Chan is a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University who specializes in genetic engineering.
On its website, NBC titled its Wednesday story about the interview “The science around the lab leak theory hasn’t changed. But here’s why some scientists have.”
Chan said there had been trepidation among some scientists about publicly discussing the lab leak hypothesis for fear that their words could be misconstrued or used to support racist rhetoric about how the coronavirus emerged. Trump fueled accusations that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research lab in the city where the first Covid-19 cases were reported, was connected to the outbreak, and on numerous occasions he called the pathogen the “Wuhan virus” or “kung flu.”
An Ohio college student died about two weeks after receiving her second dose of the Moderna mRNA COVID vaccine.
19-year-old Northwestern University freshman Simone Scott passed away from pneumonia complications Friday following a heart transplant she received as a result of myocarditis-induced heart failure last month.
Scott’s parents, left without an official explanation from doctors how this happened, believe the Moderna vaccine played a role in their daughter’s death, according to investigative reporter Alex Berenson.
“My fear is that we’ll never know what happened to Simone,” her father, Kevin Scott, reportedly said Sunday night. “[The vaccine] is a coincidence that is too big to ignore.”
On Monday’s broadcast of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran reported that one of the scientists who signed a letter in the medical journal The Lancet that dismissed the theory that COVID-19 came from a lab now believes the lab leak theory is more probable, and “several” other signatories of the letter are now unsure that the virus came from nature.
The number of small businesses in America has declined by nearly 40% since the lockdowns began last year, including more than half the leisure and hospitality industry.
And things are actually starting to get worse again. A separate poll shows another 35% of small businesses say they are at risk of closing permanently by the end of this summer due to inflationary pressures, rising gas prices, and increasing labor shortages.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the city of Madison’s public health agency in a dispute over the power to close schools during the pandemic.
A top city health official decried Friday’s decision, saying it would put children at risk.
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officers cannot close schools within their jurisdictions. We are extremely disappointed in the court’s decision, which has much further reaching implications than just this current pandemic,” health director Janel Heinrich said.. “This decision hinders the ability of local health officers in Wisconsin to prevent and contain public health threats for decades to come.”
A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, said Alachua County Circuit Judge Donna Keim did not properly consider the privacy rights of plaintiff Justin Green before she rejected a request for a temporary injunction against the mask requirement.
“The trial court simply looked at the right asserted by Green too narrowly, relying on the wrong privacy jurisprudence,” said the 13-page majority opinion, written by Judge Adam Tanenbaum and joined by Judge Robert Long. “The right to be let alone by government does exist in Florida, as part of a right of privacy that our (Florida) Supreme Court has declared to be fundamental. … (The Supreme Court) has construed this fundamental right to be so broad as to include the complete freedom of a person to control his own body. Under this construction, a person reasonably can expect not to be forced by the government to put something on his own face against his will. Florida’s constitutional right to privacy, then, necessarily is implicated by the nature of the county’s mask mandate.”
The majority stopped short of declaring the Alachua County requirement unconstitutional but sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration.
Emergency room (ER) mental health visits increased 31% among children aged 12-17 years old in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Friday. The CDC noted that, while it couldn’t definitively establish a cause, it’s likely that pandemic-related restrictions on everyday life could be to blame for the increase.
“Young persons might represent a group at high risk because they might have been particularly affected by mitigation measures, such as physical distancing (including a lack of connectedness to schools, teachers, and peers); barriers to mental health treatment; increases in substance use; and anxiety about family health and economic problems,” the report stated.
“Previous studies have claimed that shelter-in-place orders saved thousands of lives, but we reassess these analyses and show that they are not reliable.
We find that shelter-in-place orders had no detectable health benefits, only modest effects on behavior, and small but adverse effects on the economy.
To be clear, our study should not be interpreted as evidence that social distancing behaviors are not effective. Many people had already changed their behaviors before the introduction of shelter-in-place orders, and shelter-in-place orders appear to have been ineffective precisely because they did not meaningfully alter social distancing behavior.”
It is now unanimous, and I have been proven right (once again) that the initial World Health Organization Report on the Wuhan Lab was flawed and must be redone, this time by a truly transparent investigation.
We were right about the China Virus from the beginning, and now the entire world sees it. This is why the Chinese Communist Party should pay $10 Trillion in global reparations for what they allowed to happen, the worst event in world history.
Even here in the United States, the so-called experts like Dr. Fauci were wrong about the Wuhan Lab and China’s role the entire time.
Just think how bad things would have gotten if I followed Dr. Fauci’s advice and never closed down travel from China (and other things)?
Dr. Fauci likes to say that he is “science,” when in fact he is merely science fiction!
Dozens of studies show that lockdowns were an ineffective pandemic response. The list just got longer.
In May, Youyang Gu, an MIT-trained engineer and data scientist, released data showing that government restrictions were not correlated with lower COVID mortality in America. Government restrictions were correlated with higher unemployment, however.
