Masks, Vaccines, and Government Lies

 Trust in government and government-sponsored edicts is fast declining because of federal, state, and local pronouncements on the Chinese flu, vaccines, masks, and lockdowns. The federal government has been as stubborn as an ox against telling the truth—and 2021 was, perhaps appropriately, the year of the ox in China. 

We have a good idea by now that masks are essentially useless. But masks are nevertheless being recommended, and in many cases required, by the feds, the military, and states and cities across the country.

The federal government at first said that masks were not useful, but it turned out that that announcement was for the purpose of limiting public purchases in order to ensure that there would be an adequate supply of masks for healthcare workers—which is to say, the government deliberately deceived the public. Then the feds sang a different tune, that masks were beneficial. Now in many cases—on airplanes, and in public places in many cities—they are required. 

In a Wall Street Journal column, Phillip W. Magness and Peter C. Earle pointed out that in January 2020, Anthony Fauci questioned harsh China lockdowns: “Historically, when you shut things down, it doesn’t have a major effect.”And federal authorities have been wildly inconsistent about what businesses are “essential,” who should get vaccinated and when, and how long sick people should quarantine.

It is reasonable to conclude that the behavior of the government is driven not by science but by politics. Mask mandates have been particularly offensive, especially when the most preachy pols have been photographed not wearing them or fleeing to saner jurisdictions where masks are not required. 

A reader who disagreed with my conclusion in November that masks were not, in fact, beneficial, wrote that he could easily lay his hands on a study that said masks were effective, and shortly afterward forwarded such a study. 

The study has two problems. The first is that it’s old: it was published in January 2021; which leads to the second: it was not based on randomized controlled trials (the gold standard) dealing with the Chinese flu. It even concedes that point, saying early on: “. . . we should not generally expect to be able to find controlled trials, due to logistical and ethical reasons, and should therefore instead seek a wider evidence base.” In other words, the study is just their opinion; it’s not really “science.” 

“Overall,” it says, “direct evidence of the efficacy of mask use is supportive, but inconclusive.” 

And then later on, the study offers this statement, which parents, especially, should read: 

The impact of using masks to control transmission in the workplace has not been well studied. One issue that impacts both school and work usage is that, over a full day’s use, masks may become wet, or dirty. [Ew, yuck!] A study of mask use in health care settings found that ‘respiratory pathogens on the outer surface of the used medical masks may result in self-contamination,’ and noted that ‘the risk is higher with longer duration of mask use (>6h) and with higher rates of clinical contact.’ Further research is needed to clarify these issues. In the meantime, most health bodies recommend replacing dirty or wet masks with clean ones.

Right. So what are parents supposed to do? Send their children to school with five masks and tell them to be sure to change them every two hours? 

People who are seriously interested in the effectiveness of masks should read Jeffrey Anderson’s definitive pieces in City Journal and American Greatness. The key point he makes is that only randomized controlled trials (“RCTs”) are worth considering. It is a fair conclusion, therefore, that masks are not useful because the RCTs that have been conducted don’t prove they are. 

Recently, two members of the COVID-19 advisory board for the Biden-Harris transition team seemed to agree, at least in part. Michael Osterholm and Ezekiel Emanuel wrote in the Washington Post: “masks can be helpful, but only if they are high-quality and used routinely. This means non-fraudulent N95, KN95, or KF94 respirators, all of which have satisfactory filtration efficiency. Cotton or surgical masks are more for show than effective protection, especially against omicron.” 

OK . . . maybe. But even assuming they are correct—and the aforementioned Anderson pieces indicate they are not—how many people actually wear N95 or KN95 masks? At the moment, certainly, there are no government edicts that require N95 or KN95 masks.

How many people do wear N95 or KN95 masks? We don’t know. One survey says that 72 percent of U.S. adults always wear a mask when they go out, but it doesn’t say what kind. You can do your own research: look at the first 20 people you see outside and count those who are wearing N95 or KN95 masks. It will, on a guess, probably be no higher than three, which is only 15 percent of your control group. That suggests that most people are not wearing either the N95 or KN95 masks—and we really don’t have much reason (i.e., RCTs) to think even those are effective. 

Masks mandates are just government overreach—but overreach seems to be standard operating procedure for government these days. 

But there’s more bad news, and it suggests more dissembling by the government. An Indiana life insurance CEO has said that deaths are up 40 percent among working-age people (ages 18 to 64) who are employees of businesses with group life insurance policies.

OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison said the increase in deaths represents “huge, huge numbers.” A key point to remember is that death rates (mortality tables) rarely change at all. Another point is that these deaths are not caused by the Chinese flu: those death rates are actually down. A likely culprit is vaccinations. Why haven’t the feds told us about that? When will we read about that in the mainstream media?

And finally, to start the new year with some critical thinking, see the report from the Canadian Covid Care Alliance which claims that Pfizer’s COVID-19 inoculations cause more illness than they prevent and provides an overview of the Pfizer trial flaws in both design and execution. Did you hear about that from the White House or from Fauci, or read about it in the New York Times or the Washington Post?

The cover-up of this information, and the dissembling we’ve seen over the past year on vaccines and masks is serious, not only for health reasons but also for reasons of public trust in institutions. That trust, a necessity for a functioning democracy, is now fast disappearing—assuming there’s any left.

In China, 2022 is the year of the tiger. Maybe in the United States, it will be the year of truth.

About Daniel Oliver

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email him at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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