No Minister

Mask Pornography

I’d already taken a shot at the mask stupidity (Masquerade) that has attended the great Chinese Xi Snot pandemic, as well as the hypocrisy of the rulers on the subject.

But I recently came across another great article on the subject in City Journal, Do Masks Work?

This took a slightly different approach by looking at the CDC’s approach to studies rather than the studies themselves (click the previous post if you want to see that). Statistician Jeffrey H. Anderson looks closely at Randomised Control Trials (RCT’s) that have tested whether mask wearing in fact reduces virus transmission. Why that sort of trial?

A randomized controlled trial divides participants into different groups on a randomized basis. At least one group receives an “intervention,” or treatment, that is generally tested against a control group not receiving the intervention. The twofold strength of an RCT is that it allows researchers to isolate one variable—to test whether a given intervention causes an intended effect—while at the same time making it very hard for researchers to produce their own preferred outcomes.

This is true at least so long as an RCT’s findings are based on “intention-to-treat” analysis, whereby all participants are kept in the treatment group to which they were originally assigned and none are excluded from the analysis, regardless of whether they actually received the intended treatment. Eric McCoy, an M.D. at the University of California, Irvine, explains that intention-to-treat analysis avoids bias and “preserves the benefits of randomization, which cannot be assumed when using other methods of analysis.”

His bottom line:

In sum, of the 14 RCTs [randomized controlled trials] that have tested the effectiveness of masks in preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses:

  • Three suggest, but do not provide any statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis, that masks might be useful.
  • The other eleven suggest that masks are either useless – whether compared with no masks or because they appear not to add to good hand hygiene alone – or actually counterproductive.

Of the three studies that provided statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis that was not contradicted within the same study, one found that the combination of surgical masks and hand hygiene was less effective than hand hygiene alone, one found that the combination of surgical masks and hand hygiene was less effective than nothing, and one found that cloth masks were less effective than surgical masks.

In addition, in all but one of these studies, the masked participants wore surgical masks, not the cloth masks that are ubiquitous today.

It turns out that the font of science, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has largely ignored evidence from randomised trials. Instead they’ve touted observational studies, which lack controls, have difficulty filtering out confounding variables and generally…

… are not only of lower quality than RCTs but also are more likely to be politicised, as they can inject the researcher’s judgment more prominently into the inquiry and lend themselves, far more than RCTs, to finding what one wants to find.

It’s striking how much the CDC, in marshalling evidence to justify its revised mask guidance, studiously avoids mentioning randomized controlled trials. RCTs are uniformly regarded as the gold standard in medical research, yet the CDC basically ignores them apart from disparaging certain ones that particularly contradict the agency’s position.

In a “Science Brief” highlighting studies that “demonstrate that mask wearing reduces new infections” and serving as the main public justification for its mask guidance, the CDC provides a helpful matrix of 15 studies – none RCTs. The CDC instead focuses strictly on observational studies completed after Covid-19 began.

With one exception, the studies that Mr. Anderson cites were conducted before the Covid-19 epidemic began. That’s no reason to reject them of course since the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is not going to be repelled by masks that are ineffective against other viruses. In any case, the only post-Covid study done is consistent with the earlier ones:

The only RCT to test mask-wearing’s specific effectiveness against Covid-19 was a 2020 study by Bundgaard, et al. in Denmark. This large (4,862 participants) RCT divided people between a mask-wearing group (providing “high-quality” three-layer surgical masks) and a control group. It took place at a time (spring 2020) when Denmark was encouraging social distancing but not mask use, and 93 percent of those in the mask group wore the masks at least “predominately as recommended.”

The study found that 1.8 percent of those in the mask group and 2.1 percent of those in the control group became infected with Covid-19 within a month, with this 0.3-point difference not being statistically significant.

Instead we get the following video (to add this previous one), which is not surprising after the last eighteen months of horror stories from the MSM, gleefully jumped on by power mad health bureaucrats and politicians around the world.

Those two terrified people are probably never going to recover. I’d bet they’re double vaccinated as well, and at the first sign of a sniffle they’ll book themselves into an ICU, stat!

Written by Tom Hunter

September 26, 2021 at 6:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Our masters are just the Atheist version of the Taliban – because they are “more advanced” both men and women must cover their faces in public

    And instead of Imams we have “Experts”

    Under both regimes all fun is outlawed

    Andrei

    September 26, 2021 at 9:48 am

  2. There are at least

    88 Adenoviruses
    160 Rhinovirus
    45 Coronaviruses
    4 Influenza viruses

    They are too small to be seen under a microscope but can be visualized with an electron microscope

    With modern recently developed genetic sequencing techniques it is possible to divide this plethora of viruses in ever more species, subspecies and variants which can be given scary names

    They are all ubiquitous in the environment

    My kids were all vaccinated against these in early childhood

    The inoculation took the form of them playing in kindergarten sandpits on sunny days with other kids thus developing their immune systems

    The only downside to this form of vaccination is you have to wipe the snot off their faces at frequent intervals until their immunity develops

    Andrei

    September 26, 2021 at 10:09 am

  3. Australian people being violently assaulted by police for not wearing a mask outdoors. The fact that masks are ineffective outside (just as they are everywhere else) doesn’t matter. The state says you have to wear one, and if you don’t, physical abuse will follow. There appear to be no lines whatsoever, when it comes to the force being used by the police in Australia.

    Coming to New Zealand at some point perhaps? After all, our politicians and medical authorities accept the same arguments about masks.

    Tom Hunter

    September 26, 2021 at 10:15 am

  4. Tom Hunter

    September 26, 2021 at 10:17 am


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