Going outdoors mask-free is not an example of a risky activity, regardless of vaccination status, because the transmission rate in most outdoor settings is extremely low — far lower than the 10% rate the CDC reported.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a private email that “most transmissions” of virus “occur from someone who is symptomatic” and “not asymptomatic.” However, Fauci publicly touted the idea that asymptomatic spread is “not rare” but in fact common, as the medical experts spread fear about the virus. (RESEARCH: CDC Inflated COVID Death Count By At Least 1600 Percent). In a February 2020 email, Fauci wrote, “Error in my statement to you. I meant to say that “……most transmissions occur from someone who is symptomatic” — not asymptomatic. I am really tired. Not much sleep these days. Best, Tony.” However, in June 2020 Fauci said that asymptomatic transmission of Coronavirus is not rare, even chastising another expert for downplaying asymptomatic spread. Fauci said, “We have experience here with people who are without symptoms that cause us to believe that the transmission from an asymptomatic person to someone who’s not infected is not a rare event…But it’s becoming pretty clear to us that one cannot say that it is rare. It is likely not rare.”
Former White House COVID-19 testing czar, Adm. Brett Giroir, has accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of lying last year about the origins of the CCP virus, as health officials ramp up efforts to probe the hypothesis that the virus emerged from a lab accident.
In May last year, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), claimed that the virus could not have been “artificially or deliberately manipulated” at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)—a possibility that is now receiving wider recognition.
German Study Finds Lockdown ‘Had No Effect’ on Stopping Spread.
A major new study by German scientists at Munich University has found that lockdowns had no effect on reducing the country’s coronavirus infection rate.
“Statisticians at Munich University found “no direct connection” between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country,” reports the Telegraph.
The study found that, on all three occasions before Germany imposed its lockdowns in November, December and April, infection rates had already begun to fall.
The R rate – the number that indicates how many other people an infected person passes the virus to – was already under 1 before the lockdown restrictions came into force.
As we highlighted last year, a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.
This is by no means the only study to have concluded that lockdowns are completely useless and don’t work.
A peer reviewed study published in January by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
Back in March, Stanford medical professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Newsweek that COVID-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years.”
Earlier this year, academics from Duke, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins concluded that there could be around a million excess deaths over the next two decades as a result of lockdowns.
Other research has concluded lockdowns will conservatively “destroy at least seven times more years of human life” than they save
Fauci sent an urgent email to Hugh Auchincloss, the NIAID Principal Deputy Director. It reads: “Hugh: It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on. I have a conference call at 7:45 AM with Azar. It likely will be over at 8:45 AM. Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward to you now. You will have tasks today that must be done. Thanks, Tony”
The same day, he recieved a reply from Auchincloss. It reads: “The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH. Not sure what that means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 framework. She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.”
– a patchwork of mask mandates by local government is NOT the way to govern. Just like a patchwork of different GUN LAW is not, either. State law preemptions are perfectly consistent with the constitution.
Idaho’s governor on Friday repealed a mask mandate ban that was implemented while he was away on a trip.
The state’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, a Republican who is running for governor, issued an executive order the day prior barring local governments from requiring masks be worn. She did so with the authority she had as acting governor because Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, was out of state.
Actor Matthew McConaughey, who is weighing a gubernatorial bid in the state of Texas, is going to bat for universal mask wearing, expressing his belief that it does not take away an individual’s identity or freedom and asserting that no data exists showing the practice as harmful.
“I’m not believing you’re really scared of this little cotton thing. I don’t really feel that takes away your identity and your freedom,” the Gentleman star said during an appearance on The Carlos Watson Show.
“There’s no data that says it’s not a good thing. No data that says it’s harmful,” he continued, asking everyone to “take one for the team here.”
Our main finding is that mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states. 80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandates induced greater mask compliance but did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima). We infer that mandates likely did not affect COVID-19 case growth, as growth rates were similar on all days between actual or modeled issuance dates and 6 March 2021. Higher mask use (rather than mandates per se) has been argued to decrease COVID-19 growth rates…. Higher mask use did not predict lower maximum growth rates, smaller surges, or less Fall-Winter growth among continental states. Mask-growth rate correlation was only evident at minima. This may be an artifact of faster growth at fewer normalized cases, as well as regional differences in case prevalence early in the pandemic. States in the high mask quintile grew at similar rates as states in the low mask quintile after maxima (when interstate total case differences were smaller than before minima).
Principal Dr. Ira Pernick said students are required to show proof of coronavirus vaccination to attain facial freedom, the paper said. Unvaccinated students will also have to produce a negative coronavirus test in order to participate.
Port Washington High School’s prom is scheduled to be held June 27 and “kids who are vaccinated will be able to attend maskless — while those who aren’t will need to wear a face covering,” the New York Post reported.
