Mask Mandates on the Rise But Where is the Health Emergency?

As local and state governments around the nation debate legislation mandating masks, I felt it important to review what we know about the danger of the new coronavirus, the state of any health emergency, asymptomatic spread, and the impact of mask wearing.

Following is a list of facts, data, scientific articles and other links addressing the issues outlined above.

There is no health emergency – deaths are declining and hospital bed utilization is low:

CDC’s own data shows that those under 60 have less or equal risk to the flu as from Covid-19. Data out of Europe says the flu is 2-3 times more risky than Covid-19 for those under 65. (CDC)

While the early models forecast millions of deaths, according to the latest data, the lethality of Covid-19 is at worst similar to a strong seasonal flu  We don’t wear masks for the flu, why would you even contemplate mandating masks for this?

The whole purpose of the lockdown and other measures was to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm our hospital systems and despite media reports of rising cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to trend down having peaked in late April. (See graphic below.) At this point “the curve” in Idaho (where I live) is non-existent with CDC estimating 70 beds with Covid-19 patients representing 1.7% of available beds, based on 80% of hospitals reporting.

I cannot determine whether these are patients who went to the hospital from Covid-19 or for another reason and then tested positive but I did call makes some calls and was told that St. Lukes in Idaho, one of our biggest hospital chains, is testing everyone who is admitted to the hospital or comes in for a procedure while St. Alphonsus (the other big change) is only testing pre-surgery. This means a patient could go in for a heart condition and test positive, then be counted as a Covid-19 case.

CEO’s of hospitals in Texas clearly state the case numbers and hospital bed situation are being distorted. Same for Florida.

Up to 80% of test-positive people have NO symptoms. Even 60% of those 70-79 have no symptoms  When we add in cases with moderate symptoms, 95% of people have no or moderate symptoms.

Up to 60% of all people already have background immunity due to previous coronavirus infections which are the common cold. 

The median age of those who died is over 80 years and only 4% of those had no serious underlying conditions. The age and risk profile of the deaths corresponds to normal mortality patterns. 

Up to 30% of the deaths were caused by the lockdown itself, panic, and fear, not the virus.

Blaine County, ID, one of the nations HOTTEST SPOTS making national news for weeks, has reported 5 deaths from Covid-19 out of over 5000 cases. That equals a fatality rate of 0.1% – the same as the normal seasonal flu.

Asymptomatic Spread

On June 8th, WHO admitted that asymptomatic spread of the virus is “very rare.”  The WHO official stated (beginning at 1:16), “What portion of asymptomatic individuals actually transmit?…We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing, they’re following asymptomatic cases, they’re following contacts, and they not finding secondary transmission onward, it’s very rare. And much of that is not published in the literature. From the papers that are published….it still appears to be rare that an asymptomatic individual transmits onward…But from the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.”

The following day WHO and the media attempted to put that genie back in the bottle by reporting “Maria Van Kerkhove says she accepts models show up to 40% of infections come from asymptomatic people.” To be clear, the models (which were disastrously wrong) show that, but the real world data shows otherwise, as she stated the previous day. CNBC Archive.

Research and Information on Masks:

Mask wearing is bad for your health. Masks reduce our flow of oxygen and cause a condition called hypoxia or low oxygen levels in the body. Hypoxia can cause heart attacks, strokes, seizures, death and more. Low oxygen levels stress the body resulting in increased cortisol. Cortisol suppresses the immune system rendering people MORE susceptible to illness. 

WHO warns that “the wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks” PDF

WHO’s most recent recommendations say the following: “Masks can be used either for protection of healthy persons (worn to protect oneself when in contact with an infected individual) or for source control (worn by an infected individual to prevent onward transmission).”  They do not recommend mask-wearing in healthy people unless in contact with a sick individual.

Research shows that cloth face coverings are useless at best, dangerous at worst.

OSHA says environment with less than 19.5% oxygen is unsafe. Gases such as CO2 displace oxygen. Wearing a mask for just a few seconds causes CO2 to accumulate and displace oxygen causing oxygen levels to fall below 19%. OSHA says anything below 19.5% is an “imminent threat to health or life.”

The 7 studies CDC uses to justify its mask policy do not support that end. They do not evaluate healthy people. They just hope no one will actually read the studies.

NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE – Harvard doctors and scientists “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.” 

Overview on MasksComprehensive list of science on masks (covers all the points below and more)

-N95 masks are designed to protect the wearer from dangerous toxins in the environment. They do not restrict the flow of exhalation or protect anyone else.
-Surgical masks are designed to be worn in sterile environments – not around generally. Experts say that they should be changed every 20-30 minutes if worn outside a sterile environment. 
-Research shows that these masks and face coverings worn outside sterile environments can become germ carriers. They interfere with normal breathing and are neither healthy nor warranted.

While individual studies may suggest masks have an impact, there have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.

Anecdotal Evidence on Mask Wearing

A week apart, two 14-year-old boys died in China wearing a mask during PE.

Either I or a friend was an eyewitness to the following three cases in our little valley in the past 6 weeks: 1) A 70 ish  year-old woman wearing a mask in the Sun Valley, ID post office passed out and hit the floor, hitting her head. 2) A woman wearing a mask in Chateau Drug in Ketchum, ID a week after the above incident had a seizure. 3) Ten days ago, an elderly man walking on the bike path near Sun Valley wearing a mask hunched over saying “I can’t breathe, I cant’ breathe.”

Given the very low risk posed to 99% of the public, how can any government entity justify a mask mandate, let alone a state of emergency. Moreover, wouldn’t it be a good thing for all those at low risk to get the virus and be done with it not only for themselves but also because then they would protect those at risk? Isn’t natural herd immunity the BEST outcome?

For those afraid to speak against government overreach, I encourage you to remember Thomas Jefferson’s sage words:

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Hat tip to The Healthy AmericanSwiss Policy ResearchCorona Circus and many others for their invaluable work.

(This post has been edited to correct the number of hospital beds occupied in Idaho by those testing positive for Covid-19.)