Unmasking Covid Claims: Scientific Review Challenges Claim that Masks Reduced Covid Transmissions

A new scientific review raises additional questions over the science behind the mask mandates imposed on the population for years. The new scientific review by  12 researchers from leading universities found little support for the claims that masks reduced Covid exposures.  My interest in the story, as usual, focuses on free speech. Numerous experts were suspended or banned for challenging these very claims and the media labeled any such critics as dangerous or fringe figures. Regardless of your ultimate conclusions on the efficacy of masks, there was clearly a scientific basis to challenge the mask policies. Yet, many people were routinely censored on Twitter and other platforms for daring to challenge the official position on masks.

The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) initially rejected the use of a mask mandate. However, the issue became a political weapon as politicians and the press claimed that questioning masks was anti-science and even unhinged. In April 2020, the CDC reversed its position and called for the masking of the entire population, including children as young as 2 years old.  The mask mandate and other pandemic measures like the closing of schools are now cited as fueling emotional and developmental problems in children.

The closing of schools and businesses was also challenged by some critics as unnecessary. Many of those critics were also censored. It now appears that they may have been right. Many countries did not close schools and did not experience increases in Covid. However, we are now facing alarming drops in testing scores and alarming rises in medical illness among the young.

Masks became a major social and political dividing line in politics and the media. Maskless people were chased from stores and denounced in Congress. Then-CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing that “face masks are the most important powerful health tool we have.”

However, the new publication reaffirms earlier studies and states that “a new scientific review suggests that widespread masking may have done little to nothing to curb the transmission of COVID.” It added that “wearing a mask may make little to no difference in how many people caught a flu-like illness/COVID-like illness (nine studies; 276,917 people); and probably makes little or no difference in how many people have flu/COVID confirmed by a laboratory test (six studies; 13,919 people).”

It also found little evidence of a difference from wearing better masks and that “wearing N95/P2 respirators probably makes little to no difference in how many people have confirmed flu (five studies; 8407 people); and may make little to no difference in how many people catch a flu-like illness (five studies; 8407 people), or respiratory illness (three studies; 7799 people).”

Again, I expect that these studies will be debated for years. That is a good thing. There are questions raised over the types of studies used and whether randomized studies are sufficient. The point is only that there were countervailing indicators on mask efficacy and a basis to question the mandates. Yet, there was no real debate because of the censorship supported by many Democratic leaders in social media. To question such mandates was declared a public health threat.

The head of the World Health Organization even supported censorship to combat what he called an “infodemic.”

A lawsuit was filed by Missouri and Louisiana and joined by leading experts, including Drs. Jayanta Bhattacharya (Stanford University) and Martin Kulldorff (Harvard University).

Bhattacharya previously objected to the suspension of Dr. Clare Craig after she raised concerns about Pfizer trial documents. Those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination.  Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.

The media has quietly acknowledged the science questioning mask efficacy and school closures without addressing its own role in attacking those who raised these objections. Even raising the lab theory on the origin of Covid 19 (a theory now treated as plausible) was denounced as a conspiracy theory. The science and health reporter for the New York Times, Apoorva Mandavilli,  even denounced the theory as “racist.”

In the meantime, California has moved to potentially strip doctors of their licenses for spreading dissenting views on Covid.

The latest review will not conclusively answer the scientific questions around mask efficacy, but it should answer any lingering questions over the harm of censorship. We never had a serious debate because of the government-corporate-media alliance to snuff out dissenting views on pandemic policies. The result may have been avoidable emotional, economic, and social harm to the population as a whole.

255 thoughts on “Unmasking Covid Claims: Scientific Review Challenges Claim that Masks Reduced Covid Transmissions”

  1. All of this hubbub for a virus that you have a 99.998% survival rate.
    What? Protect the vulnerable and let every one else go about their lives? Are you crazy? That sounds like common sense!

    I got COVID in Sept of 2020. Lasted about 3 days. I have had the flu that was worse.
    I just got over the common cold. It lasted 2 weeks.

    1. UF,

      I agree completely. I had covid and had a flu this past Thanksgiving. Flu was way worse and lasted way longer. Keep your vitamin D levels up and take zinc and covid is not a big deal.

      1. Jim22,
        I also attribute sunshine, fresh air as means to staying healthy. Something that the Branch COVIDians would scream in hysterics of being a spreader. Yeah, walking, exercise in general, allowing ones children to play at a park. IIRC a woman got arrested for that last one.

  2. Some of the science:
    High school girl running in a track meet, suddenly does a face plant just short of the finish line. She passed out. Why? She was wearing a mask.

    Wrestlers traditionally shake hands just before a match. They grip, grapple, sometimes face to face, breathing heavy under intense physical exercise as they try to pin each other to the mat. During the height of the height of COVID hysteria, they were no longer allowed to shake hands.

    When bars and restaurants were allowed to re-open, you still had to wear a mask when entering. Once you sat down, you could remove your mask. Somehow the virus was only transmittable at the entrance way. And, some how the virus stopped at 6ft. It could not go any further.

    Some governors mandated you had to eat something in order to be allowed to have a drink. Lot of wasted food.


    If we survive Biden’s WWIII, historians will look back and call the pandemic, “The Dark Years Where We Lost Our Common Sense.”

    1. UF,

      “historians will look back and call the pandemic, “The Dark Years Where We Lost Our Common Sense.””

      This assumes the trend of dumbing society stops. It’s hard to imagine a future society resembling anything with intelligence or common sense.

      1. Jim22,
        “It’s hard to imagine a future society resembling anything with intelligence or common sense.”

        French historian, Emmanuel Todd, who predicted the fall of the Soviet Union 14 years before it happened, recently said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper,

        “It is evident that the conflict, initially a limited territorial war, has evolved into a global economic confrontation between the whole West on one side, and Russia, backed by China, on the other. It has become a world war,”

        He also noted, “This is why we are now in an endless war, in a confrontation whose outcome must be the collapse of one or the other.”
        The one or the other would be the US and Russia.

        Good times!

  3. Can’t wait for the next round of vivid rules and regulations. Seniors who don’t get vaccinated will lose their social security. That’ll fix ya.

  4. CDC: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, not Control Prevention, although maybe that WOULD be more correct!
    Love your columns.

  5. Nothing but a security blanket for some and for those in power it’s about power and control. Orwelloian…… Obey!

    Life is risk. You can’t hid from a virus.

  6. Cognitive Retardation,

    I think it was a MD/Doc I heard the other day & thought yes, that describes many of them that remain in their cult unmoved.

    I’m telling everyone that the best info I have currently is that at least about 50% of the US Gen Pop no longer trust the “Industrial Medical Complex.

    AKA: The People Hate your Evil Azzes, your industry has Collapsed!

    They’re Done! Now that they know their Doc/Med Community has been Lying to them are they going to keep going back for more Lies???


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  7. There is no such thing as “the science.” Ask 20 scientists the same question on a particular date, and you will get multiple answers. Ask the same 20 scientists the same question at a later date and you will get even more answers. Only by establishing a setting in which scientists, in a never-ending process, exchange ideas and engage in vigorous debate can you obtain information useful for making a decision.

    1. The ABSOLUTE best thing to come from the covid virus is the “I believe in science” meme. LOL.

      As soon as you see anyone with one of those signs, stickers, or is actually mouthing the words, you know that you are dealing with an idiot – there is no, none, zero, deviance from that assessment (maybe the ones tricking the sheep into believing it are the exceptions).


