Let it never be forgotten that on March 8, 2020, as fear of the pandemic was beginning to escalate and one week before “15 days to flatten the curve” was launched, Anthony Fauci told the country on 60 Minutes “people should not be walking around with masks. There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” And later Fauci admitted to InStyle magazine he lied when he said this, and didn’t regret it, because “we have a serious problem with the lack of masks for the health providers.”
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Before we venture into the combustible and divisive discussion of masks it is vitally important to set the stage for how the conversation first began—with Fauci’s dishonesty. Either he lied as he admitted to the American people from the outset for reasons he attempted to justify later, or his justification itself was the lie so he could reconcile his newfound mask zealotry with the position he previously took.
Perhaps no aspect of the COVID-19 conversation is more fraught with confusion than is the “maskerade”. There have been so many audacious and ridiculous claims about their effectiveness, it’s become almost impossible to separate fact from fiction. But this is what happens when something as simple as a cloth mask becomes a talisman, or totem, for a cause. Such words are usually connected to religious imagery, and make no mistake a segment of the country has become religiously devoted to the mask.
And you can hardly blame them, when you have former CDC Director Robert Redfield—whom Fauci vouched for as a “talented and committed physician/scientist” who is “highly-regarded” when he was appointed by President Trump—making such stupendously ridiculous claims as this before the US Congress:
I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important public health tool we have. And I will continue to appeal to all Americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take the Covid vaccine.
Folks, either the COVID vaccines must suck or that is not science, that is a religious appeal. And one based on emotion and lacking reason at that. If that is true, then how come we haven’t been wearing masks every flu season our entire lives?
For what Redfield and Fauci now claim about masks to be true, means your doctor has clearly been trying to kill you all along. Or is suicidal. Or both. Other than that, situation normal. Everything’s fine. We’re all fine here. How are you?
We simply don’t remember a flu season when we saw doctors regularly wearing masks as a routine preventive measure, dear reader, do you? Not at casual doctor’s office visits (where the flu is more dangerous to children than COVID). Not at parent-teacher conferences or youth sports games (my God, why do doctors hate children so much?). Not at the golf course (foursome or death wish, you decide).
What utter psychopaths. They spend all day telling you to lose weight, eat better, and stop smoking, only to go out in the world and breathe hellfire into the universe.
Clearly, doctors should never, ever be able to take their masks off from now on, especially since we have learned so much cool “science” courtesy of coronavirus. Karen has reliably told us that we have to wear a mask so the virus doesn’t jump the six degrees of separation between us and Kevin Bacon. And where did she hear it—from the experts, duh!
Consider doctors have been meeting with our comorbidity-riddled grandmas in their practices every single day every flu season to play Russian roulette while calling it “health care.” Have they not a shred of decency? Have they not a scintilla of shame? Clearly nothing matters to these maskless monsters.
Does this not make any health care provider who wasn’t wearing a mask 24/7 all these years whenever they ventured outside the home no better than a jihadist? Are we all clear on this? After all, it’s just science. And the science, as always, is settled. Until it’s a very fluid situation, of course.
We, the authors of this book, are shocked the same experts who finally figured out a man can have a uterus were so in the Dark Ages about the fact we beat the Black Death with masks. Can we get a witness? What a failure the Hippocratic oath has been, not to mandate that doctors wear masks at all times all these years.
But seriously, folks, we used to be a culture that preached the Beatitudes. Now we are a culture obsessed with our fanaticisms.
One of the new fanaticisms is the mask, which has moved way, way, way, way past science and firmly into the realm of voodoo. Unfortunately, it’s a voodoo that only gets more obnoxiously mandatory the more it is proven to be a total fraud.
Pardon our detour into sarcasm just now, but how else are we to respond to such fanaticism when there is absolutely nowhere masks have been shown in real time to be effective at slowing COVID after months and months of trying. No state. No country. Nowhere. And this was known not too long ago. In fact, we could write an entire separate book on just the maskerade, and what the real-time data says. But for the purposes of this discussion, here’s a preview.
In May 2020, the CDC said “although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect [emphasis added] on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”
On June 5, 2020, the World Health Organization said, “Many countries have recommended the use of fabric masks/face coverings for the general public. At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.”
A randomized study by the American College of Physicians Public Health Emergency Collection published on June 24, 2020, concluded “randomized trials in community settings found possibly no difference between N95 versus surgical masks and probably no difference between surgical versus no mask in risk for influenza or influenza-like (respiratory) illness.”
