Top White House Covid adviser Dr. Ashish Jha finally admitted after three years of mask mandates for Americans that they “don’t work that well.” Watch:
“There’s no study in the world that shows that masks work that well, so you’re never going to get the kind of benefit from mandatory, year-round masking as you would from making substantial groove, but it’s a lot easier to implement as well.”
Jha revealed the information in a recent interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer while promoting investments that have been made in improving air quality as a way to cut down on COVID-19 infections.
“So you’re never going to get the kind of benefit from mandatory year-round masking as you would from making substantial improvements in indoor air quality, plus it’s a lot easier to implement as well,” Jha added. “So this is an area where we’re doing a lot and trying to really encourage people to use the resources they have to make those investments and start really improving ventilation filtration in buildings.”
Dr. Jha often falsely touts the efficacy of masks.
“Masks dramatically reduce droplet and aerosolized transmission,” Jha claimed, contrary to the evidence. “When everyone in a setting is wearing a mask, the spread of the virus, even in close contact, is very low,” Jha claimed to a congressional panel in September 2020.
“So, I think the science on masks is actually quite clear,” he claimed at a White House event in July. “And there is broad agreement among public health and science experts that masks work.”
“Another thing that helps both prevent infections and spread is masks,” Jha also said in July at a different White House briefing.
But Dr. Jha was actually correct in his recent statement that there is no study that says “masks work that well.”
Public health experts have been advocating masks for the general public ever since Covid began to spike in the United States in mid-2020. Masks soon became the non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) of choice, despite there being a lack of pre-Covid pandemic documents advocating them as meaningful tools to stop the spread of coronaviruses.
A peer-reviewed journal article in Cureus called the “Correlation Between Mask Compliance and COVID-19 Outcomes in Europe” has come to the conclusion that the higher the mask compliance rates, the higher the Covid case rates.
“Masking was the single most common non-pharmaceutical intervention in the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” the article states. “Most countries have implemented recommendations or mandates regarding the use of masks in public spaces. The aim of this short study was to analyse the correlation between mask usage against morbidity and mortality rates in the 2020-2021 winter in Europe. Data from 35 European countries on morbidity, mortality, and mask usage during a six-month period were analysed and crossed.”
“These findings indicate that countries with high levels of mask compliance did not perform better than those with low mask usage,” the author Beny Spira, a professor at Sao Paolo, writes.
The CDC’s mask mandate was unpacked in research article entitled, “Revisiting Pediatric COVID-19 Cases in Counties With and Without School Mask Requirements—United States, July 1—October 20 2021.” The results were unfavorable for the CDC’s history of support for school mask mandates.
The researchers, Ambarish Chandra from the University of Toronto and Tracy Beth Høeg from the UC Cal-Davis, illuminated how the CDC studies supporting mask mandates were cases of ‘junk science.’
“Our study replicates a highly cited CDC study showing a negative association between school mask mandates and pediatric SARS-CoV-2 cases,” the authors state. “We then extend the study using a larger sample of districts and a longer time interval, employing almost six times as much data as the original study. We examine the relationship between mask mandates and per-capita pediatric cases, using multiple regression to control for differences across school districts.”
“We failed to establish a relationship between school masking and pediatric cases using the same methods but a larger, more nationally diverse population over a longer interval,” the authors concluded.
Emily Burns and Joshua Stevenson drew on a national dataset to issue a study of their own that meshes with these findings.
“Burbio.com has been tracking weekly mask status for the 500 largest school districts, comprising approximately 40% of the nations ~51 million public school students,” they state.
“With these data in hand, the question is, ‘Is there a difference in the case rates between masked and un-masked districts?’”
“The result of that analysis is below,” they state. “As you can see, except for a slight edge in October, masked districts fare 2-4x worse than un-masked districts.”
“This pattern is remarkably similar to that visible in Emily Oster’s data from the 2020/21 school year, and analyzed by @boriquagato,” they add. “That is, un-masked schools showed higher case rates early in the year, around October, but later in the year, case rates in masked schools vastly outstripped them. According to Emily Oster, ‘We do not find any correlations with mask mandates’.”
The U.K.’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in January published data that showed children who “never” or “sometimes” wear masks at work or school were less likely to get Covid compared to those who “always” wear them.
The mask mandates did worse than fail to stop the spread of Covid-19 — they psychologically damaged an entire generation of children. But if you catch a public health official off-guard, sometimes they will admit the truth: Masks don’t work that well. This is a reality that our public health officials should have admitted to people three years ago.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.