  8. “Many of those critics were also censored. It now appears that they may have been right.”

    The left rarely censors anyone that is wrong. If being wrong was the criteria, we’d rarely hear from the left.

  9. I guess surgeons and staff do t have to wear masks when operating on a patient.

    It’s a hunk of cloth, not a political statement.

    1. The Cochrane systematic review updated its earlier reviews of RCTs. There was never any sound evidence that masks work. Fauci said as much in his private emails until the end of March 2020, and then inexplicably changed his view.

      Cochrane concludes that more and better RCTs are needed, since the level of certainty on the question is low to moderate. The current CDC head, however, rejected this view, saying there is no “equipoise” on the matter, meaning that “the science” is settled in favour of masks. This is patently absurd.

      The response to Covid has irretrievably damaged the credibility of the CDC, NIH, FDA and state and local authorities that followed their guidance to implement vaccine, mask and other mandates, and to close schools. A thorough Congressional investigation, making use of the questions prepared by the Norfolk Group, is badly needed. I doubt, however, that the House Republicans are capable of doing this.

    2. They do when they are operating on people, much like deep sea divers wear breathing apparatus when they dive deep into the oceans. But, like surgeons at Super Bowl parties (ask me how I know) and you when you’re in your swimming pool, particularly that shallow end, there is no need.

  10. The government followed the science, the Political Science. Medical science was not driving the policy. Not just masks but vaccine effectiveness and risks as well.

  11. advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandate

    This is the core of the discussion.

    The govt response to covid abandoned 150 years of known science. Protect the vulnerable. WHY? I have never heard Fauci answer that question.
    Occam’s razor leads us to a govt cabal that was testing their power. And the Courts told them, quite a lot of power. Enough power to suspend the rule of law and the Constitution. Guess what? the Government can force you not to worship. Strip you of the right to travel, Censor speech. Suspend/cancel contracts.

    1. Iowan2 there were a LOT of people were deemed vulnerable even those who didn’t think they were. When most people think “vulnerable” most focused on the elderly and these with certain respiratory ailments. There is no way to know who was vulnerable outside of those who had obvious issues. There were others who did not match any known vulnerability and still succumbed to covid. Doctors and scientists went extremely conservative in suggesting that everyone mask up and practice social distancing because they didn’t know at the time just how covid would affect the population as a whole. They were literally figuring things out as they went along. That is why they constantly changed recommendations and treatments. The best they could do is suggest the broadest possible prevention based on the information they knew at the time.

      Your overdramatic conclusions are exactly why so many people became so adamant against recommendations. It was ignorance and paranoia. Two problems that are exacerbated by the rampant spread of conspiracy theories and crackpot ideas.

      1. “Doctors and scientists went extremely conservative in suggesting that everyone mask up and practice social distancing…”

        Perhaps so, but the politicians were not, they were draconian. The politicians installed a faith-based political response to a health emergency it had little experience with and about half the population was AOK with blind conformity and the punishment of those that did not conform. It was a thought experiment and an exercise in police power…the left ate it up and still reflexively salivated when the opportunity to defend it arises. Unbelievable.

        1. Politicians were not invulnerable to paranoid reactions or opportunistic endeavors to make themselves look good in the eyes of their base. They often made pure political arguments just to make themselves look like they were challenging ‘big government’.

          1. LOL. They can make their base think what they are doing is good, regardless.

            “We’re against war” – yeah, you’re good; “We’re for war” – yeah, you’re good

            We’re for free speech, we’re for democracy, we’re for the people, we’re not crooks – the lefty people will believe anything as long as they think they can still have no accountability for their insane actions or that it hurts whitey (or both).

  12. The devout Branch COVIDians cult will never give up their crusade, no matter what the science says.
    They relish the censorship of those doctors and scientists who have the audacity to question their Saint, St Fauci as they lay with their noses to the floor in adoration.

  13. This whole column is misleading for several reasons. First Turley’s assertion that “ In April 2020, the CDC reversed its position and called for the masking of the entire population, including children as young as 2 years old.” That’s not accurate. The CDC initial rejected calls for masks when it was too early to tell if Covid was as highly infectious as it was claimed to be. It was not because they thought they would not be effective. The CDC never issued a mandate despite popular belief. They only issued recommendations that states ultimately chose to follow.

    Furthermore this review has not been peer reviewed and vetted by the larger scientific community. The Fox News article where this review was reported does not explicitly say that masks did not work or were no effective. It only says that masks MAY not have been effective or PROBABLY were not effective and those two words are all over the review. What is interesting is that the authors of the review admits there are limitations and issues with how they compared the data to come to their conclusion.

    “ However, Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, pointed out a key limitation: “The researchers focus primarily on randomized trials, but most of the studies that have been done on masks are population studies,” he said. “ There are very few randomized trials on masks.”. In a randomized trial, researchers place participants in different groups and observe the results in a controlled environment.

    By contrast, population-based studies measure outcomes in a “real-world” setting. The study authors did admit to some limitations and a risk of bias, including the low number of people who followed mask guidance and the wide variation of outcomes.

    “The results might change when further evidence becomes available,” they wrote.


    1. While it is true that more data is required, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that viral particle sizes are far, far smaller than the weave material on any mask. That is why when you see people treating Ebola patients they are in full sealed Level 3 containment suits.

      Bottom line is if you can breath through it, viruses are passing through it like it isn’t even there.

      1. The whole point of wearing a mask was that it would still prevent some particles and that becomes more effective, not 100%, but more effective than not wearing anything. The purpose was that wearing masks AND practicing social distancing decreased the chances exponentially for the particles to travel to someone else. A lot of people believed or assumed that masks prevented infection either 100% or at least somewhere around 90% by wearing the mask alone. That was never the purpose for wearing them. It was only to minimize as much as possible the spread even if it was only 30% it is still better than not wearing anything.

        1. I think b this point any randomized antibody test will show that essentially everybody has had it, so it’s time to drop any remaining requirements.

        2. The whole point of wearing a mask was to virtue signal you compliance with the dominant paradigm.

          The whole point was to see if the government could get away with gross abuse of its police power and if a significant portion of the sheeple would go along with it.

          1. Neil – you are right. But we can’t ignore the possibility that some people feel safer when they are being controlled. It is said that some animals feel safer, if not happier, inside cages rather than outside them.

          1. Jim22,

            “In 1897, a German scientist named Carl Flügge wrote a book called “Uber Luftinfection” — “Over the Air Infections.” He thought if you kept enough physical distance between people who are sick and those who are well, you can prevent the spread of germs.

            It was just a theory, one that scientists tried to test out using glass plates, and he came up with six feet.

            It wasn’t until we had high-speed photography in the early 1940s that scientists saw a sneeze, or cough or yell could send liquid droplets out three to six feet.

            A new study just published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases says three feet is enough as long as everyone is masked.“


            That’s where the measure comes from. However because it was an observed distance for a sneeze or talking it was determined it was the standard at the time. The new study made determined 3ft was enough. That is the minimum. Because they wanted to maintain be as cautious as possible they chose to stick to 6ft. It makes sense. Many scientists I think would have preferred something like 10 ft. But that would be impractical so they settled on a good medium at 6ft.

