At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks were discouraged. Dr. Anthony Fauci proclaimed them to be largely useless, later claiming he lied to the American people in order to stop shortages of PPE for medical professionals.
Yet, was he right the first time? As we get more and more data on the issue, the answer to that question seems to be coming into view.
New data out of Florida has thrown yet another wrench in the mask edicts of the federal government. Once again, when we are given an apples-to-apples comparison, masks appear to have no appreciable effect on spread rates.
@kerpen made a good point. While the orange group (mixed policy) did not detract from the conclusion, it being a mixed group made the graphic a bit more noisy than it needs to be. Here is a version with a straight comparison of REQUIRED vs. OPTIONAL. Note also to @jhaskinscabrera pic.twitter.com/L1OcRXaMty
— KBirb (@birb_k) March 18, 2021
What you are seeing is a direct comparison of schools that require masks and schools that do not require masks within the state of Florida. Despite the differences in mitigation, the schools followed essentially the same path when it came to infection rates. The peaks are the same, and in the end, the schools that didn’t require masks actually saw a sharper drop in cases.
Of course, any differences in the above two lines is likely completely random because if masks do nothing in school environments, that’s exactly what you’d expect. On the other hand, if masks truly were scientifically necessary for school-age children, you would expect to see a precipitous drop in cases per 100,000 people in counties that required them.
At the very least, this new data points to requiring masks in schools being a pointless, perhaps even harmful exercise. Further, we have plenty of similar results within the general population as well, where mask mandates actually preceded massive infection spikes, again showing no correlation to lowering infections. The United States had its highest peak of cases (last fall) during a time where we had more mask mandates than at any previous time in the country in effect. Those are simply the facts, regardless of whether they fit the preferred narrative on mask-wearing.
When it comes to mask-wearing, one basic truth needs to be accepted. Tests on masks in laboratory environments under perfect conditions simply don’t translate to the real world. That’s the most logical explanation for why we see so little to no correlation between mask-wearing and spread in state after state. In the real world, people don’t all have N95s. They don’t wear masks properly. They don’t clean them properly. All of these factors add up to making the widespread mandating of masks highly questionable. Perhaps a “better safe than sorry” approach was warranted last year, but we are in 2021 now, and there is plenty of data on the efficacy or lack thereof regarding masks.
The Biden administration should be taking the newest data to heart and making policy that follows real-world results, not just doing things simply to do them. The latter is exactly how you get people ignoring the “science” altogether because they eventually lose faith in our institutions. Biden’s current obsession with masks, double masks, wearing masks after being vaccinated, etc. simply doesn’t have the data behind it, and shouldn’t that matter?
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