A classic fallacious argument: “If masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them?”

A response to people who use the classic fallacious argument, “Well, if masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them?”

I’m a surgeon that has performed over 10,000 surgical procedures wearing a surgical mask. However, that fact alone doesn’t really qualify me as an expert on the matter. More importantly, I am a former editor of a medical journal. I know how to read the medical literature, distinguish good science from bad, and fact from fiction. Believe me, the medical literature is filled with bad fiction masquerading as medical science. It is very easy to be deceived by bad science.

Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve read hundreds of studies on the science of medical masks. Based on extensive review and analysis, there is no question in my mind that healthy people should not be wearing surgical or cloth masks. Nor should we be recommending universal masking of all members of the population. That recommendation is not supported by the highest level of scientific evidence.

First, let’s be clear. The premise that surgeons wearing masks serves as evidence that “masks must work to prevent viral transmission” is a logical fallacy that I would classify as an argument of false equivalence, or comparing “apples to oranges.”

Although surgeons do wear masks to prevent their respiratory droplets from contaminating the surgical field and the exposed internal tissues of our surgical patients, that is about as far as the analogy extends. Obviously, surgeons cannot “socially distance” from their surgical patients (unless we use robotic surgical devices, in which case, I would definitely not wear a mask).

The CoVID-19 pandemic is about viral transmission. Surgical and cloth masks do nothing to prevent viral transmission. We should all realize by now that face masks have never been shown to prevent or protect against viral transmission. Which is exactly why they have never been recommended for use during the seasonal flu outbreak, epidemics, or previous pandemics.

The failure of the scientific literature to support medical masks for influenza and all other viruses, is also why Fauci, the US Surgeon General, the CDC, WHO, and pretty much every infectious disease expert stated that wearing masks won’t prevent transmission of SARS CoV-2. Although the public health “authorities” flipped, flopped, and later changed their recommendations, the science did not change, nor did new science appear that supported the wearing of masks in public. In fact, the most recent systemic analysis once again confirms that masks are ineffective in preventing the transmission of viruses like CoVID-19: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

Keep reading

Coronavirus deaths 75% lower in nations using hydroxychloroquine!

With media solemnly spotlighting the passing of the 200,000 mark in deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the United States, a physicians assocation has a question.

“Why is the death rate about 75 percent lower in many countries?” asked Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The reference is to a country-based analysis updated Sept. 20 that shows a gap between countries that treat COVID-19 early or prophylactically with hydroxychloroquine and those that, like the U.S., discourage or prohibit its use.

The answer to Orient’s question can be found in a white paper published by the Economic Standard this month titled “Hydroxychloroquine and the Burden of Proof: An Urgent Call to Depoliticize Medicine in the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic struck America nine months before a presidential election, turning basic medical activities like testing and treatment into partisan battlegrounds,” writes Economic Standard Editor-in-Chief Erik Sass in the overview. “No subject has been more distorted than hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a safe, versatile medicine that has treated hundreds of millions of people for numerous diseases for seven decades.”

Keep reading

Growing Research Indicates Many COVID-19 Cases Might Not be Infectious at All

Elevated ‘cycle thresholds’ may be detecting virus long after it is past the point of infection.

A growing body of research suggests that a significant number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the U.S. — perhaps as many as 9 out of every 10 — may not be infectious at all, with much of the country’s testing equipment possibly picking up mere fragments of the disease rather than full-blown infections.

Confirmed cases of the disease have been the focal point of public health authorities and governments worldwide for many months, with countries across the globe working frantically to shore up their testing infrastructure and ensure that most citizens who want a COVID-19 test can obtain one with relative ease.

Many politicians, meanwhile — including most state governors in the U.S. — have tied reopening policies to the number of cases detected in the local community, with regions and localities often being permitted to reopen in staggered “phases” only when they have reached successively lower benchmarks of average new daily cases in the area.

Numerous institutions, meanwhile, have adopted testing protocols in an attempt to preempt the spread of the virus. American colleges and universities, for instance, have turned to mass testing in order to closely monitor incidences of the disease among students, particularly residential students living on campus.