A veto-proof majority of Michigan representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would require the state to refund coronavirus-related fines after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was caught violating her own order.
By a 74-34 vote, the state House swiftly passed HB 4501, a bill brought up for consideration after Breitbart News busted Whitmer for violating her restaurant table capacity order last weekend.
“If the governor can violate her orders without any repercussions, then why should our business owners be fined,” state Rep. Steve Johnson (R) wondered.
New findings reported Tuesday in a University of Louisville study challenge what has been the prevailing belief that mask mandates are necessary to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. The study notes that “80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic” and while “mandates induced greater mask compliance, [they] did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).” Among other things, the study—conducted using data from the CDC covering multiple seasons—reports that “mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.”
A Sunday school teacher was arrested at Thursday night’s Timberlane Regional School Board meeting moments after she and several other unmasked attendees showed up to demand an end to a school mask mandate.
The meeting was planned to be held in person at the district’s Performing Arts Center, but board Chairwoman Kimberly Farah quickly shut it down before it began and required that it be held remotely.
“I didn’t want to jeopardize the health of the staff and the students,” Farah said as several Plaistow police officers and state police troopers swarmed inside and outside the auditorium.
The abrupt end to the 7 p.m. in-person meeting happened shortly after Atkinson resident Jackie Wydola watched as police arrested her mother, Kate Bossi, when they entered the building without masks as required by school policy.
“You are violating my rights right now. You are remiss,” Bossi told Sgt. Alec Porter as she was being arrested.
“Come on Sgt. Porter, you know this is wrong what they’re doing to our kids,” one man shouted during the arrest.
“Are you seriously doing this you guys. This is law enforcement. You’re not enforcing laws, you’re enforcing policy. That doesn’t matter,” Wydola told officers.
Wydola said that before the arrest her mother “didn’t really have any interaction with the officer. She just walked into the building, and when they realized that she had come into the auditorium they followed her in here.”
She said her mother was the first unmasked person to walk into the building.
Porter declined to comment on the reason for the arrest at the scene, but Wydola, who identified Bossi, said she was told that her mother was arrested for disorderly conduct.
At the heart of the conflict is Board Chairwoman Kimberly Farah, a mini-tyrant who flexes her power over children This evil totalitarian is said to “strut around” reminding people she was in the military and doesn’t need to listen to the concerns of the parents who are there to serve her.
When asked if she felt threatened after the in-person meeting ended, Farah responded, “No, I was in the Army. I do not. I’m quite confident in the fact that I’ve got backups here.”
The arrest and mask mandates are said to be there to protect the children from a disease that is less of a threat to them than the flu. People like Kimberly Farah prop themselves up on the ignorance and fear of others.
“The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government.” — Ex Parte Milligan, Supreme Court of the United States, 1866.
Three Republican lawmakers will be fined $500 each for entering the House floor without masks, despite the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“A Capitol official said that Republican Reps. Brian Mast (Fla.), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) will be fined $500 after ignoring previous warnings,” The Hill reported.
“Seven other Republicans will be issued formal warnings and would face $500 fines if they refuse to wear masks on the House floor again: Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Chip Roy (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Mary Miller (Ill.), and Louie Gohmert (Texas).”
For the next offense, the three offenders will be fined $2,500.
“Hospital Pediatrics,” a journal of medicine for pediatric care, published two research papers Wednesday that found child hospitalizations for COVID-19 were over-counted by at least 40% in the state, and researchers believe it’s likely national numbers were similarly inflated. New York magazine reported commentary from Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleague Amy Beck, an associate professor of pediatrics, that explained the studies’ findings.
“Taken together, these studies underscore the importance of clearly distinguishing between children hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 found on universal testing versus those hospitalized for COVID-19 disease,” they wrote. The reported hospitalization rates “greatly overestimate the true burden of COVID-19 disease in children.” In an interview, Gandhi told New York magazine “there is no reason to think these findings would be exclusive to California. This sort of retrospective chart review will likely reveal the same findings across the country.”
New York magazine summarized the key findings from the two studies:
In one study, conducted at a children’s hospital in Northern California, among the 117 pediatric SARS-CoV2-positive patients hospitalized between May 10, 2020, and February 10, 2021, the authors concluded that 53 of them (or 45 percent) “were unlikely to be caused by SARS-CoV-2.” The reasons for hospital admission for these “unlikely” patients included surgeries, cancer treatment, a psychiatric episode, urologic issues, and various infections such as cellulitis, among other diagnoses. The study also found that 46 (or 39.3 percent) of patients coded as SARS-CoV2 positive were asymptomatic. In other words, despite patients’ testing positive for the virus as part of the hospital’s universal screening, COVID-19 symptoms were absent, therefore it was not the reason for the hospitalization. Any instance where the link between a positive SARS-CoV2 test and cause of admission was uncertain the authors erred toward giving a “likely” categorization.
