T.W. Scullion iii
As the COVID 19 pandemic began to accelerate in the early spring of 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advised Americans against wearing masks. On February 17, 2020 he stated the "danger of getting coronavirus now is just minisculely low.” In the same interview, Fauci stated why masks were ineffective:
"A mask is much more appropriate for someone who is infected and you're trying to prevent them from infecting other people than it is in protecting you against infection. If you look at the masks that you buy in a drug store, the leakage around that doesn't really do much to protect you. And for example, people start saying, should I start wearing a mask? Now, in the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask."(1)
Clearly changing his mind about the leakage of the mask, five months later in an interview with Business Insider's Grace Panetta, Fauci did a full reversal of his previous statement (July 16, 2020):
"When it became clear that we could get the infection...by asymptomatic carriers who don't know they're infected, that made it very clear that we had to strongly recommend masks," (2)
A question that many are asking is what changed about the leakage? If the leakage rendered the masks ineffective in February, why would they suddenly be effective in July? Fauci also added that, "cloth masks and homemade masks were as good as masks that you would buy from surgical supply stores"(2) yet many of the face masks manufacturers have written warnings on the side of the boxes that state the opposite of their efficacy.
what about the n95 masks?
According to the above CDC document/poster, a N95 Respirator is tight-fitting and has "minimal leakage" and filters out "out at least 95% of airborne particles including large and small particles.” But how small of a particle? According to USA TODAY's Eric Litke:
"N95 masks actually have that name because they are 95% efficient at stopping particles in their least efficient particle size range — in this case those around 0.3 microns." (4)
In that same article, Lisa Brosseau, a retired professor of environmental and occupational health sciences who spent her career researching respiratory protection, stated: “Breathing and talking generate particles around 1 micron in size, which will be collected by N95 respirator filters with very high efficiency”. (5) Seeing that the filtering effects are much better with this type of mask, a more common sense approach to mandating masks for health would be requiring N95 masks. If this is what the "science" says, why isn't every doctor and nurse in every hospital or nursing home wearing a N95 mask? It doesn't make sense looking at the mask mandate from an epidemiological point of view, so are the mask mandates about something else? Is it about the government seeing to what extent they can infringe on your liberties? Or about how far they can control the average citizen before he or she protests?
The following information on correct use of medical masks derives from the practices in health-care settings:
You may not agree with those questioning the "ineffectiveness" of wearing a mask but what if the World Health Organization (WHO) said it?
According to a WHO document on mask usage for COVID-19, "Wearing medical masks when not indicated may cause unnecessary cost, procurement burden and create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices." If that were not enough, the WHO admonishes us that these facial coverings "increase the risk of transmission associated with the incorrect use and disposal of masks."(7)
Still not convinced? A 2010 systematic review, published in the journal Epidemiology & Infection entitled "Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: a systematic review" (8) found little supporting evidence. The review states:
"In conclusion there remains a substantial gap in the scientific literature on the effectiveness of face masks to reduce transmission of influenza virus infection. While there is some experimental evidence that masks should be able to reduce infectiousness under controlled conditions, there is less evidence on whether this translates to effectiveness in natural settings. There is little evidence to support the effectiveness of face masks to reduce the risk of infection." (8)
Once COVID-19 became a pandemic, the big fear surrounding wearing masks touted by the CDC was what were labeled as "asymptomatic spreaders". Asymptomatic carriers are people who have no symptoms of the virus who are not only carrying it but also spreading it. This group also includes pre-symptomatic people, who had contracted COVID-19 but had not progressed to the stage of feeling sick and showing the classic symptoms of the virus. After this information was publicized ad nauseam to the public for the first several months of the pandemic, the World Health Organization announced news in June 2020 that expunged that fear: The head of the WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said during a daily press conference that the transmission of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers is "very rare" (9).
can masks actually harm you?
I would like to preempt the answer to that question by telling you about a group of doctors who researched several pandemics, including the most devastating one of the last century: the 1918 Spanish influenza. These scientists examined lung tissue sections obtained during 58 autopsies and reviewed pathologic and bacteriologic data from 109 published autopsy series that described 8,398 individual autopsy investigations. Their conclusions?
