Masks of all types had little influence on infection or sickness rates in many dozen robust investigations of “physical treatments” against influenza and COVID-19.
The peer-reviewed Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, sponsored by the British evidence-based medical charity Cochrane, casts doubt on global mask requirements and global health guidelines.
The CDC recommends indoor masking for high-risk persons in “medium” (27% of U.S. jurisdictions) and “high” (4% of jurisdictions) transmission zones.
After removing COVID regulations in most indoor locations, including gyms, Monday, South Korea still requires masks in public transportation and medical institutions, Reuters reported.
The Cochrane study experts are from the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. Half are linked with Australia’s Bond College’s Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare. Calgary University’s John Conly is the author.
On Twitter, anonymous author Carl Heneghan, head of the Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Oxford University, summarized the research population and findings.
The panel included 11 more randomized controlled trials and “cluster-RCTs” in their November 2020 evaluation, bringing the total to 78. COVID pandemic trials from Mexico, Uk, Denmark, Norway, and Bangladesh — the last two well-recognized internationally — were included.
We included 11 new RCTs and cluster‐RCTs (610,872 participants) in this update, bringing the total number of RCTs to 78.
— Carl Heneghan (@carlheneghan) January 30, 2023
Even among individuals who claimed to wear surgical masks “exactly as recommended,” the Danish study had problems finding a prominent publication to publish its contentious conclusions that surgical masks had no substantial effect on infection rates.
The Bangladeshi mask research discovered no benefit for surgical masks under 50 and only 20 illnesses between treatment and control groups among 342,000 adults. Mainstream media ignored the red flags.
Respirators like N95s — the CDC only advised two years into the pandemic — were harder to study than surgical masks.
They were more trust in respirators than face masks on lab-confirmed influenza: RR of 1.10 among 8,400 patients in those trials and no change when the home trial was eliminated.
In December’s Annals of Internal Medicine, longtime White House COVID adviser Michael Osterholm sought to disparage a McMaster University-led respiratory-surgical review study.
A specialist on personal protective gear and regulatory compliance, who alerted universities almost two years ago that mask regulations violated disability inclusion legislation, told Just the News she analyzed several of the RCTs the Cochrane team studied.
2/ LARGE Cochrane Rev (just published 1/30/23) of RCT data ALSO CONFIRMS NO BENEFIT of N95 masks vs. med/surg masks, in either community (n~8K) or HCW (n~8K) settings for prevention of flu-like illness or lab confirmed flu https://t.co/N4TkgI4uUR pic.twitter.com/0DCdYAPo7x
— Andrew Bostom, MD, MS (@andrewbostom) January 31, 2023
Last week, Mansell authored a lengthy and fairly technical piece.
It described why “a perfect rate of capture” by N95s still gives “plentiful enough possible exposure” for infection based on “severity of sickness, the immunological response of a specific individual, and advancement in the course of illness.”
Mansell said N95s aren’t rated to filter particles under 0.3 microns, including SARS-CoV-2, despite the Department of Health and Human Services fact sheet.
She claimed the page states N95s can’t filter gases and vapors, including aerosolized COVID, and Honeywell puts the minimum at 0.3 microns.
She quoted a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study letter to the New England Journal of Medicine that said such tiny particles may stay aloft for “hours, even days, based on air exchange rates inside the given environment.”
Mansell said N95s filter better beneath that threshold because of a misunderstanding of Brownian motion, which “only happens when there is no velocity,” such as breathing in and out.