by Jon Miltimore
November 18, 2020
from FEE Website
CC BY-SA 4.0,
via Wikimedia Commons
in the academic journal Annals of Internal Medicine
casts more doubt on policies that force
healthy individuals to wear face coverings...
The study is perhaps the best scientific evidence to date on the efficacy of masks.
To conduct the study, which ran from early April to early June, scientists at the University of Copenhagen recruited more than 6,000 participants who had tested negative for COVID-19 immediately prior to the experiment.
Half the participants were given surgical masks and instructed to wear them outside the home; the other half were instructed to not wear a mask outside the home.
Roughly 4,860 participants finished the experiment, the Times reports.
The results were not encouraging.
Dr. Henning Bundgaard, lead author of the experiment and a physician at the University of Copenhagen, told the newspaper the results of his research are clear.
The Times notes that the research,
...but adds that the study's findings are at odds with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which just last week endorsed the view that face coverings protect individuals from contracting the virus.
Two important things should be noted here, however.
From the beginning of the pandemic, public health officials agreed that infected people should wear a mask to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.
Anthony Fauci would later modify his position, saying,
But he was not wrong that mask wearing comes with unintended consequences, such as people touching their faces a lot.
Watch the video below if you doubt this:
CDC chief Robert Ray Redfield Jr. has gone further than Fauci, declaring in public testimony that,
However, Redfield's assertion is not backed up with scientific evidence.
As the authors of the Danish study point out, the World Health Organization (WHO),
The results of the Danish study undermine the assertion from public health officials that,
...but that's unlikely to end the mask debate, which has become one of the most vitriolic issues in America today.
It's worth pointing out, however, that masks were not a divisive issue until governments began mandating their use.
But by replacing individual choice with collective mandates, public officials have politicized the issue and polluted the science. For example, scientists have faced retraction demands on research that concluded mask-for-all policies were not based on sound data.
Additionally, the Danish study appears to have been delayed because medical journals were wary of its findings.
Few of us - even medical professionals, it seems - are able to answer with any degree of certainty whether masks are an effective form of protection against the coronavirus.
Some see this as a reason to force everyone to wear a mask.
Yet in reality, the uncertainty is all the more reason the decision should be left to individuals.
Public health officials should not be recommending a preventative measure - let alone mandating it - without knowing it is effective. (In public health, this is known as the principle of effectiveness.)
Governments forcing healthy people into mask-wearing was always an affront to the rights we hold over our own bodies and our basic human dignity...
It's also beginning to look more and more like an affront to science.