
One 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.
President Trump 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 and evidence.
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.
Perhaps 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.
Although 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
None 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 circumstances.
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, “.”
Noting that primarily “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.
The author then quotes Susan Ellenberg, a biostatistician at the University of Pennsylvania, who claims that the study indicates a trend: according to Dr. Ellenberg.
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.
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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 Taiwan (82%).
Furthermore, there are other explanations, apart from widespread mask usage, for the remarkably low death rates in these countries. Some scientists believe that in 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 illness.
. 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.
Ultimately, 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.