Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the effectiveness of masks in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Because of the previous sentence, I expect the fact-checkers on Facebook to flag this article, but their flags can’t dispute facts. The article at The Federalist includes twelve graphs contrasting the spread of the virus where masks were mandatory with the spread of the virus where masks were not required. Please follow the link to the article to see those graphs.
The article concludes:
Why Don’t Masks Work?
Why don’t masks work on the general public? For one, if you read the fine print on most consumer masks you will see something along the line of “not intended for medical purposes and has not been tested to reduce the transmission of disease.” Masks can work well when they’re fully sealed, properly fitted, changed often, and have a filter designed for virus-sized particles. This represents none of the common masks available on the consumer market, making universal masking much more of a confidence trick than a medical solution.
If we actually wanted effective masks, then manufacturers should be conducting scientific tests evaluating masks specifically for their ability to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration and CDC should be making recommendations on which masks to use and approving masks based on their scientific efficacy rather than promoting the wrapping of any piece of miscellaneous cloth around your face.
Effective masks, if they exist, should then be distributed to highly vulnerable groups for use only in rare and extenuating circumstances. There would be little point for the population at large to wear masks all the time because while focused protection may be possible, it is not possible to eradicate the virus at this point or stop its spread.
Our universal use of unscientific face coverings is therefore closer to medieval superstition than it is to science, but many powerful institutions have too much political capital invested in the mask narrative at this point, so the dogma is perpetuated. The narrative says that if cases go down it’s because masks succeeded. It says that if cases go up it’s because masks succeeded in preventing more cases. The narrative simply assumes rather than proves that masks work, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.
The narrative further ignores places like Sweden and Georgia, which never required masks in the first place, and it suppresses new scientific evidence if it doesn’t support desired political results, such as data from the world’s only randomized trial investigating if masks actually protect from COVID-19. Even a Nobel laureate has been canceled because his COVID charts and data were found to be undesirable.
History does not bode well for times that politics meddles with science. Martin Kulldorff, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a leader in disease surveillance methods and infectious disease outbreaks, describes the current COVID scientific environment this way: “After 300 years, the Age of Enlightenment has ended.”
In the end, it will be the loss of credibility in our scientific institutions, and the unnecessary division they have sowed among us, for which masks will be remembered.
Stay tuned. Eventually the truth will prevail.