The University of Minnesota is host to the Center for Infectious Disease, which is directed by Dr. Michael J. Osterholm, who is now one of President Biden’s coronavirus advisers. Osterholm’s center published a commentary from two renowned respiratory virus experts on April 1, 2020, which made the case “masks-for-all for Covid-19 not based on sound data.” It included the following analysis based on the volume of studies done on the topic prior to the politicization of COVID-19:
Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as personal protective equipment.
Speaking of Osterholm, though he was singing a different tune at the time this book was being written, here’s what he originally said about masks in an interview on June 12, 2020, right before mask fanaticism swept the country:
We now know that aerosols are a very critical way that influenza is transmitted just from talking, not coughing, or sneezing. We have increasing data that Covid is just like flu. You can achieve some of the same filtering as a N95 with a cloth mask. The problem is it’s all about the fit. Unless it’s a tight fit, it’s like fixing three of the five screen doors on your submarine. The air just goes in the sides. I say if you don’t have an N95 mask you aren’t protected.
If you are walking across an intersection and a semi hits you at 50 miles-per-hour, that’s not good. If you are walking across and a pick-up hits you at 50 miles-per-hour, that’s still not good either. The outcome is the same. All the data says that just using a cloth mask may reduce the particles but not all. I would throw the kitchen sink at this if I thought it would make a difference but masks are not a major issue. In 1918 there were some exhaustive studies done on masks and not one found they made a difference.
Number two, just think common sense. The area of the world where we have the highest frequency of mask wearing in Nov and December of last year was China. Did that mask wearing make a difference? If you want to wear a mask, go ahead. I’m worried that people will assume a level of protection that they don’t really have and put themselves in harm’s way. If you don’t wear a mask, we’ve come to make judgements about that on emotion.
So why is Osterholm now singing a different tune? You’d have to ask him, but he’s also not alone. Something radically changed in what we previously understood for years about the science of masks, and it just so happened to coincide with the spirit of the age anointing the mask as the talisman of its Branch Covidian jihad in the summer of 2020. It’s truly a winter solstice miracle all these “studies” guaranteeing the mask’s effectiveness just so happened to come out now, and continue coming in defiance of the real-time data that shows what we used to acknowledge as the truth about masks still is.
We’re not saying, um, “science” knowingly determined to bow to the mob and abandon all its observable principles for political expediency, but did you know men can now have a uterus?
Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale University’s School of Public Health (MD, PhD) summed up the ongoing maskerade with these words: “I honestly don’t know how [anyone] could say masks are a lifesaving measure when there’s no evidence to suggest that. To call them a lifesaving measure is totally beyond the pale of anything that is scientific and knowable.”
While there’s no evidence to support masks as a lifesaving measure, as Dr. Risch points out, there’s plenty they are not.
Norway studied the effectiveness of mask mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19, and when it learned it would require forcibly masking 200,000 of its citizens to stop just one infection, the country determined it was pointless to ask anyone other than the symptomatic to wear them. Florida, which has one of the highest elderly populations in the US as well as the third-largest population overall, assessed how counties that didn’t have mask mandates performed versus those that did from May 1–December 15, 2020. Here’s what it found:
22 of Florida’s 67 counties have a mask mandate. There is essentially no difference in population-adjusted cases between masked and unmasked counties. Further, of the 20 counties that implemented a mask mandate after May 1, only three had a reduction in average daily cases.
Of course, it should be pointed out at least some of the indifference Florida saw in more than six months of real-time results could be attributed to voluntary mask usage or private businesses demanding them as a term of service even without a government mandate. For example, one of the coauthors of this book took his family to Orlando for a Disney vacation after the 2020 election, and masks were strictly enforced both indoors and outdoors there.
It should also be pointed out that those of us on the skeptical side of mask fanaticism are willing to grant such nuanced observations—rather than demand a slavish all-or-nothing compliance with a paint-by-numbers oversimplification there’s no data to support. You know, like the maskholes do. But we’re also not fanaticists, we’re truth seekers.
Rational Ground also found similar indifference between case numbers and hospitalizations due to COVID between neighboring states, regardless of mask orders, when studying these regions: North Carolina and South Carolina, the DMV, Pennsylvania and Delaware, Mississippi and Alabama, Washington and Oregon, and California, Nevada, and Arizona. A statewide review of coronavirus data in Kansas actually found lower infection rates in the ninety counties that didn’t require masks compared to the fifteen that did.