"The majority of deaths in the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic likely resulted directly from secondary bacterial pneumonia caused by common upper respiratory-tract bacteria. Less substantial data from the subsequent 1957 and 1968 pandemics are consistent with these findings. If severe pandemic influenza is largely a problem of viral-bacterial copathogenesis, pandemic planning needs to go beyond addressing the viral cause alone (e.g., influenza vaccines and antiviral drugs). Prevention, diagnosis, prophylaxis, and treatment of secondary bacterial pneumonia, as well as stockpiling of antibiotics and bacterial vaccines, should also be high priorities for pandemic planning." (10)
This research was conducted in 2008 and one of the doctors who authored the paper was Anthony S. Fauci. Despite taking part in writing this paper, from the multiple interviews I have read or heard from Dt. Fauci, I have not heard him state one time that antibiotics should be stockpiled to treat secondary bacterial infections! I did see a video made by doctors from Italy at the height of COVID-19 crisis claiming that secondary bacterial infections were primarily responsible for killing people, and that antibiotics were essential to saving lives. The video was taken down, and this information seemingly disappeared from the Internet, so I can no longer cite a website as proof.
Right now you may be asking, "but what does that have to do with wearing masks?" Do you know what type of an environment is conducive to bacterial growth? A warm, moist, environment, like the environment around your face after several hours of wearing a mask. Leopoldo Segal, MD, director of the Lung Microbiome Program, associate professor of medicine at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, and member of NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center said:
"The lungs were long thought to be sterile, but we now know that oral commensals--microbes normally found in the mouth--frequently enter the lungs due to unconscious aspirations," (11)
Not only do your lungs expel carbon dioxide as waste, but they also can expel microbes. With a mask on these microbes are obstructed from leaving the body, allowing them to collect and even flourish in this warm, moist environment created around your mouth and nose. Rather than expelling these microbes into the surrounding air, you are collecting them and creating a bacterial biome around your face. This ultimately leads to rebreathing the microbes (or bacteria) that your body tried to expel, "causing an enrichment of oral commensals” in the lungs (A micro-organism that lives continuously on, or in certain parts of, the body, without causing disease, but may cause disease if they gain access to parts of the body other than their normal habitat. ). The result? Segal and colleagues showed that the presence of microbes in the lungs can activate an inflammatory response, leading to lung cancer pathogenesis. (12)
Not only is the efficacy of a mask questionable at best, masks also create a bacterial biome around the face that can lead to an inflammatory response and even lung cancer.
Dentists in New York City are warning their patients about health issues caused by the prolonged use of masks. A dentist and co-founder of One Manhattan Dental, Rob Ramondi, said 50% of his patients are suffering from negative health issues due to mask-wearing:
“We’re seeing inflammation in people’s gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before. About 50% of our patients are being impacted by this, [so] we decided to name it ‘mask mouth’" (13)
Dr. Ramondi's partner at One Manhattan Dental, Dr. Marc Sclafani, spoke of even more serious consequences of "mask mouth", telling the New York Post:
“Gum disease — or periodontal disease — will eventually lead to strokes and an increased risk of heart attacks” (14)
So now let's couple the findings of a propensity for prolonged mask use to cause periodontal disease, with a study conducted in Qatar on 568 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between February and July of 2020. Professor Mariano Sanz of the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, one of the authors, said that oral bacteria in patients with periodontitis can be inhaled and infect the lungs. He continued:
“This may contribute to the deterioration of patients with COVID-19 and raise the risk of death. Hospital staff should identify COVID-19 patients with periodontitis and use oral antiseptics to reduce transmission of bacteria” (15)
The results of this study are very sobering to the mask mandated public:
"The chances of death for COVID-19 patients with gum disease was 8.81 times higher than others, while the chances of ending up in intensive care or on a ventilator were 3.54 and 4.57 times greater, respectively." (16)
The human body is designed to take in oxygen as well as expel both carbon dioxide, microbes, and other waste products freely, without an obstructive barrier that collects the body's expelled microbes and saves them for re-inhalation. The body is also built to react to microbes in the environment which keeps one's immune system strong. Unfortunately there are those who have compromised immune systems who may not be able to go out into the public without some protection--but they must temper their decision with the knowledge that prolonged mask use may be just as dangerous as the corona virus--lung cancer, stroke, heart attacks can be just as deadly. Ultimately I believe that wearing a mask should be a personal decision based on each person's health and age, and not a government mandate.