In the second study, at the fifth-largest children’s hospital in the country, out of 146 records listing patients as positive for SARS-CoV-2 from May 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, the authors classified 58 (40 percent) as having “incidental” diagnosis, meaning there was no documentation of COVID-19 symptoms prior to hospitalization. Like the first study, and as has been typical around the nation, this hospital implemented universal testing of inpatients for SARS-CoV-2. An example of incidentally SARS-CoV-2-positive patients are those who came to the hospital because of fractures. Patients who may have had COVID-19 symptoms but who had a clearly documented alternative reason for them, such as a child with abdominal pain and fever found to be related to an abdominal abscess, were also deemed to have incidental diagnosis. The study categorized 68 patients, or 47 percent, as “potentially symptomatic,” which was defined as when “COVID-19 was not the primary reason for admission for these patients, and COVID-19 alone did not directly require hospitalization without the concomitant condition.” Examples of these patients were those with acute appendicitis, since that condition includes gastrointestinal symptoms that may also present in COVID-19.
Figures attest to a phenomenon some have termed “mask dependency”: Mask production rose 20 per cent year on year in 2015, to a record high of 4.9 billion pieces, according to latest data from the Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association.
Over the weekend, Texas reported reaching the milestone of zero deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since March 2020. Arizona, Minnesota, and Massachusetts also recently reported COVID death-free days for the first time in months.
The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.
In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”
This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.
Medical Hypotheses serves as a forum for innovative and often disruptive ideas in medicine and related biomedical sciences. However, our strict editorial policy is that we do not publish misleading or inaccurate citations to advance any hypotheses.
The Editorial Committee concluded that the author’s hypothesis is misleading on the following basis:
1. A broader review of existing scientific evidence clearly shows that approved masks with correct certification, and worn in compliance with guidelines, are an effective prevention of COVID-19 transmission.
2. The manuscript misquotes and selectively cites published papers. References #16, 17, 25 and 26 are all misquoted.
3. Table 1. Physiological and Psychological Effects of Wearing Facemask and Their Potential Health Consequences, generated by the author. All data in the table is unverified, and there are several speculative statements.
4. The author submitted that he is currently affiliated to Stanford University, and VA Palo Alto Health Care System. However, both institutions have confirmed that Dr Vainshelboim ended his connection with them in 2016.
A subsequent internal investigation by the Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher have determined that this article was externally peer reviewed but not with our customary standards of rigor prior to publication. The journal has re-designed its editorial and review workflow to ensure that this will not happen again in future.
The Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher would like to apologize to the readers of The Journal for difficulties this issue has caused.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky defended masking requirements for children in outdoor summer camps on Wednesday, arguing situations surrounding sporting events could be dangerous.
The peer-reviewed study, published in the scientific journal PNAS, found stay-at-home orders (also known as shelter-in-place orders or SIPs) were not associated with lower infections or deaths; furthermore, they were actually associated with a slight increase in infections and deaths, although this was not statistically significant
Everyone at the camp—including staff and every kid over the age of two—must wear masks at all times, unless they are eating or swimming. They should wear two layers of masks, especially when social distancing is difficult, regardless of “whether activities are indoors or outdoors.”
Campers should be placed in “cohorts,” and their interaction with people outside the cohort must be limited.
There should always be at least three feet between campers of the same cohort, and six feet between campers of different cohorts. Staff should keep six feet away from campers at all times, whether inside or outside. Distance should be maintained while eating, napping, or riding the bus: The CDC suggests seating kids in alternating rows.
The use of physical objects that might be shared among kids—toys, art supplies, electronics—should be limited wherever possible.
Camps should not permit close-contact sports and indoor sports, and should require masks regardless.
Cotton said, “The CDC is a thoroughly politicized agency. Most Americans disregard their advice on things like steaks and hamburgers and beers. Increasingly, they should disregard their advice when it comes to school reopenings. Schools need to be open. Schools have been open in Arkansas five days a week, in-person since last August, and it’s been largely fine. That’s been the case all across the country as well. We shouldn’t have a politicized public health bureaucracy like the CDC answering at the beck and call of the teachers’ unions. We need kids back in school, and back in real school, not sitting in a classroom doing a Zoom session with teachers who are not in the classroom. We need kids in schools with their teachers now.”
Joy Reid “I am among the fully vaccinated, joined team Pfizer, and I did go jogging today in the park. And I did — this was the mask that I wore with a doctor’s mask under it. And most of the people that I saw that were in the park — the park was packed — I would say like 95% of the people still had masks on.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance for fully vaccinated persons on Tuesday, recommending that they continue to take precautions, such as wearing a “well-fitted mask” while in indoor public settings.
“I don’t enjoy those kind of confrontations, but it was very very clear that he was talking about liberties that were being restricted,” Fauci said. “This has nothing to do with liberties, Dana.
“We’re talking about the fact that 560,000 people have died,” Fauci continued. “We’re talking about 60-70,000 new infections per day. That’s the issue, this is a public health issue, it’s not a civil liberties issue.”
