To the Editor,
As time passes, we’ve learned that politicians don’t always tell us the truth.
Usually, it is their comm’s team version of the party’s position on an issue. Followed by news organizations tainting news reports with commentary of their own opinions, but identified as news not opinion. Next, we have corporations inserting their version of reports or contributors’ commentary, deleting or even banning those contributors to which they disagree — even when it is proven the censorship was in error, they persist. Finally, we have career government officials giving us their curated talking points of their agency’s positions.
Out this week, is the results of a ‘Danish randomized controlled trial on the real-world efficacy of face masks against coronavirus infection — the first of its kind — has now been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. As expected, the trial found no statistically significant benefit of wearing a face mask. The study used “high-quality surgical masks with a filtration rate of 98%”.’ [Danish Mask Study: No Benefit — Swiss Policy Research (swprs.org)]. Note, these masks had greater filtration than the frequently lauded NP-95 masks.
Originally, we knew from tests done early in 2020, by various medical schools that masks were questionable based on their material. If a mask breathes easily, for example cotton, they have little value filtering the virus. If a mask breathes hard, as if made of denim, it has better filtering characteristics.
Coupled with this real, scientific, evidence we have anecdotal evidence from European countries about the questionable efficacy of masks and even the lockdown measures. It is disappointing that the CDC or NIH cannot or will not definitively tell us the method of transmission. Is it air-borne (lighter) or heavier than air? Apparently, it is believed that the virus can be lighter than air and enter the ventilation systems of buildings, but can also attach to heavier particles and collect on surfaces — such as hard surfaces, soft, clothing, or human hair or skin.
The only, publicly known data, is the vaccines have reduced the incidence rate of the virus. One interesting article this week gave us some data about the vaccines. It would be beneficial to see a dozen more data points to determine if the currently reported data is representative or an outlier. Scott County reported one case among the vaccinated (62% in Scott County) and 17 cases among the unvaccinated (the remaining 38%). This single point says you are 30 times more likely to get the virus if you are not vaccinated. It would be interesting to see additional data, both from the past and going forward.
Based on all this, what should the legislature do? If they don’t go along with the mask mandate, they will be attacked by various news organizations. Supporting a mask mandate allows a politician to say “I did something.” This is in spite of data that invalidates masks, especially with respect to younger children. My recommendation to Frankfort is; make masks optional as a personal preference, make a day of speeches, then go home, and spend the remaining special legislative session budget to aid those Kentuckians in need.
Finally, to the mask supporter, it is your choice, but criticizing non-mask wearing Kentuckians is totally inappropriate.