'Scientists demand Britons wear face masks as new Covid variant BA.X spreads'; what a load of specious drivel, garbage, they all know, SAGE, CDC, NIH, FDA, Health Canada, PHAC that masks are JUNK,
by Paul Alexander
never worked & harmful! Not one mask, none, not even N95 worked to curb COVID transmission or death, nothing, not for this & they know it; where mask mandates implemented, infection went up!
My review of the entire body of evidence (over 150 pieces of evidence) showed that these surgical masks and cloth masks, all, every one of them, failed and were useless.
It is not unreasonable to conclude that surgical and cloth masks, used as they currently are being used (without other forms of PPE protection), have no impact on controlling the transmission of Covid-19 virus. Current evidence implies that face masks can be actually harmful. The body of evidence indicates that face masks are largely ineffective.
My focus is on COVID face masks and the prevailing science that we have had for nearly 20 months. Yet I wish to address this mask topic at a 50,000-foot level on the lockdown restrictive policies in general. I build on the backs of the fine work done by Gupta, Kulldorff, and Bhattacharya on the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) and similar impetus by Dr. Scott Atlas (advisor to POTUS Trump) who, like myself, was a strong proponent for a focused type of protection that was based on an age-risk stratified approach.
Because we saw very early on that the lockdowns were the single greatest mistake in public health history. We knew the history and knew they would not work. We also knew very early of COVID’s risk stratification. Sadly, our children will bear the catastrophic consequences and not just educationally, of the deeply flawed school closure policy for decades to come (particularly our minority children who were least able to afford this). Many are still pressured to wear masks and punished for not doing so.
I present the masking ‘body of evidence’ below (n=167 studies and pieces of evidence), comprised of comparative effectiveness research as well as related evidence and high-level reporting. To date, the evidence has been stable and clear that masks do not work to control the virus and they can be harmful and especially to children.
Table 1: The evidence on COVID-19 face masks and mask mandates and harms
1) Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers, Bundgaard, 2021“Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%). The between-group difference was −0.3 percentage point (95% CI, −1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38) (odds ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.54 to 1.23]; P = 0.33). Multiple imputation accounting for loss to follow-up yielded similar results…the recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use.”
2) SARS-CoV-2 Transmission among Marine Recruits during Quarantine, Letizia, 2020“Our study showed that in a group of predominantly young male military recruits, approximately 2% became positive for SARS-CoV-2, as determined by qPCR assay, during a 2-week, strictly enforced quarantine. Multiple, independent virus strain transmission clusters were identified…all recruits wore double-layered cloth masks at all times indoors and outdoors.”
3) Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, Jefferson, 2020“There is low certainty evidence from nine trials (3507 participants) that wearing a mask may make little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI) compared to not wearing a mask (risk ratio (RR) 0.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82 to 1.18. There is moderate certainty evidence that wearing a mask probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza compared to not wearing a mask (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.26; 6 trials; 3005 participants)…the pooled results of randomised trials did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks during seasonal influenza.”
4) The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bangladesh, Abaluck, 2021
Heneghan et al. A cluster-randomized trial of community-level mask promotion in rural Bangladesh from November 2020 to April 2021 (N=600 villages, N=342,126 adults. Heneghan writes: “In a Bangladesh study, surgical masks reduced symptomatic COVID infections by between 0 and 22 percent, while the efficacy of cloth masks led to somewhere between an 11 percent increase to a 21 percent decrease. Hence, based on these randomized studies, adult masks appear to have either no or limited efficacy.”
5) Evidence for Community Cloth Face Masking to Limit the Spread of SARS-CoV-2: A Critical Review, Liu/CATO, 2021“The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative meta-analyses, eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.”
6) Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures, CDC/Xiao, 2020“Evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza…none of the household studies reported a significant reduction in secondary laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the face mask group…the overall reduction in ILI or laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in the face mask group was not significant in either studies.”
7) CIDRAP: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data, Brosseau, 2020“We agree that the data supporting the effectiveness of a cloth mask or face covering are very limited. We do, however, have data from laboratory studies that indicate cloth masks or face coverings offer very low filter collection efficiency for the smaller inhalable particles we believe are largely responsible for transmission, particularly from pre- or asymptomatic individuals who are not coughing or sneezing…though we support mask wearing by the general public, we continue to conclude that cloth masks and face coverings are likely to have limited impact on lowering COVID-19 transmission, because they have minimal ability to prevent the emission of small particles, offer limited personal protection with respect to small particle inhalation, and should not be recommended as a replacement for physical distancing or reducing time in enclosed spaces with many potentially infectious people.”
8) Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era, Klompas/NEJM, 2020“We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic…The calculus may be different, however, in health care settings. First and foremost, a mask is a core component of the personal protective equipment (PPE) clinicians need when caring for symptomatic patients with respiratory viral infections, in conjunction with gown, gloves, and eye protection…universal masking alone is not a panacea. A mask will not protect providers caring for a patient with active Covid-19 if it’s not accompanied by meticulous hand hygiene, eye protection, gloves, and a gown. A mask alone will not prevent health care workers with early Covid-19 from contaminating their hands and spreading the virus to patients and colleagues. Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of Covid-19 if it diverts attention from implementing more fundamental infection-control measures.”
9) Masks for prevention of viral respiratory infections among health care workers and the public: PEER umbrella systematic review, Dugré, 2020“This systematic review found limited evidence that the use of masks might reduce the risk of viral respiratory infections. In the community setting, a possible reduced risk of influenza-like illness was found among mask users. In health care workers, the results show no difference between N95 masks and surgical masks on the risk of confirmed influenza or other confirmed viral respiratory infections, although possible benefits from N95 masks were found for preventing influenza-like illness or other clinical respiratory infections. Surgical masks might be superior to cloth masks but data are limited to 1 trial.”
10) Effectiveness of personal protective measures in reducing pandemic influenza transmission: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Saunders-Hastings, 2017“Facemask use provided a non-significant protective effect (OR = 0.53; 95% CI 0.16–1.71; I2 = 48%) against 2009 pandemic influenza infection.”