Fauci’s comments come after a Thursday spat between himself and Rep. Jordan. Jordan had asked Fauci when pandemic-related restrictions, rules, and guidelines could be lifted and life could return to normal.
Many countries across the globe utilized medical and non-medical facemasks as non-pharmaceutical intervention for reducing the transmission and infectivity of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Although, scientific evidence supporting facemasks’ efficacy is lacking, adverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established. Is has been hypothesized that facemasks have compromised safety and efficacy profile and should be avoided from use. The current article comprehensively summarizes scientific evidences with respect to wearing facemasks in the COVID-19 era, providing prosper information for public health and decisions making.Keywords: Physiology, Psychology, Health, SARS-CoV-2, Safety, EfficacyGo to:
Facemasks are part of non-pharmaceutical interventions providing some breathing barrier to the mouth and nose that have been utilized for reducing the transmission of respiratory pathogens . Facemasks can be medical and non-medical, where two types of the medical masks primarily used by healthcare workers , . The first type is National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified N95 mask, a filtering face-piece respirator, and the second type is a surgical mask . The designed and intended uses of N95 and surgical masks are different in the type of protection they potentially provide. The N95s are typically composed of electret filter media and seal tightly to the face of the wearer, whereas surgical masks are generally loose fitting and may or may not contain electret-filtering media. The N95s are designed to reduce the wearer’s inhalation exposure to infectious and harmful particles from the environment such as during extermination of insects. In contrast, surgical masks are designed to provide a barrier protection against splash, spittle and other body fluids to spray from the wearer (such as surgeon) to the sterile environment (patient during operation) for reducing the risk of contamination .
The third type of facemasks are the non-medical cloth or fabric masks. The non-medical facemasks are made from a variety of woven and non-woven materials such as Polypropylene, Cotton, Polyester, Cellulose, Gauze and Silk. Although non-medical cloth or fabric facemasks are neither a medical device nor personal protective equipment, some standards have been developed by the French Standardization Association (AFNOR Group) to define a minimum performance for filtration and breathability capacity . The current article reviews the scientific evidences with respect to safety and efficacy of wearing facemasks, describing the physiological and psychological effects and the potential long-term consequences on health.Go to:
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a global public health emergency of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing illness of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) . As of October 1, 2020, worldwide 34,166,633 cases were reported and 1,018,876 have died with virus diagnosis. Interestingly, 99% of the detected cases with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or have mild condition, which contradicts with the virus name (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2) . Although infection fatality rate (number of death cases divided by number of reported cases) initially seems quite high 0.029 (2.9%) , this overestimation related to limited number of COVID-19 tests performed which biases towards higher rates. Given the fact that asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times higher than the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate is considerably less than 1% . This was confirmed by the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from US stating, “the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 are similar to those of severe seasonal influenza” , having a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1% , , , . In addition, data from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and general public indicate that the majority of deaths were among older and chronically ill individuals, supporting the possibility that the virus may exacerbates existing conditions but rarely causes death by itself , . SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects respiratory system and can cause complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), respiratory failure and death , . It is not clear however, what the scientific and clinical basis for wearing facemasks as protective strategy, given the fact that facemasks restrict breathing, causing hypoxemia and hypercapnia and increase the risk for respiratory complications, self-contamination and exacerbation of existing chronic conditions , , , , .
Of note, hyperoxia or oxygen supplementation (breathing air with high partial O2 pressures that above the sea levels) has been well established as therapeutic and curative practice for variety acute and chronic conditions including respiratory complications , . It fact, the current standard of care practice for treating hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is breathing 100% oxygen , , . Although several countries mandated wearing facemask in health care settings and public areas, scientific evidences are lacking supporting their efficacy for reducing morbidity or mortality associated with infectious or viral diseases , , . Therefore, it has been hypothesized: 1) the practice of wearing facemasks has compromised safety and efficacy profile, 2) Both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to reduce human-to-human transmission and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, 3) Wearing facemasks has adverse physiological and psychological effects, 4) Long-term consequences of wearing facemasks on health are detrimental.Go to:
Evolution of hypothesis
Breathing is one of the most important physiological functions to sustain life and health. Human body requires a continuous and adequate oxygen (O2) supply to all organs and cells for normal function and survival. Breathing is also an essential process for removing metabolic byproducts [carbon dioxide (CO2)] occurring during cell respiration , . It is well established that acute significant deficit in O2 (hypoxemia) and increased levels of CO2 (hypercapnia) even for few minutes can be severely harmful and lethal, while chronic hypoxemia and hypercapnia cause health deterioration, exacerbation of existing conditions, morbidity and ultimately mortality , , , . Emergency medicine demonstrates that 5–6 min of severe hypoxemia during cardiac arrest will cause brain death with extremely poor survival rates , , , . On the other hand, chronic mild or moderate hypoxemia and hypercapnia such as from wearing facemasks resulting in shifting to higher contribution of anaerobic energy metabolism, decrease in pH levels and increase in cells and blood acidity, toxicity, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, immunosuppression and health deterioration , , , .
