A massive international research collaboration that analyzed several dozen rigorous studies focusing on “physical interventions” against COVID-19 and influenza found that they provide little to no protection against infection or illness rates.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, is the strongest science to date refuting the basis for mask mandates worldwide.
And of course, the CDC still recommends masking in areas with “high” rates of transmission (fewer than 4% of US counties, as Just the News notes), along with indoor masking in areas with “medium” rates of transmission (27%).
Masks are still required in educational institutions in Democratic strongholds such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and California, according to the Daily Mail. Boston Public Schools denied its “temporary masking protocol” in early January was a “mandate,” following a public letter against the policy by student Enrique Abud Evereteze.
South Korea is still requiring masks on public transport and in medical facilities after dropping COVID mandates in most indoor settings, including gyms, Monday, Reuters reported. -Just the News
According to the Cochrane study, which included the work of researchers at institutions in the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy and Saudi Arabia, a total of 78 studies were analyzed. Most recent additions to the meta-analysis were 11 new randomized controlled trials.
As unlisted study author Carl Heneghan – who directs the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford noted on Twitter: “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID‐19 like illness compared to not wearing masks.”
The Danish study had trouble finding a major journal willing to publish its controversial findings that wearing surgical masks had no statistically significant effect on infection rates, even among those who claimed to wear them “exactly as instructed.”
Mainstream media overlooked red flags in the Bangladeshi mask study, which found no effect for surgical masks under age 50 and a difference of only 20 infections between control and treatment groups among 342,000 adults. -JTN
Bottom line, mask wearing “probably makes little to no difference,” when it comes to influenza-like or COVID-like illnesses, regardless of type of mask used.