A day after First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for Covid with mild symptoms, the White House announced that President Joe Biden will once again be wearing a mask indoors and will only remove it “when sufficiently distanced from others.”
The news comes as health officials in major urban centers, including New York City and Los Angeles, are urging Americans to wear masks again, citing a new strain of Covid spreading through the country. Some colleges and universities, too, are bringing back mask mandates, as are large employers like Kaiser Permanente at its Santa Rosa, California, campus, along with a group of hospitals in New York.
An elementary school near Washington, D.C., on Tuesday imposed a mask mandate — stressing that it would be passing out KN95s, no less — on third graders after a handful of kids tested positive for Covid.
Here we go again.
Having gotten a taste of what unlimited power and authority they could wield under the pretext of pandemic management, the American public health bureaucracy — aided and encouraged by Democrats at every level of government — is gearing up to reassert control over our lives, dictating what we can and can’t do, where we can and can’t go, and what counts, or doesn’t count, as an “essential business.” The reemergence of mask mandates is simply the first sign of what’s to come.
And it doesn’t matter at all to them that masks have been more or less conclusively shown not to work. Over the weekend, CNN’s Michael Smerconish confronted Anthony Fauci with a study from earlier this year, the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the efficacy of masking during Covid, which found that masking made no difference.
The study’s lead author, Tom Jefferson of Oxford University, said in an interview in February that there’s no evidence that masks, whether N95s or the plain cloth types, had any effect, “Full stop.” Asked about other preventative measures like hand-washing and social distancing, Jefferson said, “There’s no evidence that many of these things make any difference.”
This wasn’t some woefully flawed, nonrandomized study of the sort that too often informed slapdash policymaking during the pandemic. It was conducted by a dozen experts for a British nonprofit called Cochrane, which is considered the gold standard for health care data review and analysis. The study’s conclusions were based on the results of 78 randomized controlled trials involving more than 610,000 people in multiple countries. Areas with mask mandates, the authors found, fared no better than areas without them. As the pandemic ran its course in the U.S., this became obvious, as different states (and often cities) had different masking rules. The mandates made no difference.
Asked about this study, Fauci’s response was abject nonsense. He simply waved it off with a bit of legerdemain saying, “Yeah but there are other studies” that show masking protects at the “individual level,” even if the data show no effect of masking at the “pandemic level.”
This of course misses the point. Whatever benefits masking might offer to a specific person, there is absolutely no scientific case for masking as a matter of public policy, let alone as a coercive tactic with penalties attached to it.
The same goes for lockdowns, Covid shots, and the entire slew of pandemic-related policies that were foisted on us by a self-righteous rabble of pundits and so-called experts. They were all wrong, and those who questioned and resisted draconian Covid measures were right. Time and data analysis have left little doubt of that.
And yet calls for masking — and, just wait for it, lockdowns — are coming around again, zombielike, as if the past three years never happened, as if we don’t know what we all clearly know by now: None of it made any difference.
The reason these ideas and policies are coming around again has nothing to do with science or data or public health or epidemiology, just like the first time around. It’s not a question of science but of power.
Covid and its ever-changing variants are never going away. Like the seasonal flu, we’re always going to have some new strain of Covid around now. Public health “experts” and the Democrats who enable them will try to use these variants, however harmless they might be, as a pretext to exert control and trample the rights of law-abiding Americans. Don’t let them.
When they suggest you wear a mask, don’t do it. When they demand you wear a mask (to fly, for example) just do the bare minimum. If they try to force your kids to wear masks in school, challenge them. Insist they back up their masking policy with data that show it’s justified.
Many Americans were forced to wear masks and get the Covid shots just to keep their jobs. This was a huge violation of basic civil rights, for which we have not had a reckoning. None of the people who imposed these harmful mandates and policies on the American people have been held accountable (which is why you can still see Fauci bloviating on national TV). Remember that as you begin to see news stories about school districts and employers and local health officials floating the idea of a new mask mandate or a booster shot requirement.
Don’t ever give these people the benefit of the doubt. They aren’t interested in keeping you healthy, they’re interested in controlling you. It’s not more complicated than that.