Yet a burgeoning line of scientific inquiry suggests that many confirmed infections of COVID-19 may actually be just residual traces of the virus itself, a contention that — if true — may suggest both that current high levels of positive viruses are clinically insignificant and that the mitigation measures used to suppress them may be excessive.

Keep reading

Hundreds of Millions in Tax Dollars Meant for COVID Supplies Went to Private Defense Contractors Instead

Instead of adhering to congressional intent by building up the nation’s inadequate supply of N95 masks and other equipment to combat the Covid-19 crisis, the Pentagon has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriated taxpayer funds to private defense contractors for drone technology, jet engine parts, Army uniform material, body armor, and other purposes not directly related to the pandemic.

As the Washington Post reported Tuesday morning, the Department of Defense—headed by former Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper—”began reshaping how it would award the money” just weeks after Congress in March approved a $1 billion fund under the Defense Production Act to help the nation “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”

“The Trump administration has done little to limit the defense firms from accessing multiple bailout funds at once and is not requiring the companies to refrain from layoffs as a condition of receiving the awards,” the Post noted. “Some defense contractors were given the Pentagon money even though they had already dipped into another pot of bailout funds, the Paycheck Protection Program.”

As the U.S. still faces major shortages of testing supplies and N95 masks six months into the pandemic, the Post reported that the Pentagon has used congressionally approved funds to dish out $183 million to luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce and other companies to help “maintain the shipbuilding industry,” tens of millions for “drone and space surveillance technology,” and $80 million to “a Kansas aircraft parts business.”

A subsidiary of Rolls-Royce also received $22 million from the Pentagon “to upgrade a Mississippi plant,” according to the Post.

Keep reading

Sweden shows lockdowns were unnecessary. No wonder public health officials hate it

You know who isn’t worried about a second wave of COVID-19? Sweden. The stolid Scandinavian kingdom has just carried out a record number of COVID-19 tests and found a positive rate of just 1.2%, the lowest since the start of the pandemic. As Sweden’s case rate drops below Norway’s and Denmark’s, those commentators who spent April and May raging against what a Washington Post op-ed called its “experiment with national chauvinism” and predicting colossal fatalities have suddenly gone quiet.

“Sweden has gone from being one of the countries with the most infection in Europe to one of those with the least infection in Europe, while many other countries have seen a rather dramatic increase,” says Anders Tegnell, the state epidemiologist.

True, and it has happened not despite the absence of a lockdown but because of it. Sweden encouraged people to work from home, made university courses remote, and banned meetings of more than 50 people but otherwise trusted its citizens to use their common sense. The authorities judged that since hospitals could cope, there was no need to buy time by ordering people to stay indoors. That judgment has been amply vindicated.

A cause for unalloyed joy, you might think. Here, after all, is proof that a country can contain the coronavirus without depriving children of an education, piling up backlogs of non-coronavirus medical conditions, or leaving a smoking crater where its economy used to be.

But the rest of the world is far from pleased. Indeed, the tone of most foreign media coverage remains affronted, and you can see why. After all, if Sweden’s strategy was viable, the rest of us ruined ourselves for nothing. That is a disquieting thought, almost an unbearable one. But Sweden forces us to confront it.

Keep reading

Covid-19 origins, the Wuhan lab, US funding, and vaccine connection

Starting in 2014, the National Institutes of Health granted millions of dollars in U.S. tax money to a “global environmental health nonprofit” called EcoHealth Alliance based in New York City.

The grant was for an eleven-year-long project entitled: “Understanding the risk of bat coronavirus emergence.” It aimed to study coronavirus in bats in China to determine which strains had the greatest risk of spillover to humans. (In other words, in hopes of preventing something like the Covid-19 pandemic and/or providing quick mitigation.)

A total of  $3,748,715 was given for the project from 2014-2019.

EcoHealth Alliance’s partners on the taxpayer-funded project included scientist at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology also “received assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations.”

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is located in the area of China where scientists believe the Covid-19 outbreak originated. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the virus was somehow released from the lab, either by accident or intentionally.

Keep reading