Mask mandates

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.
Politicians fail to understand that "gain of function" research on microorganisms can enhance public health preparedness.
Another article in the ongoing war over the protective value of masks. The latest report, with senior author Vinay Prasad, effectively builds and demolishes a straw man of the authors’ creation, then does some out-of-season cherry-picking. In the end, the “study” sheds more shade than light.
There are plenty of reasons for skepticism about medical studies. Some are poorly designed or performed, and some conclusions are totally implausible. In addition, some interpretations of them are intentionally misleading, and some studies need not have been done at all.
For every mainstream article advocating masking or vaccination to prevent or minimize COVID-19, a group or individual is attacking it. The science seems crystal clear – to the proponents on either side. Even more, than advocating for “scientific might,” individuals claim the political right to decide which conduct or treatment they favor under the mantra of “liberty.” But when a disease as contagious as COVID affects more than the individual, some independent arbiter needs to make over-arching public health decisions. Supposedly, that would be the state government – entrenched under the law in time-honored state constitutions. But of late, that bastion seems wobbly.
How are politicians similar to bacteria? ACSH advisor Dr. Henry Miller explains.
The pushback over mask mandates has been fierce. It’s been portrayed in the media as another skirmish in the political and cultural wars. And while there’s an element of truth to that, framing all of the COVID controversies as political can lead us very much astray.