If you have any doubts about the mental incapacity of our new president, I encourage you to watch the videos of the very few minutes, and they are minutes, when he makes any public appearance each day. Anything he says is fully scripted and even then he can’t make it without stumbling, misprouncing, etc. in almost every sentence. No spontaneous reaction to anything is allowed. And the look in the eyes tells you all you need to know. He is not here. So who is running the show? Can you imagine this deadhead on a call with a foreign leader. You can find the videos on YouTube or many other sources. And could it be clearer now that there is zero interest in unity, common ground, compromise or anything like that. Nope, it is the typical ideological rigidity whose version of unity is you completely agree with me or you die.
I mentioned the CDC’s new double mask recommendation, which again, is an acknowledgement that masks simply don’t make a significant difference in slowing community transmission. Here is the study which was published at the same time as the agency’s new recommendation. (CDC Study) This is another pathetic dummy study, in more ways than one. Look, mannequin studies could provide some useful information. But only if they could model real-life mask wearing, including tracking exactly what happens to virus particles over a very extended time, akin to typical mask wearing by employees, for example. They don’t and this one didn’t. Now you have to understand the starting point of this study, which is largely unstated. The starting point is that everyone with a brain knows that in reality mask mandates and mask wearing haven’t made a lick of difference in transmission. And then the unstated conclusion–it is all our fault, we aren’t wearing our masks right. So the premise of the study is well, how can we improve mask performance. The CDC did simulations to figure this out and that is where it comes up with the two mask recommendation. It also hilariously and seriously says if you don’t have two masks wrap pantyhose around your head. I think some creative employee was having them on or has some truly morbid fetish that gets them off on seeing people wearing pantyhose around their face. Of course the research cited by CDC and its own studies used absurd 15 minute runs to determine effectiveness and fitted the masks very carefully to the dummy (or was it a dummy doing the fitting?). Even so, under these ideal and limited conditions, the maximum supposed effectiveness reached was around 96%. I have to tell you, those 4% of particles getting through are plenty capable of carrying enough virus to infect you. And no effort was made to study what happens to particle build-up on the mask over time. I can make a pretty good guess about that, they eventually get pushed in and out of the mask. At least they were halfway honest in their limitations section, acknowledging this wasn’t a real-world test and they acknowledged that adding a second mask may impede breathing. I believe the CDC personnel were wearing at least two masks during this study and its writeup and that the flow of oxygen to their already struggling brains must have affected their ability to think clearly.
And here is another example of a very slanted perspective on mask research. (JAMA Article) Once again, the authors have already come to a conclusion before they even consider the facts, and they are very selective in their citations. Acknowledging that there was limited, if any, evidence to support the benefit of mask wearing to slow community transmission of a respiratory virus before the pandemic, they then say “Compelling data now demonstrate that community mask wearing is an effective nonpharmacologic intervention to reduce the spread of this infection.” Really? What is that compelling data, because every time I look at case curves of locations with and without mask mandates or varying levels of mask wearing, especially when appropriately adjusted for other variables, I don’t see any effect. Well, let’s selectively pick a few low-quality studies which might suggest they work. For example, let’s mention the CDC hair salon study and an aircraft carrier study, but let’s ignore a CDC study in restaurants and one among Marine recruits suggesting no benefit. Let’s not mention at all the recent hospital study at that very prominent Massachusetts hospital finding no benefit to mask wearing even in a health care institution. The best evidence of the effectiveness of any intervention is a randomized, controlled study. The only mention they give to the only one of these in existence, the large Danish study, which found no benefit, they pooh-pooh with widely debunked critiques. This is a perfect example of why people don’t and shouldn’t trust so-called experts. They are human and will delude themselves about truth in the interest of defending what they believe. Humans have an incredible inertia to giving up beliefs and the smarter they are the more they seem capable of ignoring truth to justify belief. Fine for yourself but don’t foist that on the rest of us.
I am going to say again, there is a reason why we don’t see the kind of studies that would be really useful. Randomized trials of mask wearing. I think you would find plenty of people willing to not wear masks as part of a study. Do a better job of finding matched case control studies regarding transmission. (Remember the Minnesota study that was stopped because it was “inconclusive”, i.e., didn’t show what the DOH expected?) And most importantly, go out there and do a very large randomized sampling of people’s masks after they have worn them for varying lengths of times and swab the adjacent skin areas as well and let’s see what is piling up. Do studies of what happens to particles over extended periods of wearing. The best studies that do that show that masks may actually increase the flow of particles into the respiratory system. Why aren’t these studies done? Because researchers know the outcomes won’t fit the desired narrative.
This is an interesting study on the ability of naive (meaning unexposed to a specific pathogen) B cells to help defend against CV-19. (Medrxiv Paper) Using cells from 8 donors, they found that antibodies produced by these naive B cells were capable of binding to CV-19, including in the receptor binding domain area. This probably helps explain why there are so many asymptomatic and mild cases. Many people’s immune systems handle the pathogen just fine.
This Wall Street Journal article reviews more evidence that CV-19 was likely circulating in China in the fall of 2019, earlier than was announced by that country. (WSJ Article)
I mentioned the NPR article on a study estimating the number of true infections in the US over time. That study was based on earlier research published in Nature regarding infections in France and here is the cite to that study. (Nature Article)