            1. Svelaz – The problem with the 3-6′ distancing standard is that after the virus is expelled into the air, it will remain there for a period of time. In a crowded store, for example, people will walk into that area where the virus is located.

    2. Svelaz is deep into the pedantry. Refuge of liars.
      Just flip the perspective.
      The CDC issues recommendations absent any scientific direction.

      Why does a federal agency full of scientists, and medical doctors make a recommendation on masks without scientific evidence? Then move on to the rest of the recommendations. All lacking the support of any scientific direction.

      1. Iowan2,

        “ Why does a federal agency full of scientists, and medical doctors make a recommendation on masks without scientific evidence? ”

        There IS scientific evidence. That’s why they recommend it. There’s a reason why surgeons wear masks during surgery. There’s a reason why people who deal with asbestos removal wear masks. People who live in polluted cities wear masks, etc. There is plenty of evidence.

        What you are not getting is that even N95 masks don’t completely stop a virus from penetrating the barrier that the mask provides. The 95 in the designation means its 95% effective against particles of a certain size. There was a clearly a shortage of N95 masks that the CDC would have preferred everyone would use, but obviously there was a severe shortage. So the next best thing is to recommend surgical masks or other masks that would limit as much as possible the transmission or the distance the virus would travel. The science was still there. Putting a any barrier between the virus and a person even if it were just 20% effective STILL has an effect. That is the point. That at least something is preventing some spread. Something is still better than nothing. Right? It allowed people to move in closer proximity than it would be if no mask was involved. Think about it. if people were not wearing a mask the social distance to effectively prevent or minimize transmission would need to increase to at least 10 to 15ft. Indoors that would be impossible. Right? There is also the factor of time you spend with someone. The longer you are talking the more you spread the virus to that person thru a mask that is only 20% effective. Does that make sense?

        1. SARS CoV 2 particle size is <0.1 micron
          Anthrax is 1.0- 7.0 microns
          lead dust 0.01- .0.7 microns

          N95 masks ~0.3 microns

          NO. In no way is 20% effective. It does not have any measurableeffect.

          What is effective?
          SARS has an R naught value of 4. So 20% effective means an R naught value of 3.2

          As always, you are too stupid to understand simple facts

          The CDC has been caught many times abandoning science to push a political message. Why would you defend them?

          1. AKA: A Fart through a chainlink fence! Lord help us, even a new pair of Levis won’t even stop a fart, (Panic), dear god, what are we to do about all those Illegal Bio-Chem Labs the US is Funding? lol

        2. I removed asbestos to get through college. We did not use N95’s. Theye were full PAPR units and you got test fitted.

          1. Jim22, asbestos consists of fibers a lot larger than a virus. N95’s would be overkill for asbestos removal. Paper masks and full coverings to prevent the fibers from getting on your clothing is what works. You CAN use an N95 if you chose to for asbestos removal. It doesn’t harm you, but its considered overkill for that task.

            1. Asbestos 0.7 – 9.0 microns.

              So no, not that much larger.

              Moot point because OSHA sets the standards, and N95 fall far short of those standards

            2. You do not know what you are talking about here. N95’s were never used in asbestos removal unless you were an idiot. We were not even allowed to use half face resporators since they did not seal around the nose. Full face positive pressure masks were the only safe choice in asbestos abatement.

  14. Good job Judge, I’m in the Lead Abatement industry and we all knew that the masks didn’t work. No one would listen?

    1. Sounds like you are needed near that courthouse. There is evidence of perhaps lead-based retardation.

  15. As we “conspiracy theorist” like to say: I Need New Conspiracies, Because All My Old Ones Were Proven True!!!

  16. The mask advocates will not be swayed by studies or facts, in general. In any event, preventing the spread of COVID was not the purpose of the masking mandates. Masking and other mandates were used to scare people so that they would get rhe vaccine and also to train them to obey without question. In short, money and power.

  17. t seems most everyone is now completely frozen & can not move to even save themselves or their families, Zombies, they are it seems.

    Here’s How Vaxx Tyrants Could Face Military Tribunals — Todd Callender Interview



    Feb 12, 2023
    Man in America
    Man in America

    Join me for an important interview with attorney Todd Callender.


  18. If people weren’t scientifically illiterate, they’d KNOW that a mask does nothing to protect people from a virus that is literally everywhere. If this virus has accomplished nothing else, it’s shown a spotlight on the failure of education in America when it comes to science.

    1. If people weren’t scientifically illiterate, they’d KNOW that a mask does nothing to protect people from a virus
      I was in University of Iowa Hospitals last week. A Guard at the door assures compliance with mandatory mask.
      I guess the the bosses at a Nationally prominent teaching hospital is scientifically illiterate.

      1. I don’t mean to be snarky. Just pointing out this is driven FROM the most educated among us. Not illiterates, by any definition
        Its important to get the target right is you are going to try to fix something

        1. Generally speaking, hospital administrators are trained in business administration, which is about as far from any science — including medical science — as it’s possiible to get. Even if one had scientific training, they’d be under enormous pressure from insurance people and politicians to project an image of safety even when it does no good.

          If there’s one thing a hospital administrator spends more time on than anything else (besides assessing profits), my guess is that it’s medical malpractice lawsuits and how to avoid them. Last time I checked — which was before the pandemic got rolling — medical malpractice was the third leading cause of death in America, behind only heart disease and cancer — and that’s after spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to dodge liability.

          1. , they’d be under enormous pressure from insurance people and politicians to project an ima
            So you found your problem. What is your solution? Screaming into the wind is not the solution.
            The CDC, NIH, and WHO are the SCIENTISTS making the recommendations, all other scientists used to absolve themselves any of responsibility. “I was just following orders.”

            BTW Hospital are run by admin, but Directors of medicine set the rules. Iowa Public Health standards originate at the UofI Hospitals, Shool of Public Health. Their mask mandates are the work of People with education and experience in virology.

            All I was pointing out, the problem is not the general population’s lack of science education. WHO. CDC, NIH, among dozen’s more Government agencies are the problem.

            Focus on the problem

            The frustrating part. with all this being exposed, the Gell.Mann Amnesia Effect is in full force. Get people to understand the Govt has been lying about Covid for 3 years, and they hear the next story about shooting down Objects over the US skies and all is under control and the same people STILL BELIEVE the govt account of the facts. They still believe Trump had classified documents, they still believe EVERYTHING the FBI claims.

            1. “The CDC, NIH, and WHO are the SCIENTISTS”

              LOL LOL LOL — Stop it, you’re killing me. Those agencies are all 90% political. You insult people’s intelligence to suggest otherwise.

              1. You insult people’s intelligence to suggest otherwise.

                Yes the Scientists are pushing a political agenda. But you started out blaming the education level of the general population. What exactly are you going to do when you tire of screaming into the wind?

      2. It amazes me how quickly they back down. When I told my primary care office to cancel all future checkups until they drop this ridiculous requirement, it wasn’t 10 minutes before the doctor called me back to tell me not to worry about it.

    2. When a viral particle is far smaller than it needs to be to slip through a mask, even an N95 or whatever, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see marking as perforrmative. I wore them, mostly, to complay with store-owners wishes, and the law, when that was part of it. I never thought it would protect me, or others (much, if at all) – for that, social distancing made more sense.

