Emmy Griffin / August 5, 2021

Masking Mandates: Are Face Coverings Effective?

It’s not settled science, regardless of the narratives.

Over the past weekend, the Biden/Harris regime’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) directors refreshed their recommendation for all people to mask up, regardless of vaccination status.

Ironically, in a concurrent interview, one of Biden’s former top COVID pandemic advisers, Dr. Michael Osterholm, admitted that cloth and disposable masks don’t really work.

His solution: N95 respirators. Osterholm says: “We know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out. … We need to talk about better masking. We need to talk about N95 respirators, which would do a lot for both people who are not yet vaccinated or not previously infected.”

The Biden administration won’t want to admit it, but Dr. Osterholm is most likely correct regarding cloth and disposable masks. But what about his N95 remarks?

Masking has been controversial from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recall on February 29th last year when Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared, “Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus,” but added, “If healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” Days later Adams said again, “Masks do not work for the general public and preventing them from getting coronavirus.” He then flip-flopped.

World Health Organization executive director of the Health Emergencies Program, Mike Ryan likewise insisted: “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any particular benefit. In fact there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite [because of not] wearing a mask properly…”

That same month, Then Dr. Anthony “Flip Flop Fauci himself declared in March of 2020: "There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.” He then flip-flopped.

Study after study cropped up questioning the efficacy of masking.

In the spring of this year, the Biden administration finally admitted that if you are vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask. Then the so-called “Delta variant” reared its head, so masks are once again being recommended. School is just around the corner. Should kids be masked in the classroom? Should parents mask up to protect their unvaccinated kids? The Left would say yes.

Many conservative pundits were up in arms this week restating the major talking points on masks. Many of them conclude that masking is not at all effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Commentator Liz Wheeler broke down the studies — some of which the CDC even wrote — to debunk the efficacy of masks. After reviewing 20 studies in peer review journals, almost all of them said that masks do not work as personal protective equipment (PPE) or as a source control (wearing the mask to protect others). These findings predate the COVID pandemic. Some of the studies are even about the efficacy of masks used by surgeons. Even medical-grade N95 respirators were found to be dubious in preventing the spread of aerosolized particles. Ultimately, her findings suggest that the only kind of mask that would prevent the spread of infection would be those that basically suffocate the wearer. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.

Adding important credence to Wheeler’s research, Dr. Jim Meehan, a surgeon and former medical journal editor, wrote in March:

Although surgeons do wear masks to prevent their respiratory droplets from contaminating the surgical field and the exposed internal tissues of our surgical patients, that is about as far as the analogy extends. Obviously, surgeons cannot “socially distance” from their surgical patients (unless we use robotic surgical devices, in which case, I would definitely not wear a mask).

The COVID-19 pandemic is about viral transmission. Surgical and cloth masks do nothing to prevent viral transmission. We should all realize by now that face masks have never been shown to prevent or protect against viral transmission. Which is exactly why they have never been recommended for use during the seasonal flu outbreak, epidemics, or previous pandemics.

Suffice it to say, even N95 respirators don’t appear foolproof. And even if they did, good luck getting 330 million Americans to sport them.

As our Nate Jackson observed back in April, “Perhaps the biggest problem is that you can find research backing up whatever opinion you choose to hold.” Ultimately, a trademark of the Left has been to use terror and bad science when dealing with COVID. When confronted with the truth — or even questions — they deem it misinformation or bend the studies to suit their agenda. One has to question the end goal of this latest flip-flop on masks. What is the efficacy of masks?

Is the mask push merely another shameless power grab? Almost certainly. Is this ultimately about Biden’s presidential legacy? Almost certainly. Is it an excuse to bolster Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections through reinstating the emergency voting alternatives? The timing sure seems suspicious. Whatever the case, it has nothing to do with the effectiveness of masking, which is hardly settled science.

Just ask AOC.

(For additional information on the efficacy of masking, see Mark Alexander’s analysis, “Masking the Truth.”)

(Updated)

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