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Coffee & Covid

Good morning, C&C, and Happy Wednesday! May is now tucked away into the archives and we’re headed off into June’s adventure. Your very first June 2022 roundup includes: it’s Mask-A-Palooza at C&C, with three masking stories—a new Lancet study torpedoes the CDC’s garbage pro-mask “study;” the New York Times asks why mandates don’t work; but Joe Biden fights to keep the CDC’s travel mandate; pediatric overdoses are up; Yellen is down; and a narrative-shattering opinion piece in the New York Times questions The War.

🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞

🔬 The CDC should be ashamed, yet sadly it has no shame. A new May 25th study published in the Lancet debunking the CDC is titled “Revisiting Pediatric COVID-19 Cases in Counties With and Without School Mask Requirements—United States, July 1—October 20 2021.”

The study’s two researchers looked at a December 2021 CDC “study” that had crunched data from six schools during a short cherry-picked period of time and found, guess what, masks DO work, in the most amazing and compelling ways. The type of study the CDC did is called an “observational” study, and is considered much less reliable than the gold standard of randomized controlled trials.

Anyway, researchers Ambarish Chandra and Tracy Beth Høeg took the CDC’s data and they EXPANDED IT. They added lots more schools and looked at a much larger time bracket. I’ll give you one guess what they found. Their conclusion:

Replicating the CDC study shows similar results; however, incorporating a larger sample and longer period showed NO SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP between mask mandates and case rates. … We failed to establish a relationship between school masking and pediatric cases using the same methods [with] a larger, more nationally diverse population over a longer interval.

I’ll stick the link below in case you’re in one of the unfortunate jurisdictions considering re-masking kids; here’s ANOTHER study to send them. But my favorite part was the final line in their conclusion: “Our study demonstrates that observational studies of interventions with small to moderate effect sizes are prone to bias caused by selection and omitted variables.”

Hahahahaha! They just said studies like the CDC’s are “prone to selection bias!” In other words, they’re accusing the CDC of cherry-picking the data to support the desired outcome, which is exactly what we all know is what happened, but we’ve all been forced to walk around pretending like the CDC is a legitimate source of scientific information instead of a political theater of the absurd.

The Lancet is one of the top journals in the world. Link: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4118566.

Facts are hard to argue with, but corporate media is trying out a new narrative spin on masking. Yesterday, the New York Times ran a timely story headlined, “Why Masks Work, but Mandates Haven’t.” How about that? You CAN have your cake and eat it too.

The Times’ sub-headline asks the question as though it’s the first time anyone ever thought of this before: “Why haven’t Covid mask mandates made much difference?” Why?? So let’s see what the New York Times’ cherry-picked experts came up with.

Setting the table, the Times calls masks a PARADOX: “Dr. Shira Doron, an epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, [said] ‘It is simultaneously true that masks work and mask mandates do not work.’” Got that? Got both conflicting ideas in your head at the same time? Paging George Orwell.

The article points to three examples of bad facts for masking:

1) In U.S. cities where mask use was common, Covid spread at a similar rate as in mask-resistant cities.

2) Mask mandates in schools seem to have done little to reduce the spread.

3) Hong Kong, despite almost universal mask-wearing, recently endured one of the world’s worst Covid outbreaks.

See? THEY KNOW.

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