This tweet by former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams caught my eye:
First of all Adams shouldn’t be opining on masks as there is no evidentiary support for his conclusion. I plan to challenge him to defend his statement, but I doubt he will accept because I’m guessing that he believes that it is best to silence your opposition rather than engage them in a conversation. Why do I think that? Because he did not speak out when the current Surgeon General Vivek Murthy announced the “Disinformation Dozen” list. The right thing to have done is use that list to debate them, not use the list to silence them.
Real scientists never try to censor their opposition.
Real scientists are not attached to their beliefs.
Real scientists are not afraid of being challenged.
The peer-reviewed scientific literature points out the possibility of considerable harm of masks via the Foegen effect.
The Foegen paper pointed out two key things:
In Kansas, counties with mask mandate had significantly higher case fatality rates than counties without mask mandate, with a risk ratio of 1.85 (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.51-2.10) for COVID-19-related deaths
These findings suggest that mask use might pose a yet unknown threat to the user instead of protecting them, making mask mandates a debatable epidemiologic intervention. The cause of this trend is explained herein using the “Foegen effect” theory; that is, deep re-inhalation of hyper condensed droplets or pure virions caught in facemasks as droplets can worsen prognosis and might be linked to long-term effects of COVID-19 infection. While the “Foegen effect” is proven in vivo in an animal model, further research is needed to fully understand it.
It shows that on 100% of the samples they tested, there was someone infected with COVID on every single flight. This shouldn’t be a shocker at all. With hundreds of people on a typical plane, it’s virtually guaranteed that at least one person on every plane (who went #2 on in the lavatory of the plane) has COVID.
When the federal ban on masks was lifted on April 18, 2022, look what happened to deaths: NOTHING. Did you ever see the CDC point this out??
Boy, I wish they did… Can you imagine? “Look American public… see what happened when you didn’t follow our advice? Nothing!”
Megan Mansell wrote to me on November 1, 2022 the following explanation as to why masks increase your chance of being infected (i.e., the exact opposite of what the CDC says):
I wanted to chime in with a breakdown that you may find helpful, that I think folks like Pierre Kory overlook (but would not in the same flippant manner if this were a different hazardous aerosol where we weren’t calculating a 99.8% survivability rate into our exposure).
N95s are rated at 95% capture rate but solely of particulates greater than .3 microns. With COVID’s minimum viable particle size range being at .06-.14 microns, and application of concepts such as the Foegen Effect, which is nebulization of bound particulate plosive force generating events (coughs, sneezes), varying respiratory pressure, and a consideration of the applied pressure on a droplet against a membrane resulting in aerosolization of droplets, I posit exacerbation of spread with a contagious individual wearing these apparatuses. See also my section on focused plumes in the linked mini-book below that gets extensively into N95 failure to mitigate.
With a respiratory rate at 16-20 breaths per minute, a simple calculation based on minimum infective dose of 1000 virions for transmission and 100,000 virion output per minute, with 90%+ of respiratory emissions being <.3 micron aerosols, it can easily be seen why even with an assumed perfect 95% capture rate (that even manufacturers do not assert), minimum infective dose threshold is still easily reached for this hazard that remains aloft for hours in enclosed spaces, which is why they are non-mitigating.
An hour of output at 100,000 virions per minute is 6 million virions, still minimum infective dose enough for 300 individuals if hypothetical 95% perfect capture rate is achieved, minimum infective dose enough for 2,400 individuals in an 8 hour day at a perfect capture rate of 95% – this is just for the 5% never blocked/captured. You can easily see why these proved worthless while in close proximity settings like next to a contagious individual breathing a focused side plume in your face for the duration of your flight.
Pages 26-37 of my mini-book gets into this more in-depth than I have described above. Here is a link to that, with extensive references at the end for my figures.
Let me know if I can help further.
Not yet convinced? You can listen to this podcast where Daniel Horowitz interviews Megan who explains why masks make things worse.
I read Megan’s minibook. If you weren’t convinced on how absolutely absurd the CDC guidelines were, you will be after you read this book.
The pop quiz at the end is great. Don’t worry, there is an answer key after the quiz so you can see how you do. Question #10 is great because it shows you how well the policies work in the real world (spoiler alert: zero).
The bottom line is masks likely make things work (a large study in Finland points this out where kids wearing masks were at a disadvantage; see Masking Kids 10-12: A New Natural Experiment From Finland. Did it work?).
Medical Masks Versus N95 Respirators for Preventing COVID-19 Among Health Care Workers shows that surgical masks were an average of 14% better than N95 in terms of protection, but the error bars were wide enough that there was no statistically significant difference between the masks.
And we know surgical masks are a joke. So this study showed N95’s protected just as well as that.