Friday, February 17, 2023

Surprise: The CDC Grossly Exaggerated the Evidence for Mask Mandate; Study: Face Masks Made ‘little to no difference’ in Preventing Spread of COVID, and other C-Virus related stories

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Surprise: The CDC grossly exaggerated the evidence for mask mandates
After questioning the value of general mask wearing early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided the practice was so demonstrably effective that it should be legally mandated even for 2-year-olds. A new review of the evidence suggests the CDC had it right the first time.
That review, published by the Cochrane Library, an authoritative collection of scientific databases, analyzed 18 randomized controlled trials that aimed to measure the impact of surgical masks or N95 respirators on the transmission of respiratory viruses. It found that wearing a mask in public places “probably makes little or no difference” in the number of infections.
These findings go to the heart of the case for mask mandates, a policy that generated much resentment and acrimony during the pandemic. They also show that the CDC, which has repeatedly exaggerated the evidence in favor of masks, cannot be trusted as a source of public-health information.
In September 2020, then-CDC Director Robert Redfield described masks as “the most important, powerful public-health tool we have.” He claimed masks provided more protection against COVID-19 than vaccines would.
“The evidence is clear,” Redfield’s successor, Rochelle Walensky, insisted in November 2021, when she averred that wearing a mask “reduc(es) your chance of infection by more than 80%.” Three months later, the CDC claimed a study it published had shown that “wearing a mask lowered the odds of testing positive” by as much as 83%.
These statements were based on two sources of evidence with widely recognized drawbacks: laboratory experiments in stylized conditions and observational studies that do not fully account for variables that affect virus transmission. RCTs are designed to avoid those problems by comparing disease rates among subjects randomly assigned to wear masks in real-life situations with disease rates in a control group. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File
Face masks made ‘little to no difference’ in preventing spread of COVID: STUDY
The stance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on face masks has taken many twists and turns throughout the COVID pandemic.
After initially claiming face coverings weren’t necessary, the CDC changed course in April 2020, calling on all Americans — even children as young as 2 — to mask up.
That September, then-CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing that “face masks are the most important powerful health tool we have,” even suggesting that they might offer more protection than vaccines.
Those recommendations likely played a large part in 39 US states eventually enacting mask mandates.
Now, a new scientific review — led by 12 researchers from esteemed universities around the world — suggests that widespread masking may have done little to nothing to curb the transmission of COVID-19.
Published by Cochrane Library, the review dug into the findings of 78 randomized controlled trials to determine whether “physical interventions” — including face masks and hand-washing — lessened the spread of respiratory viruses.
When comparing the use of medical/surgical masks to wearing no masks, the review found that “wearing a mask may make little to no difference in how many people caught a flu-like illness/COVID-like illness (nine studies; 276,917 people); and probably makes little or no difference in how many people have flu/COVID confirmed by a laboratory test (six studies; 13,919 people).”
Next, the review compared medical/surgical masks to N95 respirators (or P2 respirators, which are used in Europe). --->READ MORE HERE
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