the (faux) fear factor
Finally, I cannot neglect to expose the fear factor caused by the artificial elevation of the death rates from COVID-19. Have you been frightened into submission to the mask mandates because of the COVID-19 mortality rates? What if the CDC rates are misrepresenting the truth? The New York Post revealed an overlooked fact from the CDC itself:
The CDC itself caused a stir at the end of August 2020 by estimating that the virus directly caused only 6 percent, or now just over 11,000 of the 187,000 attributed deaths. Most of these deaths were in the elderly. (17)
Furthermore, in groundbreaking peer-reviewed research, the watchdog group All Concerned Citizens, in a statement to the National File, stated:
“Most notably, the CDC illegally enacted new rules for data collection and reporting exclusively for COVID-19 that resulted in a 1,600% inflation of current COVID-19 fatality totals.” (18)
This same group has petitioned the Department of Justice to take litigatory action against the CDC for their misrepresentation of the death totals from COVID-19. Even the test results, admitted by the CDC, are inaccurate. In answer to the question “What do your results mean?” on the CDC website, the response states:
"A positive test result shows you might have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold." (19)
In conclusion, in light of real scientific studies and not the political rhetoric, I would urge people to consider the effects of prolonged mask usage leading to health problems. When considering mandates, it’s also important to keep in mind that many doctors, including Dr. Fauci, have said that masks are ineffective in preventing you from catching COVID-19. Given the size of the virus, I thought the analogy of how much protection cloth or surgical masks provide given by an Oregon doctor was fitting: "It's like putting a chain link fence around your yard to keep out the mosquitoes."
1 'Danger of getting coronavirus now is just minusculely low', USA TODAY, Feb. 17, 2020. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/02/17/new-coronavirus-what-dont-we-know-dr-anthony-fauci-q-a-opinion/4790996002/ (Accessed March 7, 2021)
2 Fauci says he doesn't regret telling Americans not to wear masks at the beginning of the pandemic, Grace Panetta, Business Insider, July 16, 2020. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fauci-says-he-doesnt-regret-telling-americans-not-to-wear-masks-at-the-beginning-of-the-pandemic/ar-BB16P84e (Accessed March 7, 2021)
3 Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on: Peter Navarro, [by] Peter Navarro, USA TODAY, July 15, 2020. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/todaysdebate/2020/07/14/anthony-fauci-wrong-with-me-peter-navarro-editorials-debates/5439374002/ (Accessed March 7, 2021)
4, 5 Fact check: No, N95 filters are not too large to stop COVID-19 particles, Eric Litke, USA TODAY, June 11, 2020. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/11/fact-check-n-95-filters-not-too-large-stop-covid-19-particles/5343537002/ (Accessed March 7, 2021)
6 Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in health care settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, World Health Organization, Jan 29, 2020. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/330987/WHO-nCov-IPC_Masks-2020.1-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y (Accessed March 8, 2021)
7 Advice on the use of masks in the community, during homeware and in health care settings in the context of the novel coranavirus outbreak. January 29, 2020. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/330987/WHO-nCov-IPC_Masks-2020.1-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y (Accessed March 7, 2021)
8 Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: a systematic review, B J Cowling 1, Y Zhou, D K M Ip, G M Leung, A E Aiello, Epidemiology & Infection, Jan 22, 2010. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20092668/ (Accessed March 8, 2021)
9 WHO Says Asymptomatic Spread Of Coronavirus 'Very Rare,' But Experts Raise Questions, Matt Perez, Forbes, Jun 8, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/06/08/who-says-asymptomatic-spread-of-coronavirus-very-rare-but-experts-raise-questions/?sh=a35b62943d01 (Accessed March 8, 2021)
10 Predominant Role of Bacterial Pneumonia as a Cause of Death in Pandemic Influenza: Implications for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, David M.. Morens, Jeffery K. Taubenberger, Anthony S. Fauci, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 198, Issue 7, 1 October 2008, Pages 962–970, https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/198/7/962/2192118 (Accessed March 8, 2021)
11, 12 Presence of microbes in the lung can modulate lung cancer pathogenesis, Reviewed by Emily Henderson, AZO Life Sciences, Nov 12,2020. https://www.azolifesciences.com/news/20201112/Presence-of-microbes-in-lung-can-activate-immune-response-to-modulate-lung-cancer-pathogenesis.aspx (Accessed March 8, 2021)
13, 14 Dentists say 'mask mouth' can cause serious health complications, including strokes, Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, Aug 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/mask-mouth-dentists-warn-prolonged-use-of-masks-leading-to-poor-oral-hygiene (Accessed March 8, 2021)
15, 16 COVID-19 patients with gum disease 9 times more likely to die, study says, Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post, February 8, 2021. https://nypost.com/2021/02/08/covid-19-patients-with-gum-disease-more-likely-to-die-study/ (Accessed March 8, 2021)
17 Here’s how the media is misreporting COVID-19’s death toll in America, Jay W. Richards, Douglas Axe and William Briggs, New York Post, October 17, 2020. https://nypost.com/2020/10/17/how-the-media-is-misreporting-covid-19s-death-toll-in-america/ (Accessed March 8, 2021)
18, 19 Busted: CDC Inflated COVID Numbers, Accused of Violating Federal Law, Patrick Howley, National File, March 8, 2021. https://nationalfile.com/busted-cdc-inflated-covid-numbers-accused-of-violating-federal-law/ (Accessed March 8, 2021)