      And, you know, a little research was all it took. I have a GED and one college semester, but I can look things up, and do the basic math. The virus was too small to make masks anything sensible.

      1. I didn’t. I refused to participate in the hygiene Kabuki Theater. We found an entire network of stores, restaurants, and even bars that refused to enforce mandates and that was who we patronized.

        1. I live in a very small town. With the only supermarket in a 30-mile radius. There was no network of non-mask venues to shop in here – college town, a blue dot in a red county. Lots of people from away – I don’t think the born locals (whoch group does not include me) would have enforced much, from what I saw of no masking in other towns. Except the governor was strict for a while, not very long, and dropped the legal mandate. But no food-service establishment here allowed unmasked patrons for quite a while longer. – even food trucks. And I complied with their preference, partially because they are good folks, if over-accepting of misinformation, and partly because there were no alternatives.

          1. All of the rules basically destroyed our business, so we had a lot of time on our hands to drive around. Some of the places we found were close to 100 miles away, so it took a lot of extra driving, but I refuse to fund anyone who played along.

            1. That means you were also posing a risk to other communities if you were infected. That’s why this was a problem with folks that were adamant about not wearing a mask. You posed a risk of spreading it more to others.

              1. The sooner we reached herd immunity the better off we all were. It was ridiculous to panic over a disease that had a 0.26% mortality rate to begin with.

                1. You don’t reach herd immunity by wantonly letting millions to die in the process so you can feel safer about yourself. That’s not how it works.

                  1. One has to think intelligently and that means your comment missed the mark. The damage done by the lockdowns including schools was damage and death that could have been prevented. There should have been very little if anything that was mandatory. Voluntary isolation by the old and sick, leaving the rest of the population to carry on in a reasonably normal fashion, would probably have saved lives in the long term and preserved the economy.

              2. That means you were also posing a risk to other communities if you were infected.

                You toss about terms with no meaning. ‘Risk’. I’m not infected. What risk do I pose? To who? Risk of WHAT? Becoming infected? But for a small subsection of people, being infected causes no problem, so no risk. IF you are in that defined group, you are the one responsible for your own safety and need to stay away from people. Not the other way around. They way we have handled viruses for centuries.
                We were in one of he big box stores. Saw an elderly couple, both with oxygen bottles. The Store required masks. That couple should not have been out in public, but it was their choice. I am not responsible for stupid people.

                1. Iowan2,

                  “You toss about terms with no meaning. ‘Risk’. I’m not infected. What risk do I pose? To who? Risk of WHAT? Becoming infected?”

                  A lot of people were not showing symptoms or felt sick but were still infected. Just because someone was feeling fine didn’t mean they posed a risk of infecting others without knowing they were infected. THAT was the risk. The virus could still travel through a host and show no symptoms. Those who didn’t know were unknowingly spreading it to others. Most never knew they were infected until they tested positive for antibodies meaning they had it while never experiencing the effects. That’s why it was important for everyone to wear a mask even when symptoms were not present. Remember this was being suggested when scientist were still gaining information as the virus progressed.

                  1. they posed a risk of infecting others

                    Now we get somewhere. The risk of infecting others is negligable. Non factor for over 99.9 of the population.

                    That means the focus to protect well being and life MUST focus on those vulnerable.

                    1. “The risk of infecting others is negligable.”

                      That’s false. It was a high risk and the hospitalizations and they high number of deaths every month were not a sign of the risk of infection being “negligible”

                      “That means the focus to protect well being and life MUST focus on those vulnerable.”

                      That didn’t include those who were obviously vulnerable. There were those who didn’t consider themselves among that group who did end up dying or hospitalized. You can’t focus on “protecting the most vulnerable” when you only focus on the obvious ones while there are others who were equally vulnerable but unaware.

                      It was a factor for everyone. Assuming that 99% were not going one affected is not based on science. You are assuming it based on what? Claims from facebook and YouTube? News? Or just a hunch?

                2. “I am not responsible for stupid people.”

                  No, but you ARE responsible for making sure that YOU are not contributing to the spread of the virus to others. Because if you are infected and don’t realize it, YOU are responsible for making someone else sick. Masking up and observing social distancing allows you to minimize the chances of YOU infecting others while you are free to be about. it’s about a bit of responsibility on your part.

                  1. No where is it written that I am responsible for your health and well being.
                    IF I were, every single American would only spend 2 hours a day in front of a computer screen, kids would not be allowed any kind of smartphone till they were 18, everyone would walk 3 miles a day, highly processed food would be illegal and so would smoking.
                    You take a risk every time you get out of bed from a multitude of things. You dont want to take a risk of something like COVID? Stay in your house, wear a mask, have all your food delivered and wrap yourself in bubble wrap.

                  2. Really?

                    So if I have, i dunno, say AIDS, I have some sort of responsibility for not contributing to the spread…Is that what you believe?

                    The state of CA believes different.

                  3. No, but you ARE responsible for making sure that YOU are not contributing to the spread of the virus to others
                    Nope, not going to happen. It is unknown in the world of Public Health to depend on directing the action of the masses to benefit those at risk.

                    That’s why the CDC should have come up with a scoring value for Co-morbidities. 1 point for every 5 years over 50, 1 point for every 30 pounds overweight. 1 point for being black, etc. Then people would understand their risk.
                    Instead the govt gave people a false sense of security, by pretending mitigation processes were effective.

                  4. “Because if you are infected and don’t realize it . . .”

                    And you might be an arsonist, and not realize it. Therefore you must wear a straitjacket — while, of course, being “free to be about.”

      2. It was not just the size that matters but the concentration of the virus. The concentration of the virus in a single droplet of water greatest varies from person to person. The whole point of wearing masks was to limit the amount of droplets that cold be spread. A mask that would have been only 20% effective is still a better alternative than 0% effectiveness of not wearing one at all. Couple that with social distancing and two people wearing a mask and the effectiveness increases exponentially. That was the whole point of recommending everyone wear one. It was not to completely prevent the spread. It was to limit it as much as possible.

          1. It was a recommendation. States were the ones who had the choice to follow it. There were states that chose not to and let private businesses to decide for themselves.

            1. Look, I get it, you are good for business here, getting the rabble roused and engorging page hit numbers, but come on. Today may be your worst effort in years.

              There were no federal covid mandates, none for masks or vaccines? When you got on an airplane as a pilot or a traveler, there were no Federal laws affecting you? If you ran a business with a bunch of employees, you were only dealing with State laws where you operated.

              Look, just freaking STOP. You are wrong about this, you are wrong about the science, you are wrong about the intent, and you are wrong about the efficacy of all of it.

      3. Thank you so much for your perspective, Ellen. I apologize for reacting so harshly to you initially; it’s just that the trolls here are absolutely relentless. The folks on this thread have myriad opinions, but I think we are mostly on board with the fact that our Constitution is a thing that we believe in, and we address the topics as such. I am not a lawyer. My wife is a graduate of CUNY law and clerked for judges in NYC. That is how I discovered Professor Turley. Don’t know how you came to find this forum, and I would never presume to speak on behalf of our hosts, but I hope you find a place to share your honest thoughts. We all appreciate the dialogue, and at times, even the polemic. And rest assured Darren, the mod, sees everything. He does not censor, even in extremes of vitriol. It all gets posted, so use your voice wisely, as the rest of us do.