Efficacy of facemasks
The physical properties of medical and non-medical facemasks suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block viral particles due to their difference in scales , , . According to the current knowledge, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nm to 140 nm [nanometers (billionth of a meter)] , , while medical and non-medical facemasks’ thread diameter ranges from 55 µm to 440 µm [micrometers (one millionth of a meter), which is more than 1000 times larger . Due to the difference in sizes between SARS-CoV-2 diameter and facemasks thread diameter (the virus is 1000 times smaller), SARS-CoV-2 can easily pass through any facemask . In addition, the efficiency filtration rate of facemasks is poor, ranging from 0.7% in non-surgical, cotton-gauze woven mask to 26% in cotton sweeter material . With respect to surgical and N95 medical facemasks, the efficiency filtration rate falls to 15% and 58%, respectively when even small gap between the mask and the face exists .
Clinical scientific evidence challenges further the efficacy of facemasks to block human-to-human transmission or infectivity. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 246 participants [123 (50%) symptomatic)] who were allocated to either wearing or not wearing surgical facemask, assessing viruses transmission including coronavirus . The results of this study showed that among symptomatic individuals (those with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose ect…) there was no difference between wearing and not wearing facemask for coronavirus droplets transmission of particles of >5 µm. Among asymptomatic individuals, there was no droplets or aerosols coronavirus detected from any participant with or without the mask, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals do not transmit or infect other people . This was further supported by a study on infectivity where 445 asymptomatic individuals were exposed to asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier (been positive for SARS-CoV-2) using close contact (shared quarantine space) for a median of 4 to 5 days. The study found that none of the 445 individuals was infected with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase .
A meta-analysis among health care workers found that compared to no masks, surgical mask and N95 respirators were not effective against transmission of viral infections or influenza-like illness based on six RCTs . Using separate analysis of 23 observational studies, this meta-analysis found no protective effect of medical mask or N95 respirators against SARS virus . A recent systematic review of 39 studies including 33,867 participants in community settings (self-report illness), found no difference between N95 respirators versus surgical masks and surgical mask versus no masks in the risk for developing influenza or influenza-like illness, suggesting their ineffectiveness of blocking viral transmissions in community settings .
Another meta-analysis of 44 non-RCT studies (n = 25,697 participants) examining the potential risk reduction of facemasks against SARS, middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS) and COVID-19 transmissions . The meta-analysis included four specific studies on COVID-19 transmission (5,929 participants, primarily health-care workers used N95 masks). Although the overall findings showed reduced risk of virus transmission with facemasks, the analysis had severe limitations to draw conclusions. One of the four COVID-19 studies had zero infected cases in both arms, and was excluded from meta-analytic calculation. Other two COVID-19 studies had unadjusted models, and were also excluded from the overall analysis. The meta-analytic results were based on only one COVID-19, one MERS and 8 SARS studies, resulting in high selection bias of the studies and contamination of the results between different viruses. Based on four COVID-19 studies, the meta-analysis failed to demonstrate risk reduction of facemasks for COVID-19 transmission, where the authors reported that the results of meta-analysis have low certainty and are inconclusive .
In early publication the WHO stated that “facemasks are not required, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons” . In the same publication, the WHO declared that “cloth (e.g. cotton or gauze) masks are not recommended under any circumstance” . Conversely, in later publication the WHO stated that the usage of fabric-made facemasks (Polypropylene, Cotton, Polyester, Cellulose, Gauze and Silk) is a general community practice for “preventing the infected wearer transmitting the virus to others and/or to offer protection to the healthy wearer against infection (prevention)” . The same publication further conflicted itself by stating that due to the lower filtration, breathability and overall performance of fabric facemasks, the usage of woven fabric mask such as cloth, and/or non-woven fabrics, should only be considered for infected persons and not for prevention practice in asymptomatic individuals . The Central for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made similar recommendation, stating that only symptomatic persons should consider wearing facemask, while for asymptomatic individuals this practice is not recommended . Consistent with the CDC, clinical scientists from Departments of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in Australia counsel against facemasks usage for health-care workers, arguing that there is no justification for such practice while normal caring relationship between patients and medical staff could be compromised . Moreover, the WHO repeatedly announced that “at present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID-19) on the effectiveness face masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19”. Despite these controversies, the potential harms and risks of wearing facemasks were clearly acknowledged. These including self-contamination due to hand practice or non-replaced when the mask is wet, soiled or damaged, development of facial skin lesions, irritant dermatitis or worsening acne and psychological discomfort. Vulnerable populations such as people with mental health disorders, developmental disabilities, hearing problems, those living in hot and humid environments, children and patients with respiratory conditions are at significant health risk for complications and harm .
