Masks and Stopping COVID
What the science - lots of science – really tells us.
In previous essays, I argued for three theses against the prevailing COVID Orthodoxy:
(1) SARS-CoV-2 has never been isolated, purified, and extracted in accordance with the scientific method that has long been in place for isolating, purifying, and extracting other viruses (like bacteriophages and “giant viruses”), and neither has the scientific method been observed with respect to establishing whether this virus is in fact the cause of a disease called “COVID-19.”
(2) The explosion of COVID “cases” is an illusion generated by a combination of two things: (a) the redefining of a “case” from meaning “infection in need of medical attention”—which is how it was defined in the pre-COVID era—to meaning “anyone who is presumed to have, or to have had, COVID and/or anyone who tests positive for COVID” plus (b) an intrinsically limited PCR test that is deliberately run at a number of cycles guaranteed to produce a tsunami of false-positives.
The official case numbers, in other words, are meaningless.
(3) People are getting sick and dying from all manner of things from which people get sick and die each and every year. Only throughout this past year, these causes of sickness and death have been repackaged as COVID sickness and death.
In this essay, we will revisit the topic of masks. I’ve already written about the psychological, moral, and social costs of mask-wearing. Here, I will focus specifically on the science—or lack of science—behind it.
Scientists recognize that the RCT—Randomized Control Trial—is the “gold standard” as far as “effectiveness research” is concerned. Drs. Eduardo Hariton and Joseph J. Locasio explain that randomization “reduces bias” while providing “a rigorous tool” by which “to examine cause-effect relationships between an intervention and outcome.” RCTs eliminate the risk of confirmation bias, something that is “not possible with any other study design” (emphases added).
This is critical for our purposes, for the largest study of the effectiveness of mask-wearing by the general public to thwart the transmission of COVID utilized not one, not two, not three, but a staggering 14 randomized control trials.
The study was performed at the University of Hong Kong. What Dr. Jingyi Xiao and her team of researchers there concluded will doubtless be written off as the stuff of “conspiracy theorists” by Mask Nation. So be it. But those on the editorial board of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the widely esteemed journal of none other than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), determined that the findings were worth publishing.
The verdict: Masks are ineffective.
“We found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks. There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure.”
“Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory confirmed influenza.”
A Danish randomized control trial of 6,000 participants arrived at the same conclusion: “The recommendation to wear surgical masks…did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers [.]”
An even larger RTC of 8,000 participants found that “facemask use did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection [.]”
Just a month ago as of this writing, the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) acknowledged precisely the point on which the findings of these other studies converge: Masks, particularly as worn by the general public, have no statistically significant effect upon the transmission of virus and disease. It is worth looking carefully at its remarks.
First, the ECDC affirms that the role of face masks vis-à-vis slowing the spread of COVID “remains an issue of debate.” This is noteworthy, for even though all of the best, the real, the non-politicized science points inexorably to the uselessness of face masks, at least the folks at the ECDC, who do in fact know a bit more about science than the self-styled guardians of the Narrative among the vulgar who are forever swearing that “the science is settled,” concede that the science is anything but what Mask Nation insists it is.
Second, the ECDC also acknowledges that up until the COVID era, all studies assessing the effectiveness of face mask use by the public “came from studies on influenza,” and all such studies turned up “little evidence to support their use.”
Before proceeding, we should think about this for a moment. Presumably, scientists know that there is no scientific evidence that face mask use helped to slow, much less arrest, the transmission of influenza. If, though, we are now expected to believe that face mask use will arrest the transmission of COVID, wouldn’t this be a tacit admission that the flu is a larger threat to public health than COVID? And if this is correct, then what science could possibly justify responding to COVID as if it is the Apocalypse while living life each and every year in the face of a more formidable flu?
But let’s move on, for the ECDC, albeit coyly, admits that neither is there evidence that face mask use helps stop the spread of COVID. While stating that the “evidence regarding the effectiveness of medical face masks for the prevention of COVID-19 in the community is compatible with a small to moderate protective effect,” this remark is immediately qualified by its admission that “there are still significant uncertainties about the size of this effect.”
Moreover: “Evidence for the effectiveness of non-medical face masks, face shields/visors and respirators in the community is scarce and of very low certainty” (emphases added).
Translation: There is no real or substantial evidence that masks are of any effect.
The authors of a review of studies on face masks published last year by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine determined that there is no evidence indicating the effectiveness of cloth masks when it comes to COVID. They lament how the “abandonment of the scientific modus operandi and lack of foresight has left the field [of science] wide open for the play of opinions, radical views and political influence.”
The authors, one an epidemiologist, the other a professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford, do note that all randomized control trials that have been conducted over the last decade or so have demonstrated that “masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI [Influenza-Like-Illness] or influenza” in neither “the general population…nor in healthcare workers” (emphases added).
We could continue in this same repetitive vein. Readers who are interested in pursuing this topic further can check out this piece of mine from October of last year. I review still other studies there, including remarks from such media-adored “Experts” as Anthony Fauci that dovetail seamlessly with these findings on the essential uselessness of masks with respect to COVID. More research confirming these findings are here, here, here, here, and here. Neither have we yet touched upon the numerous studies showing that countries and states with mask mandates did no better and, in some instances, worse than those places that had no such mandates. Nor have we looked at those studies demonstrating that those who faithfully wore masks were not less likely to contract COVID than those who did not wear masks, with some of these—like this one from the CDC—showing that most people who became infected with COVID wore a mask “always” or “often.”
The science, it should now be obvious, does not support Mask dogma.