    3. Ralph, people ARE scientifically illiterate. They also didn’t understand that masks were NEVER meant to be 100% effective. They were never meant to fully contain the spread. People got that idea from others who were just as scientifically illiterate who knew no better.
      Masks were a means to limit as much as possible the spread of the virus. Most masks were at best 30 to 40% effective however social distancing and hand washing and limiting the time interacting with others AUGMENTED the effectiveness of masks. That was the whole point of recommending that everyone wear one. It was to try to limit the spread as much as possible, it was not meant to stop completely stop the spread. The more people ignored the recommendations the less effective the limitation of the masks were on those who did. Two people wearing a mask spaced six feet apart had a much greater chance of not getting infected than only one being masked. The virus travels thru water droplets that are reduced when one person is exhaling thru a mask. Without one, exhaling increases the number of droplets being expelled into the surrounding air making the person who is wearing a mask that is only 30 to 40% effective still be vulnerable to the greatest concentration possible.

      1. The virus lingers in the air, thereby getting on people’s clothing. It accumlates on surfaces. It accumulates on shelves and boxes at the supermarket, etc., and only dies out after some period of time unless the surface is cleaned. You’d literally have to let people into a supermarket one at a time, and wipe down the entire store between customers, to keep the virus from spreading to everyong that shops at a supermarket — which I would guess is upwards of 90% or more of the population. And that’s just supermarkets — not counting gas stations, post offices, schools, etc — places that almost everyong has to visit or is close to someone who has to visit those places.

        In other words, the virus was everywhere. Wearing a mask might help a person avoid getting it for a day or two, but it would NEVER help ANYONE avoid the virus for very long. Most people, it turns out, were healthy enough not to be susceptible to the virus and got it with no noticeable symptoms.
        People living normal lives could no more escape the virus than they could escape eating or breathing or occasionally getting a cold or the flu.

        1. “ The virus lingers in the air, thereby getting on people’s clothing.”

          It lingers in the air for a limited time. It is only absorbed thru breathing not thru the skin. It certainly was present in people’s hands when they touch surfaces and that’s why they recommended washing your hands every time you touch something and not touch your face or pick your nose. You wouldn’t have to wipe down the store every time someone would go in. Thats why there’s hand sanitizers and hand washing.

          “ Most people, it turns out, were healthy enough not to be susceptible to the virus and got it with no noticeable symptoms.”

          It’s not the lack of symptoms or mild effects that healthier people got. There’s still the problem of spreading it to others while you don’t feel sick. THAT is why you were strongly suggested to wear a mask and maintains social distancing. The “healthy” person not feeling sick was still infected and had the capacity to spread it. A lack of symptoms did not mean you could not spread it. Those walking around ‘feeling fine’ not needing to wear a mask were effectively spreading it more freely. That is what authorities were trying to limit.

          People living normal lives could no more escape the virus than they could escape eating or breathing or occasionally getting a cold or the flu.”

          They couldn’t because they were spreading it to others who would end up in the hospital and the ICU. The whole point was to prevent that much as possible. But obviously hospitals were overwhelmed by patients who were infected by those who had the attitude that healthy folks didn’t have to wear masks because their own experience was not serious enough to consider others who may be more vulnerable

          1. They couldn’t because they were spreading it to others who would end up in the hospital and the ICU.

            Jay Walkers keep getting hit while in the street. The way to protect them is remove the cars from the street.

            The vulneralble are the jay walkers. They are the ones that need to change their behavior.

            1. Iowan2, your analogy sucks. Just because you are a jaywalker doesn’t mean drivers don’t have to stop for them. You’re still injuring or killing the jaywalker because YOU decided that the law did not apply to you. Right? You are the driver who chooses to drive on the road regardless of what ‘jaywalkers’ do. You would still be charged with manslaughter or vehicular assault for hitting one. Meaning you are still responsible for YOUR actions.

              1. NO. The law controls the Jay Walker.
                Drivers only get charged if the had time to avoid but did not. There is no charge for unavoidabley hitting a person, not in a crosswalk.
                Motor vehicle law mandate pedestrians always have the right of way. But they still write and enforce jay walking. Also ban pedestrians from controlled access highways.

                My point is solid. Write the laws and recommendations for the vulnerable minority.

      2. Two people wearing a mask spaced six feet apart had a much greater chance of not getting infected than only one being masked.
        All you do is repeatedly make stuff up. There is zero supporting science to support the statement.

        I remember back to the very beginning, with the total shutdown. The purpose was to “flatten the curve”
        That was in reference to a graph of the number of daily hospitalizations over a 4 week period. The goal was to reduce the PEAK (total hospitalized per day) and spread it our over longer time. “flatten the curve”
        What that meant, the area under the line (hospitalizations) was EXACTLY the same over time, as doing nothing. No reduction in illness or death.

        That was the first tell, the govt knew all along NOTHING was going to effect the spread of the virus…..not a surprise for respiratory viruses throughout History.

      1. More likely that the idiot telling you doc to wear the mask is scientifically illiterate or more concerned with the ‘feelings’ of the highly propagandized population.

        1. Possible. But the one of the partners in the practice does not. The practice as a whole does not require the use of masks by patients outside of those feeling “ill”. We had the mask/virus conversation back when this (COVID) kicked off, he is not doing it to give me a warm fuzzy, he is doing it for his patients well-being.

          1. So your PCP is suggesting that only people who “feel ill” carry the virus and/or are contagious?

            1. Which Standard Precautions and Transmission-Based Precautions should I advise my PCP he is wasting his time on, because rando internet guy who was not involved in our conversation knows more than the PCP does about his practice and level of care decisions. No points for the semantics gymnastics.

              1. Is it your job to advise your PCP ?

                Most of us make our own decisions and our PCP is one of the sources we consult – not the other way around.

                Many of us have chosen to become incredibly knowledgeable about Covid.
                That is not uncommon for high profile issues.

                In most any field an intelligent person can do their own research and be as knowledgeable if not more on one facet of that field than the “experts”. What they can not do is become expert on the entire field. What even most “experts can not do is become expert in not only their field but all other fields impacted by a specific issue.

                What almost none of us can do is magically attain the SKILLS – not knowledge to Practice as an expert in a given field.

                Most anyone can use the internet to accurately diagnose most anything – given an accurate list of symptoms.

                Few of us can for example in a few minutes learn to use a stethescope to make subtle distinctions of different heart or breath sounds that identify some symptoms.

                This is true whether we are talking about medicine or plumbing.

                1. Is it your job to advise your PCP ? Sorry, I thought it was obviously rhetorical, I shall endeavor to add an /rh tag. I do agree with the rest. Skeptical of independent research without peer review. Too easy to succumb to confirmation bias.

                  1. “Is it your job to advise your PCP ?”

                    The answer is yes. Your PCP might be an expert based on his training, but that doesn’t mean he is always correct. It is a give-and-take situation where the final decision is in the hands of the patient. The PCPs have not been trained about Covid since they were out of medical school when Covid arrived. If they used their training they would have strongly questioned masks and isolation for most of the population because they would have used their previous knowledge to assess how to treat Covid. Even Fauci treated respiratory viral infections differently before Covid and after a short period of time, he should have acted accordingly.

                    Do you think the flu (Influenza or the Spanish Flu) is that much different?

                    The medical experts in NYC put Covid Positive patients back in nursing homes killing many. Do you think the families pleading to separate their parents from Covid patients was poor advice to the doctors?

