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New Study Finds ‘Countries with High Levels of Mask Compliance Did Not Perform Better Than Those with Low Mask Usage’

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Public health experts have been advocating masks for the general public ever since Covid-19 began to spike in the United States in mid-2020. Masks soon became the non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) of choice, despite there being a dearth of pre-Covid pandemic documents advocating them as meaningful tools to stop the spread of coronavirus pandemics.

Even as critics constantly poked holes in masks as an impotent tool for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the public health industry stuck to their guns and insisted in the face of mounting evidence the masks were ineffective that the American people should continue to wear them anyway.

A new study has blown the debate wide open: It shows that not only were masks effectively worthless against stopping the spread of Covid-19, but also that wearing them might be harmful for people’s well-being and for society in general.

A peer-reviewed journal article in Cureus called the “Correlation Between Mask Compliance and COVID-19 Outcomes in Europe” has come to the stunning conclusion that the higher the mask compliance rates, the higher the Covid case rates. (For those who aren’t well-versed in statistics, this is the exact opposite of what researchers would find if masks indeed “worked.”)

“Masking was the single most common non-pharmaceutical intervention in the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” the journal article states. “Most countries have implemented recommendations or mandates regarding the use of masks in public spaces. The aim of this short study was to analyse the correlation between mask usage against morbidity and mortality rates in the 2020-2021 winter in Europe. Data from 35 European countries on morbidity, mortality, and mask usage during a six-month period were analysed and crossed.”

“These findings indicate that countries with high levels of mask compliance did not perform better than those with low mask usage,” the author Beny Spira, a professor at the University of Sao Paolo, writes.

“For this analysis, all European countries, including West and East Europe, with more than one million inhabitants were selected, encompassing a total of 602 million people. All analysed countries underwent a peak of COVID-19 infection during these six months,” the professor writes before providing the full dataset.

“Surprisingly, weak positive correlations were observed when mask compliance was plotted against morbidity (cases/million) or mortality (deaths/million) in each country,” the study notes.

The professor shows a scattershot of mask compliance rates versus Covid cases and Covid-related deaths per million, as well as a fitted regression line. As one can see, the relationship is positive (not good).

“While no cause-effect conclusions could be inferred from this observational analysis, the lack of negative correlations between mask usage and COVID-19 cases and deaths suggest that the widespread use of masks at a time when an effective intervention was most needed, i.e., during the strong 2020-2021 autumn-winter peak, was not able to reduce COVID-19 transmission,” the study concluded. “Moreover, the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.”

The mask study’s results are similar to those of Harvard-led researchers who found that the higher a nation’s vaccination rates, the higher the tendency for elevated case rates. The Harvard-led study of 68 nations and 2,947 counties in the United States was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology in late 2021.

The scientific findings were discovered by S. V. Subramanian of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and Canadian researcher Akhil Kumar.

“At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1),” the study stated. “In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.”

Those startling findings have been further verified at the state-level in the United States: The highest-vaccinated states are now among the few remaining ‘hot spots’ in the country.

It should come as a surprise to no one these ‘hot spot’ states also happen to be among the last to lift their mask mandate orders.  In California, there are cities that are reinstating mask mandates, despite five Covid waves and the absence of evidence that masks work to significantly slow the spread.

It should be added that the initial rationalization for ’15 days to slow the spread’ was to give medical facilities time to handle an influx of Covid patients. ‘Slowing the spread’ did not have the policy basis of trying to eliminate all (generally mild) coronavirus cases.

The United States’ Covid policy responses have included quarantining, masks, and social distancing, as well as ‘lockdowns,’ which also failed to produce statistically significant results fighting Covid, but wrought serious damage to the economy and violated Americans’ rights.

An exhaustive Johns Hopkins University comparative analysis published in January found that the strict lockdowns did not significantly reduce Covid-related deaths.

“Lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe had little or no impact in reducing deaths from COVID-19, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins University,” the Washington Times reported.  “The lockdowns during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%, said the broad review of multiple scientific studies.”

“We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” the researchers wrote.

Now, we can add mask mandates to the list of public health interventions that did virtually nothing to stop the spread of Covid-19, but did tremendous damage to the U.S. economy and society.

Current Founder, CEO and Chief Editor of Becker News. Former Writer & Associate Producer at Fox News for #1 top-rated prime-time cable news show. Former Director of Viral Media and Senior Managing Editor for award-winning startup website IJReview, which grew to a readership of 20-30 million Americans a month. Led editorial and social media team that was #1 ranked news & politics publisher on Facebook for story engagement. Writer whose thousands of digital articles have been read by over 100 million unique users.

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