Is the Science on Masks Settled? Let’s Take a Look.
By Rob Jenkins
Leftists love to lecture us about “settled” science. Unfortunately for them, most of the “science” they seem to regard as “settled” is anything but—like catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming, which is still hotly debated among climate scientists. Even if a majority have bought in, a sizable minority aren’t fully persuaded. That’s hardly a consensus.
At the same time, leftists refuse to acknowledge any scientific consensus that does not conform to their narrative or advance their socialist agenda. Case in point: cloth facemasks as a preventative measure against COVID-19. As Dr. Andrew Bostom points out in an interview with noted liberal feminist Naomi Wolf, multiple randomized controlled tests—the “gold standard” of scientific evidence—performed prior to the pandemic found that masks have no impact on the transmission of respiratory viruses. The only RCT conducted since the pandemic began, the so-called “Danmask study,” reached the same conclusion.
The World Health Organization grudgingly concedes as much. A WHO report issued this past December, while (oddly) advising people to continue wearing masks in public, contained this little nugget near the end: “A large randomized community-based trial in which 4862 healthy participants were divided into a group wearing medical/surgical masks and a control group found no difference in infection with SARS-CoV-2. A recent systematic review found nine trials (of which eight were cluster-randomized controlled trials in which clusters of people, versus individuals, were randomized) comparing medical/surgical masks versus no masks to prevent the spread of viral respiratory illness. Two trials were with healthcare workers and seven in the community. The review concluded that wearing a mask may make little or no difference to the prevention of influenza-like illness.”
Did you get that? “No difference with infection….little or no difference.” I’m pretty sure, in science-speak, that means masks don’t do anything.
The health sciences bureaucracy of the United States government tacitly agrees. I say “tacitly” because even though they acknowledge the truth, I suppose because they still have some honest scientists—though not apparently in leadership positions—they do so in a way most of us are not supposed to see. To uncover any of this information, you have to follow people on social media like Dr. Bostom and Jennifer Cabrera of RationalGround.com, who are constantly sorting through the chaff to get to the wheat. In journalism, that sort of intentional obfuscation is known as “burying the lede.” In politics, it’s called “propaganda.”
But I digress. I was about to cite the following passage, currently residing on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website: “While a surgical mask may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a face mask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs, sneezes, or certain medical procedures.” Coronavirus particles measure between .06 and .14 microns, which certainly qualifies as “very small.” So small, in fact, that wearing a cloth or paper mask as a “barrier” is kind of like putting a chain link fence around your yard to keep out the mosquitoes.
Then there’s a November 2020 article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), titled “Facemasks in the COVID-10 era: A health hypothesis.” I would encourage you to read the entire piece, but the money sentence—half-sentence, really—comes in the second paragraph: “Although non-medical cloth or fabric facemasks are neither a medical device nor personal protective equipment….” Wait. What? If masks are not actual medical devices, and they don’t provide personal protection, what are they and why should we wear them?
Indeed, as this author goes on to point out—saying the silent part out loud—there are many reasons not to wear them. Besides being useless against respiratory viruses, facemasks can have many negative effects, especially for children and the elderly, including shortness of breath (duh), fear, insomnia, cancer, and diabetes. And that’s just for starters. There’s quite a long list in the article itself. Go ahead and take a look, but only if you’re prepared to be infuriated.
In other words, the WHO, the FDA, and the NIH are all in agreement: The type of masks the populace is being encourage to wear doesn’t help, and may even hurt. Virtually all high-level scientific evidence amassed over the last 20 years supports that conclusion.
And yet we still have self-anointed mask nazis accosting the bold, maskless few in grocery stores, accusing us of trying to kill them. We still have leftist shrews shrieking maniacally in their car videos, “Wear your mask!” Worst of all, we still have government officials admonishing us to “follow the science,” while admitting masks accomplish nothing, often in the very next breath. In many places, they are forcing us to do so, through unconstitutional mandates, despite the fact that states without such mandates have consistently fared better than those with them.
Why? If the verdict on masks is in—and it is, and has been for a while—why are we still being subjected to this anti-scientific nonsense? Actually, that’s a trick question, because I’m pretty sure I know the answer, and so do you. But that’s a topic for another day. A more important question for now is, what are we going to do about it? And I would say the answer is to actually follow the science—the real science, not the junk science, which largely consists of measuring how far spit droplets can travel and spraying water at masked mannequins, neither of which has anything to do with how coronavirus is spread.
If we truly follow the science, we will ditch the masks anytime we possibly can, while we still can. Because if the government can make us put a piece of cloth over our nose and mouth, for no valid reason, what can’t they make us do?