The Media and I: Masks

By Henry I. Miller, MS, MD — Nov 30, 2023
John Batchelor and I discuss the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the emergence of the Omicron EG.5 sub-variant and its impact. Among the ongoing challenges are viral evolution, testing difficulties, and the effectiveness of masks. I am critical of irresponsible personal behaviors and legislative attempts to prohibit mask and vaccine mandates. Continued precautions are important.
Image by Michi S from Pixabay

Our conversation begins with the emergence of sub-variant of Omicron EG.5 and its impact, particularly in large cities like Manhattan. John raises questions about the new variants and the ongoing challenges individuals face, especially those over 60 with preexisting conditions. These challenges are due to continued viral evolution, adapting under Darwinian pressure, and concerns about the virus's ability to escape immunity from prior infection or vaccines.

John shared a personal experience of the virus spreading among young people, which led to a discussion of the effectiveness of masks and whether they should be recommended again. Our conversation shifted then to the persistence of COVID-19 despite the U.S. government declaring an end to the pandemic. I explained that the nation’s institutions and leadership have not behaved responsibly. For example, Senator J.D. Vance's Freedom to Breathe Act aims to prohibit mask mandates – an effort I find both irresponsible and contrary to scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of masks.

Here is the link to the audio of my conversation with CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor.

You can read more on my views of Senator Vance’s legislation here, and more of my thoughts on masks can be found here.

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is the Glenn Swogger Distinguished Fellow at the American Council on Science and Health. His research focuses on public policy toward science, technology, and medicine, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering, models for regulatory reform, precision medicine, and the emergence of new viral diseases. Dr. Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts, including as the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology.

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