Wednesday, March 3, 2021

U.S. Government admissions that face covering or mask mandates do not prevent Novel Coronavirus / SARS CoV-2 contagion

The beauty of truth is that it is derived from evidence or warrants. Likewise, argument, which is based upon evidence or warrants, is such a wonderful medium for attaining knowledge that it should be engaged in frequently and vigorously. For, afterall, knowledge is bliss. Through applying these practices it is easy to see that officials are now declaring that face covering mandates, which are purported to prevent SARS CoV-2 transmission, are ineffective. I provide herein two of numerous examples.

It is easy to get fooled if you don’t look deeply. I recently listened to the audio commentary on Daddy Long Legs [1955] by Ava Astaire McKenzie and Ken Barnes. As they were discussing cinematography and authenticity Barnes referred to the scene in the airport in New York where planes were seen landing and the exterior of the airport was identified. The actors were engaged in conversation in the entryway to the terminal as the camera peered to the tarmack behind. Barnes lauded the producers for moving the crew and actors to New York to get that shot instead of using green screen or rear projection. It would seem so.

But McKenzie counters that the exterior shots could have all been stock footage and the actors could have been in any Southern California airport as nothing in that scene identified the airport. Barnes then concurred. That is how easy it is to fool the viewer.

In examining the effectiveness of wearing face coverings one need only look to the dramatic rise in cases as lockdowns were lifted and mask wearing became the norm. There has been an argument propounded that case numbers would be higher had mandates not been in place. The difficulty here is that concurrent with the mask mandates there are anti-social distancing norms which require people to keep a distance from each other not commensurate with socializing -- 6 feet as it currently stands -- which is usually less than one-third of that distance.

The obvious problem here is one cannot claim success of either variable until each is tested in isolation. Fortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has done that for us through a rapid succession of executions late last year while mask mandates and anti-social distancing protocols were in general practice.

At the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute 13 executions were carried out over six months. Two occurred between 19 November and 11 December 2020. Active inmate cases at the prison were just three on 19 November but climbed to 406 by 29 December 2020 according to Bureau of Prisons data.

For each execution hundreds of staff members participate in one way or another. There are around 40 people on the local execution teams and the specialized security teams who travel from other prisons nationwide contain approximately 50 people. The witnesses and others attending an execution were required to wear masks and were offered additional protective equipment, like gowns and face shields.

But here is what they couldn’t do -- maintain anti-social distancing. Here is how the Associated Press described an execution -- “Witnesses, who were required to wear masks, watched from behind glass in small rooms where it often wasn’t possible to stand six feet apart. They were taken to and from the death-chamber building in vans, where proper social distancing often wasn’t possible. Passengers frequently had to wait in the vans for an hour or more, with windows rolled up and little ventilation, before being permitted to enter the execution-chamber building. And in at least one case, the witnesses were locked inside the execution chamber for more than four hours with little ventilation and no social distancing.”

So in these instances the U.S. Government was able to seperate the two common CDC recommendations -- mask wearing and anti-social distancing. While the variable of mask wearing was strictly enforced, the variable of maintaining distance between persons was, in effect, strictly prohibited. These procedures isolated the mask wearing variable. The result was a rapid spread of the virus as it passed between people wearing face coverings.

Of the 47 people on USP Terre Haute’s death row, 33 tested positive between 16 and 20 December 2020. This is because the guards on the execution team are also the guards that escort prisoners on death row. When I was at USP Terre Haute three guards transported me from the segregation unit to a visit. One on each arm and one holding me from behind.

Joe Goldenson, a public health expert on the spread of disease in prisons, said he had warned earlier that executions were likely to become a superspreader. The union representing prison guards as well other experts had also warned against carrying out executions while the SARS CoV-2 virus was still active.

This clearly demonstrates that while following mask/face covering mandates numerous participants contracted the virus in what has been called a “super spreader event.”

The logical conclusion is obvious - if mask/face covering mandates were effective when being followed, as they were strictly adhered to during executions, then super spreader events like these executions wouldn’t occur. The U.S. Government also provides another example of viral spread while under strict control.

In a study conducted by the U.S. Navy researchers concluded that “transmission occurred despite implementing many best-practice public health measures.” Although the Navy was able to mandate higher personal compliance with preventive measures than would be possible in most civilian settings these standard preventive measures did not halt its spread.

For the study the Navy used new recruits at the Citadel. Recruits were subject to a two week in-home quarantine prior to dorm assignments. Once they arrived at the basic training site, they were assigned to two-person dorm rooms and held to strict, supervised quarantine measures. Those controls included mask-wearing, anti-social distancing, and other CDC recommended practices. The subjects were divided into six groups with housing for each in a different building, training separately, and following different dining schedules. This prevented interaction between groups.

All participants were tested three times: first within two days of arrival, next at seven days, and finally at 14 days. Additionally, reactive testing was performed in response to identified symptoms. However, diagnoses were made only by scheduled tests - not by reactive testing. Over the course of the experiment, 4% of the subjects tested positive. Of those, ninety percent reported no symptoms.

U.S. Navy researchers found “that there were multiple independent SARS-CoV-2 introductions and outbreaks during the supervised quarantine." All six groups experienced an independent outbreak despite strict implementation of CDC recommended preventative measures.

The U.S. Government in these situations had the power to strictly enforce the CDC recommended preventative measures which it may not do in the civilian world. Often, the spread of the virus has been attributed to people like me who refuse to wear a mask and also socialize. Yet, in both of these examples the virus spread -- rapidly in one case -- despite the strict use of face coverings.

Beyond these examples of the abject failure of face coverings in preventing the spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus is what the U.S. Government said about them a year ago. Surgical type face masks, “by design”, are not intended to prevent the spread of a virus but only inhibit the passage of large droplets such as blood splatter. The same advisory document that contained that revelation also recommended that the general public be told to wear surgical type masks which is exactly what the CDC did.

It is clear that the CDC knew that non-elastomeric face masks would not prevent the spread of the virions but recommended their use anyways. The U.S. Government in just these two situations has unequivocally demonstrated what it knew a year ago -- face covering mandate type masks do not inhibit the spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus.

Face masks serve no other purpose than to provide a psychological sense of security and demonstrate a disingenuous concern for the well-being of others.

Those of us who do not wear masks are providing a valuable service to society -- keeping members aware that they are vulnerable to infection.

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