In a video compilation that ranges from 2009 to 2020, medical experts mocked and dismissed the notion of wearing masks to stop viruses. Watch:
“Masks. Yeah, I think there are situations where masks, we are not recommending that the whole population wear masks. First of all, it would be very hard to find robbers and assailants. Just picture 30 people coming into a manhole with masks *laughs* which one is the bank robber?” Dr. Mark S. Drapin, infectious disease specialist, joked. “So, it’s not recommended sort of, you know, countrywide.”
“I mean, I’m more likely to wear a dust mask when I’m in air pollution in China than I am to wear a face mask to protect myself from disease,” Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award winning journalist Laurie Garrett said in a 2018 video. “First of all, there are very few that work. And I was part of a large study commission by the Sloan foundation a few years ago where we were thinking about influenza pandemics. Okay.”
“And we kind of went through the list of every kind of mask out there,” Garrett went on. “And it’s pretty clear as soon as even the most sophisticated N 95 or surgical mask get moist. You see a rapid reduction in the efficiency of blocking virus with the mask. Well, what happens when you wear a mask for four hours, you’re basically recycling what it smells like and what’s inside your mouth over and over again onto the inner surface of the mask. And not only does it stink and *laugh* get pretty disgusting after a while, but you’re also exhaling moisture. So the whole mask begins to deteriorate.”
In a 2019 Bloomberg interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIAID chief and future top Covid doc for the Biden administration dismissed the idea of wearing masks.
“And the best way for me to prevent getting an infectious disease and having to have you as my doctor is, what, wearing a mask,” Bloomberg journalist David Rubenstein asserted.
“No, no, no, no,” Fauci objected.
“If somebody — I can see they’re ready to sneeze or cough, walk away…” he continued.
“Avoid all the paranoid aspects and do something positive, a good diet, that the normal, low-tech, healthy things are the best thing that you can do, David, to stay healthy,” Fauci said.
“Your biggest risk at getting influenza in that situation is your hands,” Dr. Stephanie Stovall of Lee Health said “You’re frequently touching your face. You’re readjusting your mask. And so you’re actually unfortunately more likely to inoculate yourself sometimes.”
“Is there a question of whether they’re more annoying than useful?” Stovall was asked.
“Absolutely,” Stovall replied.
“There’s no reason for anyone right now in the United States with regard to coronavirus to wear a mask,” Fauci adds in the final clip from February 2020.
Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find official health guidance in the United States prior to the Covid-19 pandemic that has public masking as a serious strategy to combat an airborne respiratory virus. This is a fact that is well documented by Ian Miller in his book “Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates.”
Laurie Garrett, in particular, is on video extensively dismissing the argument for public masking.Garrett, a Council of Foreign Relations member, spilled the beans in a presentation called “From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic to 2009 H1N1 Pandemic to Now: Is the World Ready to Respond to the Next Outbreak?”
After her presentation, which cast doubt on the historical utility of general public masking around the world, she fielded a question from a member of the audience on such measures. This was her candid response. Watch:
“Let me just put it in context for the whole audience,” Garrett replied. “What if we today said ‘uh oh, it’s happening, there’s a really nasty bug out there’ and it’s carrying with it tremendous virulence and it seems to be like the 2009 virus — very, very efficient at human to human transmission.”
“Then, everybody in this room and all of your friends and family would want to know, ‘how do we protect ourselves?'” she continued. “And that would immediately go to, ‘what do we know about exactly?’ You know, how important is sneezing versus —thank you for the sound cue over here. Coughing… how much does washing your hands matter?”
“You know, is there any kind of mask that actually keeps this virus out?” she added. “If so, where do I get, you know, 5,000 of them. And you go on and on down the list.”
“And what you can see is that there are practical recommendations that I’m sure everybody in this room would follow, because you would, for any infectious agent you know, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you’re coughing, that sort of thing,” Garrett went on. “But as you get further down to real hardcore specifics, you see that there’s a tremendous amount of unknowns.”
“And there’s only a couple of countries that have ever really done large scale studies to try and figure out what might work,” she said. “Japan, it may not surprise you, as one of them. And they, in one of their large studies, they basically showed that the masks, it seemed like the major efficacy of a mask is that it causes alarm in the other person. And so you stay away from each other.”
Garrett expanded on the clinical findings with a personal anecdote.
“And that’s what I think happened with SARS,” she said. “When I was in the SARS epidemic, I saw it everywhere, all over Asia people started wearing these masks and it is alarming. When you walk down a street and everybody coming towards you has a mask on you definitely do social distancing. You definitely — it’s just gut thing, but did the mask really help them? Did the mask keep the virus out?”
“Almost certainly not,” Garrett concluded.
So, what changed with the Covid-19 pandemic? Did viruses suddenly change from being microscopic pathogens that can easily pass through most masks to being stopped bythe cloth masks worn by most schoolchildren? Or did the politics change?
Americans who are educated on the history of public masking and who have read the statistical analyses of their performance during the Covid pandemic know the answer.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.