There have clearly been many, MANY aspects of our Covid response that were and remain inexcusable.
Vaccine passports and mandates, the nonsensical curfews and capacity limits, general mask mandates, and of course, closing beaches, should never been forgotten.
But few, if any of our pointless, ineffective Covid-era restrictions were as indefensible as child masking. And thanks to the awe-inspiring incompetence of the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States was a global outlier; obsessively dedicated to forcing toddlers as young as 2-years-old to wear masks.
Schools, youth programs, camps, on airplanes…anywhere children gathered, they were forcibly masked. Horrifying videos emerged of teachers or flight attendants putting masks on crying children.
Calls to mask children in schools have disturbingly continued into late 2023 in certain parts of the country.
But new research has confirmed what was obvious to anyone who studied the data and evidence over the past few years: it was all for nothing.
Child Masking is Ineffective, New Study Finds
“Trust the science,” “Follow the data,” “Listen to the experts.”
Starting in 2020, those phrases became a relentless mantra of an oppressive government/pharma/media playbook. Instead of examining the actual evidence, data, and pre-Covid consensus, politicians, administrators, and huge swaths of the public put their faith and trust in a few unreliable, self-interested individuals. And with disastrous results.
Following the actual evidence would, in theory, have meant using evidence-based methods as espoused by experts in that field, such as Carl Heneghan from Oxford University. Primarily, that means using a hierarchy of studies, based on quality, to create systematic reviews of well-conducted research.
Instead, we were fed the CDC’s reporting of non-statistically significant results based on phone surveys, and we watched as those results were included in pro-masking reviews designed to promote an ineffective policy.
But a new systematic review from Tracy Beth Høeg and a number of other researchers has just been released on mask mandates for children. And unlike the pro-mask propaganda, it actually attempts to use high-quality evidence to come to its conclusion.
Background Mask mandates for children during the Covid-19 pandemic varied in different locations. A risk-benefit analysis of this intervention has not yet been performed. In this study, we performed a systematic review to assess research on the effectiveness of mask wearing in children.
They even used independent reviewers to ensure that there was no bias involved in the study selection criteria.
Methods We performed database searches up to February 2023. The studies were screened by title and abstract, and included studies were further screened as full-text references. A risk-of-bias analysis was performed by two independent reviewers and adjudicated by a third reviewer.
That meant that out of 597 studies screened, just 22 were included after meeting the criteria. And in a sign of how the CDC abdicated their responsibility, none were randomized controlled trials. Sure enough, when filtering out information at a risk of serious bias or confounding, there was no association between forcing kids to wear masks and infection or transmission.
Results There were no randomised controlled trials in children assessing the benefits of mask wearing to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection or transmission. The six observational studies reporting an association between child masking and lower infection rate or antibody seropositivity had critical (n=5) or serious (n=1) risk of bias; all six were potentially confounded by important differences between masked and unmasked groups and two were shown to have non-significant results when reanalysed. Sixteen other observational studies found no association between mask wearing and infection or transmission.
As every intellectually honest scientist, researcher, or expert would admit, their inescapable conclusion is that the “current body of scientific data does not support masking children for protection against COVID-19.”
Conclusions Real-world effectiveness of child mask mandates against SARS-CoV-2 transmission or infection has not been demonstrated with high-quality evidence. The current body of scientific data does not support masking children for protection against Covid-19.
Low-Quality Research Used to Create Low-Efficacy Policy
The details of the studies involved in this systematic review are even more damning.
Of the six observational studies that supposedly showed a benefit to masking kids, all were fatally flawed in important ways. Specifically, there were significant confounding differences between unmasked and masked children that undermine any of the reported results.
Differences included the “number of instructional school days, differences in school size, systematic baseline differences in case rates in all phases of the pandemic, testing policies, contact-tracing policy differences and teacher vaccination rates.” With differences that substantial, it’s impossible to determine whether or not the claimed reduction in infection or transmission is due to masks or one or many of those other factors.
This is why randomized controlled trials are so important. And why the CDC should have conducted them during the pandemic years. Yet at the same time, considering the results of masking RCT’s conducted on adults, it’s pretty obvious why they didn’t. Because they knew it would show that masks didn’t work.
The researchers also touched on the fact that some of the studies promoted by the CDC saw their effects vanish upon re-analysis. Specifically, one of the “observational CDC funded study” in the US claimed to show an association between county-wide mask mandates and pediatric case counts.
Yet when subjected to “expanded reanalysis,” that association disappeared.
That initial result though, is how you use low-quality studies to launder low-quality information. The CDC funds a study with what it expects are pre-determined results, the media reports the results of that study – despite being misleading, expert researchers reassess using conventional methods, and the supposed benefit disappears.
But the correction receives none of the attention of the original, because it shows a result the CDC deems unacceptable.
Even observational reporting has shown masks don’t matter at a population level for younger aged individuals. Virginia faced massive criticism for ending school mask mandates early in 2022, only to see cases collapse after a massive surge with mask mandates in place.
As often discussed, in a sane world, this systematic review would permanently shut the door on further discussions of forced child masking. Higher quality research has confirmed that there is no evidence masks are effective and eliminating bias and confounders unsurprisingly shows the same result with children.
But sanity is dead. Therefore the current CDC director defiantly refuses to admit that masking toddlers was a mistake.
She doesn’t have to.
Høeg and the other researchers who conducted this review said it for her.
Republished from the author’s Substack
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Source: Brownstone Institute Read the original article here: https://brownstone.org/