                    1. Well, the original rhetorical question was specific to Standard Precautions and Transmission-Based Precautions and their inefficiency based upon a random internet expert with no peer review, and no, I’m not going to contradict the CDC based upon some chaos agent on the internet. I have an excellent fact-based relationship with my PCP.

                      My state requires physicians to undergo 80 CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits every two years. If you wish to believe COVID protocols are not continually included and updated, I don’t know what to tell you.

                    2. The Great Barrington Declaration and many other things banned from Twitter were correct. There was no need to censor. We don’t need peer review on something like Twitter. Even in medical journals, peer review can cause consensus-type thinking, which doesn’t advance knowledge.

                      “I’m not going to contradict the CDC based upon some chaos agent on the internet.”

                      You don’t have to, and you can defer to your PCP. I think it wise to take one’s physician’s advice seriously.

                      “My state requires physicians to undergo 80 CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits every two years. If you wish to believe COVID protocols are not continually included and updated, I don’t know what to tell you.”

                      That isn’t much and can be junk, especially if they got their credits listening to the CDC on Covid, which provided the wrong information.

                      Good physicians are well trained and continuously study, but the best listen to the patient and find value in what the patient says and thinks.

                    3. So if we remove medical journal peer review as promoting consensus thinking, what is the standard to be applied? If the CDC is junk, who should be the lead agency? Seems unworkable.

                    4. I didn’t call for the end of peer review. Bhattacharya and many other great physicians and researchers were censored, so their opinions could never be heard.

                      These opinions made sense and were consistent with the prior treatment of respiratory viruses. Why would you want to prevent them from being heard? I don’t think that is your desire.

                    5. Safeside, there is no need to apologize. I find your responses on this blog well-grounded and worthwhile. There will always be some peer review as journals need to determine which articles to include, hospitals need to determine what is permissible, and money flows to a selected individual. If alternative voices are permitted elsewhere, we can accept some of the problems associated with peer review even though it is overdone.

                      Money is the problem because the government can fund groups to prove masks necessary while depriving such funding for those who show them harmful. That can lead to many studies providing sources in articles based on government peer reviews. Take note Estovir equates the number of citations as a strong indicator of articles likely true.

                  2. Peer review is WORSE than worthless it drives science towards herd mentalitity. Peer review especially today enhances confirmation bias, rather than diminishing it.

                    The most significant problem within many fields of science today is the lock that the leaders within each field have on that field. We have seen numerous instances where it has taken 20-40 years for studies that challenge the status quo to even get serious consideration, before proving ultimately to be right. This problem is not limited to one field.

                    A cooperative project among several universities has found that of thousands of scientific papers they tested, 1/3 are flat out wrong – the results are way off what the paper claims. 1/3 have results that are not statistically significant.
                    And only about 1/3 of all papers actually have reproducable results.

                    Psychology has been in particular upheaval as major works dating back to the 50’s that are taught even in HS psychology classes have been found NOT to be reproducable.

                    I think that the Smithsonian has given up trying to update the Ascent of man exhibit as after 40 years of lockin the dam has finally broken and everything is changing all at once.

                    I nobel in Crystalography Physics was recently awarded over work done in the 70’s that was laughed at for decades because it was at odds with the work of the leading physicists in the area.

                    It is currently estimated that the half life of knowledge is 15 years. That means that 1/2 of everything you know to be true will prove false in the next 15 years.

                    That is a valuable construct to understand. It means that our understanding of the world changes rapidly – which is good.
                    It means the rate of knew knowledge is large – also good. But it also means that science gets it wrong alot – which is also important to understand. It further means that what has been known to be true for a long time is the least likely to change, because that has been the most well tested.

                    The only ACTUAL standard of science is reproduceablilty.

                    1. Noted, well presented. In general, agree with the data introduced. No offense intended, if peer review is worse than worthless, what is the solution?

                    2. Publishers must require scientific papers to include sufficient data and accurate description of methods for anyone to independently verify the results.

                      That in some form was the standard of science up until approximately the 80’s.

                      What constitutes valid science is not determined by concensus. It is determined by verifiability and reproduceability.

                      This is the “scientific method” – what used to be taught even in elementary science classes.

                      Science like everything else will always have elements of politics and confirmation bias.
                      These are unavoidable.

                      The world is not perfect, and will never be.

                      We should ALWAYS be suspicious of those – in science or anything that claim to have an answer that solves all probles and has no negative impacts.

                      Reality is 2 steps forward one step back – on a good day.

                      We have periodic quantum leaps as a result of rare inspiration, but most progress is iterative refinement.
                      I am not writing specifically about Science here – but EVERYTHING.

                      This is also why Government must be limited. Government is nearly immune to iterative refinement processes.

                      Government is the worst way to accomplish anything – including science, that you can accomplish ANY other way.

                    3. “Publishers must require scientific papers to include sufficient data and accurate description of methods for anyone to independently verify the results.”

                      I want to start with pharmaceutical companies. If they do a study for FDA approval, it should be necessary for them to document it with the FDA. That prevents them from waiting until they find one that works to their advantage.

                      If they produce a me-too drug for distribution, they should add a gold-standard drug to the mix to see how the drugs compare.

                      Time-release generics should be compared with the gold standard so that the release times are identical.

                      Lots more, but I don’t think our approval process is looking for the patient’s benefit.

                    4. Just get rid of the FDA – they are useless.

                      I finnished Dopesick and was thoroughly unimpressed.

                      While there does appear to be some evidence that Purdue misrepresented OxyContin to the harm of Ordinary users – even after you deflate the shows MASSIVE Bias, that is easily addressed by Torts.

                      While again the show i sup to its neck in SPIN, It is still reasonably evident that the FDA did more harm than good.

                      Regardless, the point is that the FDA serves no useful function. They have botched food, they have botched drugs, they have botched covid.

                      Just to be clear – that does not mean I trust “big Pharma” – I just trust markets to regulate them far better than government.

                      One of the great things about torts is that the people harmed have to make THEIR case in court.

                      One of the most critical OcyContin issues – not adequately addressed in the show was what was the odds of a person taking the drug as perscribed ending up addicted ?

                      That is clearly a case for Torts.

                      In a tort case – Purdue would be looking to prove that the person harmed by OxyContin had abused it.
                      And the plantif would be seeking to prove that they became addicted while using the drug as perscribed.

                      Purdue loses if the it appears to a jury that the later is true, and wins if it is not.

                      I did come away from the show under the impression that OxyContin was a good attempt – that failed.
                      The concept o fa delayed release narcotic for pain is not unreasonable.

                      Also un addressed by the Show is that after Purdue was pillaged by the government and forced into bankruptcy and the Sackler family driven out of ownership and ….

                      OxyContin is still on the market – though Doctors are more frequently perscribing OxyCodone – which is OxyContin without the patented time release function.

                      I have taken OxyCodone Once in several decades – literally exactly one pill after surgery. have had it perscribed just about every time I have had any surgery – even minor surgery.

                      Clearly Opiates are still being used as pain meds fairly frequently.

                      That said DopeSick also paints a false picture that the groups lobbying the FDA and others to be less restrictive in handling Narcotics were exclusively Sackler Funder Shills.

                      There is and has been a war going on over Narcotics for a long time.
                      At various moments we have have over perscribed them as well as seriously restricted them.