Physiological effects of wearing facemasks
Wearing facemask mechanically restricts breathing by increasing the resistance of air movement during both inhalation and exhalation process , . Although, intermittent (several times a week) and repetitive (10–15 breaths for 2–4 sets) increase in respiration resistance may be adaptive for strengthening respiratory muscles , , prolonged and continues effect of wearing facemask is maladaptive and could be detrimental for health , , . In normal conditions at the sea level, air contains 20.93% O2 and 0.03% CO2, providing partial pressures of 100 mmHg and 40 mmHg for these gases in the arterial blood, respectively. These gas concentrations significantly altered when breathing occurs through facemask. A trapped air remaining between the mouth, nose and the facemask is rebreathed repeatedly in and out of the body, containing low O2 and high CO2 concentrations, causing hypoxemia and hypercapnia , , , , . Severe hypoxemia may also provoke cardiopulmonary and neurological complications and is considered an important clinical sign in cardiopulmonary medicine , , , , , . Low oxygen content in the arterial blood can cause myocardial ischemia, serious arrhythmias, right or left ventricular dysfunction, dizziness, hypotension, syncope and pulmonary hypertension . Chronic low-grade hypoxemia and hypercapnia as result of using facemask can cause exacerbation of existing cardiopulmonary, metabolic, vascular and neurological conditions , , , , , . Table 1 summarizes the physiological, psychological effects of wearing facemask and their potential long-term consequences for health.
Physiological and Psychological Effects of Wearing Facemask and Their Potential Health Consequences.
• Hypoxemia• Hypercapnia• Shortness of breath• Increase lactate concentration• Decline in pH levels• Acidosis• Toxicity• Inflammation• Self-contamination• Increase in stress hormones level (adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol)• Increased muscle tension• Immunosuppression
• Activation of “fight or flight” stress response• Chronic stress condition• Fear• Mood disturbances• Insomnia• Fatigue• Compromised cognitive performance
• Increased predisposition for viral and infection illnesses• Headaches• Anxiety• Depression• Hypertension• Cardiovascular disease• Cancer• Diabetes• Alzheimer disease• Exacerbation of existing conditions and diseases• Accelerated aging process• Health deterioration• Premature mortality
In addition to hypoxia and hypercapnia, breathing through facemask residues bacterial and germs components on the inner and outside layer of the facemask. These toxic components are repeatedly rebreathed back into the body, causing self-contamination. Breathing through facemasks also increases temperature and humidity in the space between the mouth and the mask, resulting a release of toxic particles from the mask’s materials , , , , , . A systematic literature review estimated that aerosol contamination levels of facemasks including 13 to 202,549 different viruses . Rebreathing contaminated air with high bacterial and toxic particle concentrations along with low O2 and high CO2 levels continuously challenge the body homeostasis, causing self-toxicity and immunosuppression , , , , , .
A study on 39 patients with renal disease found that wearing N95 facemask during hemodialysis significantly reduced arterial partial oxygen pressure (from PaO2 101.7 to 92.7 mm Hg), increased respiratory rate (from 16.8 to 18.8 breaths/min), and increased the occurrence of chest discomfort and respiratory distress . Respiratory Protection Standards from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, US Department of Labor states that breathing air with O2 concentration below 19.5% is considered oxygen-deficiency, causing physiological and health adverse effects. These include increased breathing frequency, accelerated heartrate and cognitive impairments related to thinking and coordination . A chronic state of mild hypoxia and hypercapnia has been shown as primarily mechanism for developing cognitive dysfunction based on animal studies and studies in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
The adverse physiological effects were confirmed in a study of 53 surgeons where surgical facemask were used during a major operation. After 60 min of facemask wearing the oxygen saturation dropped by more than 1% and heart rate increased by approximately five beats/min . Another study among 158 health-care workers using protective personal equipment primarily N95 facemasks reported that 81% (128 workers) developed new headaches during their work shifts as these become mandatory due to COVID-19 outbreak. For those who used the N95 facemask greater than 4 h per day, the likelihood for developing a headache during the work shift was approximately four times higher [Odds ratio = 3.91, 95% CI (1.35–11.31) p = 0.012], while 82.2% of the N95 wearers developed the headache already within ≤10 to 50 min .
With respect to cloth facemask, a RCT using four weeks follow up compared the effect of cloth facemask to medical masks and to no masks on the incidence of clinical respiratory illness, influenza-like illness and laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus infections among 1607 participants from 14 hospitals . The results showed that there were no difference between wearing cloth masks, medical masks and no masks for incidence of clinical respiratory illness and laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus infections. However, a large harmful effect with more than 13 times higher risk [Relative Risk = 13.25 95% CI (1.74 to 100.97) was observed for influenza-like illness among those who were wearing cloth masks . The study concluded that cloth masks have significant health and safety issues including moisture retention, reuse, poor filtration and increased risk for infection, providing recommendation against the use of cloth masks .
