A recent report from New York Magazine highlighted a large-scale study conducted by the CDC in May of 2021. The study, which had one of the largest sample sizes in science, covering over 90,000 students across schools, concluded that masking policies in schools have no benefit in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
The findings also cast doubt on the impact of many of the most common mitigation measures in American schools, like distancing, hybrid models, classroom barriers, and HEPA filters.
All of these findings, including the most notable about masking policies in schools, were intentionally left absent from the summary. None of these findings were reported by the media.
Just a month after the study was published, the CDC updated their guidance for schools, including the recommendation that masks should be worn indoors by all individuals aged 2 and older. Just days later, the American Academy of Pediatrics said that everyone in school over age 2 should wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
From New York Mag:
“The extreme political heat around the issue of masks in schools is making it hard to have a coherent conversation about the science. At the risk of generalizing, much of blue-state America is strongly in favor of masks in schools, while much of red-state America is opposed. In Florida, Tennessee, and elsewhere, local school-board meetings are verging on violence as parents and officials fight over the question. But with tens of millions of American kids headed back to school in the fall, their parents and political leaders owe it to them to have a clear-sighted, scientifically rigorous discussion about which anti-COVID measures actually work.”
According to Vinay Prasad, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the decision not to include the inefficacy of student masking requirements in the abstract was what researchers call “file drawering.” This is a term researchers use for the practice of burying studies that don’t produce statistically significant results. This is also common in studies funded by special interest groups or the government, when the conclusion doesn’t show exactly what they want it to show.
Prasad said that a large study that concludes that masking requirements failed to show benefit is a finding of “consequence and great interest,” and that it should not be left out of the summary.
“The summary gives the impression that only masking of staff was studied,” said Tracy Hoeg, an epidemiologist and the senior author of a separate CDC study on COVID-19 transmission in schools, “when in reality there was this additional important detection about a student-masking requirement not having a statistical impact.”
Additionally, according to the latest scientific data, spread on surfaces is virtually impossible, and plastic barriers do nothing, and may actually make the spread worse. The new data comes after state governments forced thousands of businesses to spend billions on these measures, which we now know are completely ineffective.
From New York Magazine:
“After the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued their student-mask guidance last month, I contacted both organizations asking for the evidence or underlying data upon which they had based their recommendations. The AAP did not respond to multiple requests. The CDC press office replied that since children under 12 cannot be vaccinated, the agency “recommends schools do universal masking” and included links to unrelated materials on vaccines and a recent outbreak among adults.”
Today, even as over 50 randomized control trials all conclude masks are completely ineffective at preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses, most school districts still have these policies in place.
A fairly recent study from Denmark involving a sample size of 6,000 participants found that “there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19.”
Another ecological study of state mask mandates and their use – which included data from the winter case spike – has found that widespread mask-wearing didn’t slow the spread of COVID-19.
The study, conducted by the University of Louisville using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that “80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic,” but while “mandates induced greater mask compliance, [they] did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).” The study also found that “mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.”
Michael Osterholm, former President Biden COVID-19 adviser and top epidemiologist, recently conceded that the masks the vast majority of the population are using, are do nothing to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
“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,” Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said.