                      There should be pretty much no restrictions on
                      the use of narcotics for the terminally ill.

                      There should be very few limits on their use for people with chronic pain.
                      That tends to get subjective – but that is why we leave individuals in control of their own lives.

                      One thing DopeSick touched on briefly – while downplaying was that Ultimately Oxy is far more expensive than Heroine.

                      If you want to abuse a narcotic – Oxy is a pretty expensive way to get high.

                      Continuing on Dopesick.

                      One of the arguments they try to make is that there is a revolving door between regulators and industry.

                      DUH ?

                      Obviously that is a problem.
                      The cause – beyond the mere fact of regulation, is that the same people qualified t be regulators, are those qualified for important jobs in the industries they regulate.

                      The most stupid thing we can do – something Obama and Biden have done in some domains.
                      Is put people who do not know $hit about the industry they are regulating.

                      Trump moved BLM and I beleive the Dept of Agriculture out of washington – specificaly into the communities they regulate.

                      This had a positive impact. If you are going to regulate farmers and ranchers you should have to live in the communities effected by what you do.

                      Those in the EPA regulating Coal should have to live in Apalachia.

                      Now Biden is tryin to move them back to DC – where they will be as far as possible from the mess they are making.

                      Absolutey it is a problem having a revolving door between government and industry – in many ways.
                      It is also in Big Businesses interest to screw small and medium business and that is often exactly what happens too.

                      Why is there no such thing as little Pharma ? or Medium Pharma ?
                      The answer is THE FDA.

                    5. “Just get rid of the FDA – they are useless.”

                      The FDA is not impressive, but we must remember that each addition to the government has entanglements. Among other things, there is a linkage between the FDA and Medicare, so it is not just getting rid of the FDA.

                      “evidence that Purdue misrepresented OxyContin”

                      I cannot measure the amount of guilt if any. However, if we are worried about death or injury from Oxycontin, it behooves us to worry about the drugs coming over the southern border. The government likes their prosecutorial power but refuses to deal with a far worse situation, our southern border.

                    6. If you wish to address an even bigger picture:

                      End the FDA and get government entirely out of the business of deciding what food or drugs we take.

                      The war on Drugs – like prohibition was doomed from the start.

                      End the drug war and these problems take care of themselves.
                      We will still have drug adicts – possibly even a slightly larger number.
                      We will still have overdoses.
                      We will still have trade in drugs – though that trade will be legal, and we will rapidly end nearly all the violence associated with it.

                      I doubt that Fentanyl will continue to be a problem – because it is not the drug of choice for addicts. It is the drug of choice for drug dealers, because it is produced in a lab, and it is incredibly potent, and therefore can be transported easily and then cut dramatically for users.

                      Most opiate addicts greately prefer heroine.

                      Confine law enforcement to thwarting the sale of drugs to minors.

                      I have addressed our souther border before.

                      The US will have a demographic problem – similar to that of europe, though not as severe absent atleast 2M new immigrants each year.

                      While I absolutely support “building a wall” – thousands of people flooding over the border wherever they please is anarchy.

                      I also absolutely support enforcing the law that currently exists.
                      While we change that law.

                      I do not think in the current political environment rational change is possible.

                      But the FACT is that we need greater immigration.

                      My vision is that anyone can come here so long as they can get someone to sponsor them – where sponsorship is actually meaningful.
                      Where it means actually taking responsibility for the person you sponsor.
                      For housing them, for getting them a job, for providing them with medical care.

                      The hope and expectation is that they will quickly be able to do that themselves.
                      Regardless, it is nto the duty of government – or the rest of us to assure that happens.

                      I do not care if sponsor are individuals, or churches of other non-profits, or businesses.
                      I do not care if they sponsor people from “$hithole countries” or wherever.
                      I do not care if wealthy people or even those of moderate income sponsor Venezeualan nannies, or gardeners or whatever.
                      Only that they are responsiblefor them.

                      Let the market decide where people come from.

                      But I doubt that will happen.
                      More likely we will double the number of legal immigrants while dramatically reducing illegal immigration.

                      Congress will fight over where those additional legal immigrants come from.

                      It would be quite easy for the US to double the number of immigrants from southeast asia.

                      But I do not mostly care.

                    7. In case it was not completely clear – I am not really interested in a debate about how the FDA should work.

                      FDA does not work. It can not work. Best to get rid of it. ‘

                      I do not trust Big Pharma or Big business or little business.

                      But I do trust the free market. And the backstop is Torts – not regulators.

                      If you cause actual harm to others – including as part of free exchange – such as by misrepresenting your product.
                      Then you are liable for the damages you do.

                      I want judges and juries returning damages to Victims.
                      I do not want US attorney’s or State AG’s lining government coffers with money from lawsuits that are purportedly to help “victims”.

                    8. John, it makes no difference whether or not the FDA exists. There are methods to determine the effectiveness and dangers of pharmaceuticals.

                      It is not as easy as you make it sound to determine injury to a customer or to gather the evidence for a trial.

                    9. I am not debating whether the Government agencie called the FDA should exist.
                      But whether the Government has any role in Food and Drugs at all.

                      Absolutely there are non-Government means to address food and drug quality and efficacy.

                      UL does this for Electrical equipment.
                      Good Housekeeping has done this for other consumer products for years.

                      Then there is torts.

                      The advantage to a private certification process is that the certification has no value if it is just a rubber stamp for big business.
                      It is in the interests of producers for private certification standards to be meaningful.

                      Compliance with private standards already is a powerful affirmative defense in Torts cases.

                      But consumers will not buy certified goods – if the certification means nothing.
                      And producers will not seek certification if it means nothing.

                      Let me explain this a different way – the process of assuring product quality – food, drugs, toys, …. is a PRODUCT itself.

                      Each of us does not want to research every item we purchase.

                      Even today we have a less formal process that does the same thing – using internet “influencers” .

                      I rant alot here about “trust”.

                      Trust is itelf a product.

                      Those of us who in some domain establish a reputation for being trustworthy
                      can sell our advise.

                      Essentially that is all a doctor or other professional is.
                      A person with domain expertise that we pay for advice and services because we TRUST them.

                      We periodically debate “burden of proof” here.

                      In formal logic – the burden of proof is on those making the argument – and only pure logic is part of that debate.
                      Only provable assertions and logical steps that conform to one of the approx 20 rules of formal logic.
                      Trust does not matter at all. Following the rules of logic is all that matters.

                      But very little argument is formal logic. First we make assertions that we take on Trust.
                      No one is required to prove that 1 + 1 = 2.

                      Appeals to authority are a common fallacy – yet we actually rely on them all the time.
                      Our debate about our institutions right now is at its core a debate over whether The media, Government entities remain as accepted authorities – to what extent do we trust them in the future.

                      The rise of independent journalism – the rise of Locals, and Substack and Tablet and Quilette and verious alternate sources of news separate from the MSM is all about Trust. The entire value of Gleen Greenwalds independent journalism rests on the extent to which people consider him Trustworthy. Just as the value of the NYT rests on the extent that people consider them trustworthy.

                      When we here that CNN’s ratings are down, their revenue is down – that means people have lost Trust in them.

                      The left is playing stupid games over censorship and misinformation.

                      We already have a perfectly good system in place for censorship and handling misinformation.

                      We choose not to listen to those we do not trust. That is self censorship.

