A new paper reviews the studies that the CDC claimed to perform on masks during the epidemic. As you may recall, I wrote critiques, and referenced others’ analyses, of these studies. It was apparent at the time that CDC was cherrypicking time periods and indulging in other statistical whimsies to find any way to come to the conclusions that wearing 82 masks at all times was the only way to stop transmission. The reality, which everyone should recognize by now, is that masks don’t make a bit of difference, although I still see a few dunderheads for whom that hasn’t sunk in, including my all-time favorite, people driving alone in their cars wearing masks. I guess they are worried about infecting themselves? And as I kept pointing out, the reason masks didn’t work to stop transmission in the community is multiplex in nature, but primarily because over a large number of encounters, even if they had some efficacy, the numbers catch up with you eventually. That and they really are virus collection devices and CV-19 feels quite at home on a mask, so they probably actually helped with spread.
Anyway, the new paper points out the egregious statistical flaws of the CDC studies and notes that somewhat curiously, the CDC never once attempted any kind of randomized trial or challenge study or anything that might have given more conclusive evidence of benefit or lack thereof. Just another sorry episode of government malfeasance during the epidemic. (CDC Study)