Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

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The White House is set to launch a $1.5 billion ad campaign to win over vaccine skeptics, report says

The White House will soon launch a major $1.5 billion public relations campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccination and ease the concerns of Americans who are skeptical or hesitant to get their shots, STAT News reports. 

The effort, which will kick of “within weeks,” will use TV, radio, and digital means to target young Americans, people of color, and Republicans who may be more likely to be hesitant or ambivalent about getting vaccinated, the outlet said. 

The campaign will also educate Americans on where and how they can get vaccinated, and is expected to deploy celebrities and “trusted local officials” who some Americans may trust more than messengers from the Biden administration. 

The White House declined to specify any further when the effort will be launched in response to an inquiry from Insider. 

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Expands Mask Mandate to 2-Year-Olds

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) doubled down on her restrictive coronavirus strategy by requiring young children to wear masks.

Michigan Capitol Confidential reported the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), headed by Elizabeth Hertel, who just returned from an Alabama beach vacation, issued the order.

Children under the age of 5 had previously been exempt. But now, kids at camps and child care must be covered.

“A good faith effort is made to ensure that children aged 2 to 4 years wear a mask when participating in gatherings,” the order said.

The mandate noted at this point, children under 2 are exempt. It expires May 25.

The order came days after Hertel arrived back from a spring break vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama and another top Whitmer aide, Tricia Foster, was found to have vacationed in Siesta Key, Florida.

Critics questioned whether there were different rules for top officials. Whitmer responded, “What directors do on their personal time is their business, so long as they are safe.”

On Thursday, the governor appeared on MSNBC and blamed the Republican-controlled legislature and even former President Donald Trump himself for the situation.

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Medical student, 21, died a day after getting J&J vaccine leaving family devastated as officials open an investigation into his death

Officials are investigating the death of a University of Cincinnati student one day after he received Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine. 

John Foley, 21, a pre-med junior, passed away on Sunday. His body was discovered shortly afterwards by his college roommates, reported FOX 19.

The Ohio Department of Health and the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office are awaiting medical records and test results before determining the cause of death.

It comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday they were recommending a pause of the shot after six women developed rare, but serious, blood clots out of 7.2 million vaccinations. 

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93 Israeli doctors: Do not use Covid-19 vaccine on children

The doctors addressed the letter “to the chiefs of the Ministry of Health, to our fellow doctors around the country, and to the entire public.”

They noted that “the increasingly prevalent opinion within the scientific community is that the vaccine cannot lead to herd immunity, therefore there is currently no ‘altruistic’ justification for vaccinating children to protect at-risk populations.”

They added that even today it is unclear whether the vaccine prevents the spread of the virus and for how long it confers protection, and noted that new variants “that may be more resistant to vaccination are popping up all the time.”

“We believe that not even a handful of children should be endangered through mass vaccination against a disease that is not dangerous to them,” they wrote. “Furthermore, it cannot be ruled out that the vaccine will have long-term adverse effects that have not yet been discovered at this time, including on growth, reproductive system or fertility. Children should be allowed a quick return to routine; the many tests and broad isolation cycles should be stopped, and no separation between the vaccinated and unvaccinated should be created in the public sphere. Vaccination of at-risk populations should be allowed, and under the almost complete vaccination of this population – it is possible to return to full routine (with periodic adjustments) even in the presence of COVID-19 virus.”

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