                      To the extent we perform that task well – we survive and thrive.
                      If we do so poorly we do badly.

                    10. “whether the Government has any role in Food and Drugs at all.”

                      One of the problems we have when looking toward the perfect is that new things complicate problems that were previously easier to solve. That is what we face today. Pull out one thing, and everything else falls.

                      I have long believed that the community will develop its certification methods based on need. However, the community entwined itself into a giant ball that cannot be unentangled merely by pulling at both ends. That is where we differ. I dislike the FDA and believe they do a poor job, but because of entanglements, ridding ourselves of it means we have to work backward.

                    11. This is not about the pursuit of perfection. Free markets are never perfect.
                      They are just nearly always the best we can actually do.

                      The FDA does a poor job – because it is part of govenrment and therefore inevitably will do a poor job.

                      Look at the mess we have made of public education.

                      Contra most peoples beleifs it is actually quite hard to get things right when you can print your own money, use force to get what you want, and are nearly unanswerable.

                      Getting things right in government is not merely hard – it is impossible.
                      Which is why we only alot to government those tasks that can not be accomplished without FORCE.

                      To a significant extent your argument with me devolves to means.

                      You prefer to undo government failures slowly – in small steps.

                      If that actually worked there could be interesting discussion.
                      But we have a long history of government reform efforts.
                      The most successful have been the most radical.

                      The USSR colapsed and because a collection of free market democracies – almost overnight.
                      Universally the worst outcomes were those like Russia that dalied the longest. It is not accident that some portions of the former Soviet Union became oligarchies and others became throiving democracies. The difference is entirely rooted in how swiftly they acted.

                      At the Collapse of the USSR the Russian Duma debated all the same changes that took place in Poland and other Warsaw Pact countries.
                      The difference is that Poland acted quickly while Russia acted slowly and Former Party Aparatiches became Future Oligarchs.

                      In the US we have eliminated govenrment agencies with very little disruption – and always short lived.
                      But efforts to just scale back really turned into nothing more than a slowed rate of advance.

                      If incrementalism actually worked – I would be all for it.
                      It does not.
                      That is not a debate about perfection vs. pragmatism.
                      It is one between what works and what does not.

                      Reduce the size and power of the FDA to 1/10th what it is currently – and all you accomplish is delaying the moment in which it reaches twice the power it curently has.

                    12. My comment was not about the pursuit of perfection. The FDA does a lousy job, and it is getting worse. It needs severe curtailment or elimination, but the problem is when you stack dominoes to the ceiling, you can’t remove the bottom one first. You have to remove them one by one starting at the top and moving to the base.

                      Your Russia example is bad.

                    13. Or take them all down at once.

                      There is nothing wrong with the Russian example. nor is it unique to Russia.

                      You can pretty much look at the modern state of the countries in the former soviet union and KNOW how quickly they embraced free markets after the fall of the USSR.

                      The root of all the ranting about the corruption in Ukraine is that Like Russia itself Ukraine lagged in tearing down their Societ system and restoring free markets quickly.

                      This is also why I am not conservative.

                      The core principle of conservatism is “go slowly” – and while that proposition has alot of merit, the EVIDENCE is that it is not universal.

                      Reverting to or adopting rapidly and in large steps most steps towards greater freedom – particularly those alreayd know to work has UNIVERSALLY worked far better than doing so slowly or incrementally.

                      The failure that conservatism seeks to protect us from is the failure that is inherent in steps towards the unknown.
                      It is the failure of New Ideas, untested ideas.

                      Giant steps towards freedom are at worst typically briefly disruptive. Poland went from a socialist economy that was failing to a free market in hourse, and within 2 weeks all shortages had ended.

                    14. “Or take them all down at once.”

                      The Russian revolution was good?
                      The French revolution was good?
                      Libya is good?
                      Mao was good?
                      Castro was good? …

                    15. United States’ fast rise to power was very good both in intentions and execution vs a potential, comparatively slow withdrawal from The Crown. Government power will never lessen by using a process that allows them to keep nearly all power during the process. It’s very much like the bully on the block not learning to behave more civilly until he gets the stuffing knocked out of him. Quick, forceful action is sometimes the only way to eliminate bad government, too.

                    16. “United States’ fast rise to power was very good both in intentions and execution vs a potential, comparatively slow withdrawal from The Crown. “

                      JAFO, I get your point, but the United States was the exception not the rule, and had leaders that understood the problems involved with creating a new nation. That is why many wanted to remain under the crown. We were fortunate to have outstanding leadership.

                    17. Did you read what I wrote ?

                      I was talking specifically about steps from oppression to liberty.
                      These are USUALLY “conservative” – i.e. regressions to past states of greater liberty.

                      Regardless, your examples are all socialist/progressive/left and all to even lessor liberty.

                    18. “I was talking specifically about steps from oppression to liberty.”

                      That is a different scenario. When there is a revolution from various amounts of oppression, one doesn’t know if the result will be liberty. The French thought so, but it resulted in the opposite.

                2. This is true whether we are talking about medicine or plumbing.
                  Good point.

                  The story about the guy that had a car not running right. He took it to a mechanic. The mechanic told him to pop the hood and start the engine. After listening for several minutes he walked to his tool box, grabbed a hammer and whacked something under hood, car ran perfect.
                  Wrote up an invoice of $80. The driver protested, he only swung and hammer, demanded an itemized bill. Sohe mechanic reworked the bill. $10, hammer strike. $70 knowing what to hit.

      2. Most are required by the health system they are affiliated with and also do so to comfort their less knowledgeable patients. Mine the 1st time I saw him, whom I know personally as well as professionally, took his off the moment he entered into the exam room and told me “Get that stupid thing off, we both know they are useless”.

        1. “Most are . . .”

          Yep. That was my experience, too. I asked my surgeon and his staff: Why are you wearing those stupid things? Because the *administrators* make us.

          As soon as he or my GP entered the room, those stupid things came off.

        2. Your experience is not dissimilar to mine though it varied from office to office.

          Unfortunately, too many physicians are following herd mentality. They rely on the printed word and diagnostic machinery to do their thinking for them. This Pied Piper attitude helped to permit the CDC political organization to expand its powers unconstitutionally.

          As a group, I don’t think the retired or near-retirement physicians alone would have stood so silently.

      3. Or MAYBE the virus isn’t the reason he wears a mask, fool. Masks ARE successful protection against much larger bacteria. But that has to do with something you know no nothing about — science.

        1. Yes, they are effective against bacteria. After all, that is what they are for, but considering no one outside of a surgical suite did so before it seem like a bit of ridiculous overkill now.

        2. Nice assumption and DARVO. He and I had the mask/virus risk/benefit analysis conversation back when COVID kicked off. It’s good that you are staying on script. Please proceed…

          1. …when Covid kicked off? That’s when all the good data from WHO was available…lolol…

            Good to see you understand there is a script.

          2. He and I had the mask/virus risk/benefit analysis conversation back when COVID kicked off.

            The mask risk/benefit analysis has been going on for at least 50 years. Every time a new SARS virus would become news worthy, the same debate would occur, because asian countries always broke out in masks. So we would ask Why don’t we wear masks like they do in Japan? We always got the same answer. Masks don’t do anything for respiratory viruses.
            This is not unplowed ground. It has been covered every 8 to 12 years.

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