Psychological effects of wearing facemasks
Psychologically, wearing facemask fundamentally has negative effects on the wearer and the nearby person. Basic human-to-human connectivity through face expression is compromised and self-identity is somewhat eliminated , , . These dehumanizing movements partially delete the uniqueness and individuality of person who wearing the facemask as well as the connected person . Social connections and relationships are basic human needs, which innately inherited in all people, whereas reduced human-to-human connections are associated with poor mental and physical health , . Despite escalation in technology and globalization that would presumably foster social connections, scientific findings show that people are becoming increasingly more socially isolated, and the prevalence of loneliness is increasing in last few decades , . Poor social connections are closely related to isolation and loneliness, considered significant health related risk factors , , , .
A meta-analysis of 91 studies of about 400,000 people showed a 13% increased morality risk among people with low compare to high contact frequency . Another meta-analysis of 148 prospective studies (308,849 participants) found that poor social relationships was associated with 50% increased mortality risk. People who were socially isolated or fell lonely had 45% and 40% increased mortality risk, respectively. These findings were consistent across ages, sex, initial health status, cause of death and follow-up periods . Importantly, the increased risk for mortality was found comparable to smoking and exceeding well-established risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity . An umbrella review of 40 systematic reviews including 10 meta-analyses demonstrated that compromised social relationships were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, depression, anxiety suicide, cancer and overall physical illness .
As described earlier, wearing facemasks causing hypoxic and hypercapnic state that constantly challenges the normal homeostasis, and activates “fight or flight” stress response, an important survival mechanism in the human body , , . The acute stress response includes activation of nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and the immune systems , , , . These include activation of the limbic part of the brain, release stress hormones (adrenalin, neuro-adrenalin and cortisol), changes in blood flow distribution (vasodilation of peripheral blood vessels and vasoconstriction of visceral blood vessels) and activation of the immune system response (secretion of macrophages and natural killer cells) , . Encountering people who wearing facemasks activates innate stress-fear emotion, which is fundamental to all humans in danger or life threating situations, such as death or unknown, unpredictable outcome. While acute stress response (seconds to minutes) is adaptive reaction to challenges and part of the survival mechanism, chronic and prolonged state of stress-fear is maladaptive and has detrimental effects on physical and mental health. The repeatedly or continuously activated stress-fear response causes the body to operate on survival mode, having sustain increase in blood pressure, pro-inflammatory state and immunosuppression , .
Long-Term health consequences of wearing facemasks
Long-term practice of wearing facemasks has strong potential for devastating health consequences. Prolonged hypoxic-hypercapnic state compromises normal physiological and psychological balance, deteriorating health and promotes the developing and progression of existing chronic diseases , , , , , , , , , . For instance, ischemic heart disease caused by hypoxic damage to the myocardium is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and is a number one cause of death worldwide (44% of all non-communicable diseases) with 17.9 million deaths occurred in 2016 . Hypoxia also playing an important role in cancer burden . Cellular hypoxia has strong mechanistic feature in promoting cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, predicting clinical outcomes and usually presents a poorer survival in patients with cancer. Most solid tumors present some degree of hypoxia, which is independent predictor of more aggressive disease, resistance to cancer therapies and poorer clinical outcomes , . Worth note, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with an estimate of more than 18 million new diagnosed cases and 9.6 million cancer-related deaths occurred in 2018 .
With respect to mental health, global estimates showing that COVID-19 will cause a catastrophe due to collateral psychological damage such as quarantine, lockdowns, unemployment, economic collapse, social isolation, violence and suicides , , . Chronic stress along with hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions knocks the body out of balance, and can cause headaches, fatigue, stomach issues, muscle tension, mood disturbances, insomnia and accelerated aging , , , , . This state suppressing the immune system to protect the body from viruses and bacteria, decreasing cognitive function, promoting the developing and exacerbating the major health issues including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer disease, rising anxiety and depression states, causes social isolation and loneliness and increasing the risk for prematurely mortality , , , , .Go to:
The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.Go to:
CRediT authorship contribution statement
Baruch Vainshelboim: Conceptualization, Data curation, Writing – original draft.Go to:
Declaration of Competing Interest
The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.Go to:
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Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed an executive order banning vaccine passports on Tuesday, prohibiting state agencies and businesses from requiring people to show proof of vaccination before providing their services.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Steven Hatfill confirms hydroxychloroquine-based medicine’s efficacy against the CCP (Communist Party of China) Virus. He has condemned Dr. Anthony Fauci and others’ intentional interference against the drug’s use, despite its proven effectiveness.
“It’s pretty clear that Dr. Fauci, Dr. Woodcock and Dr. [Rick] Bright are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States for giving this drug a bad name,” Dr. Hatfill said on Steve Bannon’s War Room program on April 13.