Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA chief who quickly transitioned after leaving office to become a Pfizer board member, has made an admission about cloth masks that should make Americans question the “science” they have been told was unquestionable all along.
Gottlieb appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with host Margaret Brennan and punctured the widespread belief that cloth masks provide any significant protection from airborne respiratory viruses, such as Covid-19.
“I have been looking at pediatric hospitalizations at this record high,” Brennan claimed. “And concerned about sending my son back into a pre-school even with a mask on.”
“What do you tell parents?” she asked breathlessly. “Are cloth masks just not good enough anymore?”
“Cloth masks aren’t going to provide a lot of protection, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “This is an airborne illness. We now understand that. And a cloth mask is not going to protect you from a virus that spreads through airborne transmission. It could protect better through droplet transmission, something like the flu, but not this coronavirus.”
Dr. Gottlieb goes on to make wild claims about the severity of Covid-19 among the pediatric population, claiming that more than 600 pediatric deaths (95% of them with underlying health conditions) among a population of 73 million under age 18 is a cause for masking children and mandating they be immunized despite the vaccines failing to significantly stop the spread. Covid-related mortality is approximately one percent of all pediatric deaths in the past two years.
Margaret Brennan, for her part, also fed the hysteria of the risk in Covid to children by making a misleading claim about child hospitalizations. Dr. Anthony Fauci recently disabused parents of this notion.
Fauci: “If you look at the children that are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with Covid, as opposed to because of Covid.” pic.twitter.com/57Rdx8gPg3
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 31, 2021
“And what we mean by that: If a child goes into the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID and they get counted as a COVID-hospitalized individual, when, in fact, they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that. So it’s over counting the number of children who are, quote, hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID,” Fauci said.
Fauci had once shared a similarly candid assessment as Gottlieb’s on the efficacy of masks in a February 2020 email to an HHS official.
“Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” he wrote in the email.
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material,” he said. “It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.”
That was two years ago.
Dr. Leanna Wen, who is a regular Covid doomer on CNN, also shared a rare moment of honesty on the network.
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 21, 2021
“Don’t wear a cloth mask,” she said. “Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. There’s no place for them in light of Omicron.”
Now, let’s be perfectly clear: The reason that public health officials are backing off the narrative now is because it has crumbled completely. Despite more than 99% mask compliance in countries like South Korea, there is still an explosion of infections no different than in countries that have much lower mask usage rates. This is called “no significant difference.”
Ironically, Margaret Brennan recently addressed the mental health crisis among schoolchildren that has been exacerbated by ineffective and aggravating Covid policies.
“They will be paying for our generation’s decisions the rest of their lives”: @JanCBS explains why she thinks 2021’s biggest underreported story was the devastating impact of COVID policies on children pic.twitter.com/AUU1f6AFNi
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 26, 2021
“They will be paying for our generation’s decisions the rest of their lives,” she said.
The nation’s largest teacher’s unions don’t seem to appreciate the significance of policies like school masking and remote learning on children’s psychosocial development. In May, the CDC was going to issue guidance lifting school mask guidance, but the nation’s largest teacher’s union, the NEA, raised enough of a fuss to get the “science” changed.
Masking in schools has been one of the most contentious aspects of Covid policies throughout the pandemic. The Atlantic recently called out CDC Director Walensky for misleading the public about a school mask study.
“Seen in this context, the CDC has taken an especially aggressive stance, recommending that all kids 2 and older should be masked in school,” the article notes. “The agency has argued for this policy amid an atmosphere of persistent backlash and skepticism, but on September 26, its director, Rochelle Walensky, marched out a stunning new statistic: Speaking as a guest on CBS’s Face the Nation, she cited a study published two days earlier, which looked at data from about 1,000 public schools in Arizona. The ones that didn’t have mask mandates, she said, were 3.5 times as likely to experience COVID outbreaks as the ones that did.”
Of course, this is patently false, and The Atlantic article usefully explains why.
As OSHA has stated, neither cloth masks nor surgical masks are designed to protect wearers from airborne pathogens, particularly respiratory viruses. The confidence intervals for the efficacy of cloth masks and surgical masks to slow the spread of respiratory viruses are poor. N95 masks, which are not designed to be worn by the general public for 6 to 8 hours a day, fare only slightly better. These are the facts, regardless of the spin by authoritarian Covid policy advocates.
In January, CDC Director Walensky explained why the general public should not wear N95 masks for long hours over the course of a day.
“They’re very hard to breathe in when you wear them properly,” Walensky said. “They’re very hard to tolerate when you wear them for long periods of time.”
The good news is that Omicron is a small fraction as harmful as earlier Covid variants, and new research shows it has a transfer of natural immunity to other variants, such as Delta.