I’m a late to point and laugh at this one, but it’s too good to let go.
On Sunday, the Western hemisphere’s most prominent stupid person Karl Lauterbach betook himself to Twitter, to admonish all those “who are still uncertain about whether masks protect from COVID.” Triumphantly, he presented “a new American Mega-Study1”, which he claimed “evaluates over 1,700 studies”, ultimately demonstrating that “the benefits of masks are very great, undisputed and applicable in many areas.”
Für alle, die noch immer im Unklaren sind, ob Masken gegen COVID schützen: hier eine neue amerikanische Mega-Studie, die über 1.700 Studien auswertet. Der Nutzen der Masken ist sehr groß, unumstritten und gilt für viele Bereiche. https://t.co/98jiJbLAs7
— Prof. Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) July 31, 2022
So, I clicked over to the paper to see what was up, and I noticed immediately that there’s something really, really wrong with it. Admittedly, there’s something wrong with a lot of mask studies, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that this isn’t an ordinary paper. It reads like it was written in crayon.
While the authors claim to have “screened” over 1,700 earlier analyses, they ultimately consider the results of only thirteen papers, all of them bizarrely low-quality items, and none published later than 2020. Among them is the infamous hair-salon CDC study. Another is on Early containment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – from 2004. It reports that nobody at the Bamrasnaradura Institute in Thailand contracted SARS, after the admission of a SARS patient in 2003, and notes in passing that most staff washed their hands and wore N95 respirators regularly.