If you want to explain away all these indifferences due to voluntary mask usage and corporate sector compulsion all over the country, fine, but then you’ve also made the case that government mandates that at least flirt with tyranny really aren’t necessary. You can’t have it both ways. Either individuals and the corporate sector are able to deploy masks on their own and produce largely the same results as a government mandate, or the masks don’t work whether it’s the public or private sector putting their faith in them. It’s one or the other—choose.
However, voluntary mask usage and corporate compulsion don’t explain preemptively feared super spreader events that don’t fulfill the doomsday prophecies. Like Super Bowl LV, which was hosted by Tampa Bay, Florida, on February 7, 2021, and featured the hometown Buccaneers. The Washington Post was petrified as it observed “thousands of maskless Tampa fans flooded the streets, celebrating the Super Bowl win while risking a super spreader event.” But more than fourteen days later, which puts us past the pathological deadline for positive tests to indicate a so-called “super spreader” event actually occurred, daily new cases continued their steep downward slide in Hillsborough County, where the city of Tampa resides.
Nor does it explain a CDC survey that reported a whopping 85 percent of those sampled who had been infected with COVID-19 claimed to be wearing a mask “always” or “often.” Those results aren’t a surprise to those at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford, the top-ranked university in the world. They could find no evidence cloth masks are effective against either COVID-19 transmission or infection.
In February 2021, Swiss Policy Research set out to answer the question “are masks effective?” It learned from the real-time data that “in many [European] states coronavirus infections strongly increased after mask mandates had been introduced [emphasis added],” and specifically noted that applied to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Swiss Policy Research also found poison pills and fatal flaws in at least seven of the celebrated studies claiming masks are a COVID-19 panacea. Some of those errors included: the authors had to withdraw their study as infections and hospitalizations increased shortly after the study was published; comparing countries with very different infection rates and populations; the study actually used data from SARS-1 and was conducted in healthcare settings instead of community settings; (and our personal favorite) “the review provided no real-world evidence supporting their proposition.”
Fanatics typically don’t need real-world evidence. Raw emotion is usually their preferred substitute. However, if you’ve lasted this long into this book you’re like us—you want the truth. So let us march on to that end.
“The use of masks as part of a mask mandate for the general population didn’t work when it was used to stop cases,” said Dr. Scott Atlas of Stanford University, an advisor to former President Trump. “That’s proven and it’s not arguable. In Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, Hawaii, Alabama, the Philippines, Japan, the UK, Spain, France, Israel, and other places, the cases went up regardless and that’s a fact. [Masks are] just one of the several obsessions that have happened during this pandemic. Honestly, it’s an indication of how off the rails the whole discussion is.”
Science should be driven by neither obsession nor fanaticism, and when it is it ceases to be science. This was the warning issued by five Harvard-associated medical professionals writing in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, again before masks were politicized:
The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal…. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic…. It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis. One might argue that fear and anxiety are better countered with data and education than with a marginally beneficial mask, particularly in light of the worldwide mask shortage, but it is difficult to get clinicians to hear this message in the heat of the current crisis. [emphasis added]
In the course of our research for this chapter, we found numerous studies that previously proved masks are ineffective against respiratory viruses, especially those with airborne transmission such as COVID-19, which since have been updated to include a retconned disclaimer/warning/apology for daring to tell the truth during a previous era before the mask became the political talisman it is today. If that sounds like scientists begging the pardon of the mob for daring to do science, that’s because it is.
As the maskerade continued on to the time we were writing this book, Dr. Atlas was even more blunt:
Mandating masks for the population does not stop cases. That is just super naïve, wrong, and just garbage science really. There is no real science to support that. The World Health Organization does not support that. That National Institute of Health does not support that. The CDC data itself shows that doesn’t work. So that’s sort of bordering on wearing a copper bracelet [to treat arthritis].
Unfortunately, the tone for this maskerade was set from the get-go with Fauci’s admitted dishonesty and antics. At the time we were writing this book, Fauci had devolved from telling us not to wear masks all the way to suggesting wearing two masks “just makes common sense.” And what was his evidence for such an obvious virtue signal claim? Why, an absolutely ridiculous CDC “study”170 (and we use that term loosely) that double-masked mannequins! You know, inanimate objects that stay perfectly still and never have to breathe—unlike the rest of us actual humans. That is so mind-numbingly stupid (and obviously political), it’s a total self-own they chose to do it with, well, dummies.
Proving once more that throughout this pandemic there has been one mask whose effectiveness cannot be questioned, and it’s the one Fauci hides behind.