The Finish of The Masks – Watts Up With That?

Opinion by Kip Hansen —  15 May 2021

If there was ever a surer example of the perversion of the  Power of Experts than the Covid Mask Mania, I am unaware of it.   I doubt that there is a single self-aware person in the world that does not know what the Covid Mask Mania means, even most of those who have been stanch supporters and promoters of The Mask are aware that it is, in fact, a product of a world-wide Mass Hysteria that grew out of the unknowns surrounding the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China in late 2019. 

Those of you who still have the ability to remember the recent past, despite endless propaganda aimed at making you forget, the original CDC Guidance on Face Masks for Covid-19 was this:

Wear a facemask if you are sick

If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

[ source CDC website dated 28 March 2020 via WayBack Machine ]

The Famous Fauci, back when he was just Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and not yet a global media star – let me be clear, we are talking about when Dr. Anthony Fauci was the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases of all kinds – he said the following in a televised interview on March 8, 2020:

[ Quoting the opinion checking website, which found that history requires a revision in order to comply with “latest guidelines” in its current coverage here. ]

Here’s what Fauci told Dr. Jon LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News, in the clip circulating on social media:

LaPook, March 8: There’s a lot of confusion among people, and misinformation, surrounding face masks. Can you discuss that?

Fauci: The masks are important for someone who’s infected to prevent them from infecting someone else… Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.

LaPook: You’re sure of it? Because people are listening really closely to this.

Fauci: …There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.

LaPook: And can you get some schmutz, sort of staying inside there?

Fauci: Of course, of course. But, when you think masks, you should think of health care providers needing them and people who are ill. The people who, when you look at the films of foreign countries and you see 85% of the people wearing masks — that’s fine, that’s fine. I’m not against it. If you want to do it, that’s fine.

LaPook: But it can lead to a shortage of masks?

Fauci: Exactly, that’s the point. It could lead to a shortage of masks for the people who really need it.”

Other than adding a link to the definition of schmutz – I have not highlighted any of Faucci’s statement.  I don’t need to catch Fauci out in anything because Fauci was absolutely scientifically correct in everything he said.  In this, he totally depended on the existing science on the prevention of the transmission of coronavirus illnesses.  And the science on the topic has not changed – if anything, it has been reinforced over and over throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Yet, decided that Fauci, the USA’s leading expert on Infectious Diseases and their transmission, was not expert enough – so they check his knowledge against the opinion of the Director of the CDC?    No….against the opinion of Dr. Dean Winslow, a well-known  infectious disease physician at Stanford (University) Health Care who told 

“In early March, so few patients had been tested that public health officials didn’t yet know that people could spread the virus without showing symptoms, said Winslow.

“That was just not known at that point.”

There was no new science that suddenly made masks effective for the general public but something maybe about Covid-19. 

And what does that science really say?  “…there’s little scientific evidence that the various face coverings we call ‘masks’ do much if anything to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”  [ source ] There are just too many peer-reviewed, high-powered, definitive studies and meta-analyses to list here.  The Big List of such studies is in the book: “The Price of Panic. . . .” by Jay W. Richards, Douglas Axe, and William Briggs. 

It is, of course, as in all things that deal with the political interference in things that should depend on strict empirical science, worse than that.

In April 2020, the Famous Fauci said

“So, we want to make sure that this issue of having a broader community approach towards putting on a facial covering doesn’t, in fact, get in the way of the primary purpose of masks.

[ which was, he had just explained: “masks that are most appropriately used and necessary for the front-line health care workers, who do need it for the clear and present danger that they find themselves in when they are taking care of people who are actually sick with coronavirus disease.” ]

And in that regard, that’s why what we’re talking about are things that may not necessarily need to be a classical mask, but could be some sort of facial covering.

You know, we’re pretty good in making things in a way that spontaneously becomes effective just because of your own creativity.”

[ source – PBS interview here. ]

Once the CDC changed it’s tune on masks, demanding that The Mask be worn at all times under almost all circumstances, the rhetoric ramped up not only demanding that everyone everywhere wear masks, but accusing those who fail or refuse to wear masks of “killing their grandmothers” (Andrew Cuomo – Governor of New York – a charge he repeats in the present about those who don’t get vaccinated).

In a mass-hysteria-type reaction, everyone who could find a public megaphone jumped on the bandwagon, making wilder and wilder public statements about the deadly-serious importance of wearing masks:

“Everyone should wear a mask,” Blumberg said. “People who say ‘I don’t believe masks work’ are ignoring scientific evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity.’

“People who don’t wear a mask increase the risk of transmission to everyone, not just the people they come into contact with,” he said. “It’s all the people those people will have contact with. You’re being an irresponsible member of the community if you’re not wearing a mask.” [ source ]

Wearing a mask became a virtue signaling bellweather:  “I’m a good person, a patriot, a saint….” Because I wear a mask, even in my own home or when alone in my car.

And now?

In an unexpected change if heart (must have been as there has been no new science or breakthrough understanding), the CDC has said:

Vaccinated Americans May Go Without Masks in Most Places, Federal Officials Say

Fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks or maintain social distance indoors or outdoors, with some exceptions, the C.D.C. advised. [ source ]

Directly from the CDC:

“Update that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance

Update that fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter”

[ source: CDC here 13 May 2021 ]

End BQ

What does this mean for the real world? 

Up to 13 May 2021, US News and World Report list the following U.S. states as having NO Mask Mandate previous-to-CDC-announcement:

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | Florida | Georgia | Idaho | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Louisiana | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | New Hampshire | North Dakota | Oklahoma | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Wisconsin | Wyoming | Northern Mariana Islands (an unincorporated territory and commonwealth of the U.S.)

That’s 26 out of 50 states with no mandate before the new CDC guidelines.

So far today:

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says the state’s mask mandate will end June 11, 2021. On that date, the Bluegrass State will also return to 100% capacity at venues and events. [ source ]

Minnesota  — Following New CDC Guidance, Governor Walz Announces End to Statewide Face Covering Requirement — Minnesota will align with CDC guidance and recommend unvaccinated Minnesotans continue to wear face coverings indoors [ source ]

North Carolina has removed its indoor mask mandate for most settings and lifted all mass gathering and social distancing limits. This step forward is effective immediately and follows yesterday’s guidance from the CDC. [ source ]

Rhode Island  — paraphrasing “fully vaccinated people, as of this coming Tuesday, will no longer need to wear masks or social distance”. [ source ]

Michigan – paraphrasing “everyone who is two weeks out from their second vaccine dose can go without a mask”. [ source ]

Oregon – “Starting today, Oregon will be following this guidance, which only applies to fully-vaccinated individuals. That means Oregonians who are fully-vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.”  [ source ]

Florida — “Floridians should not be penalized for rejecting the overreach of local authorities through unnecessary mask mandates,” [Governor] DeSantis wrote on Twitter Thursday about his decision to pardon the Carnevales. [ who had been arrested for failing to require masks and social distancing at their business, a gym.]”  “The governor confirmed his intentions to pardon people at a press conference Thursday in Ormond Beach, Florida, saying he would “remit” the remaining outstanding fines that have been issued against people at the state’s next clemency meeting.” [ source ]

Connecticut — Masks Not Required Indoors For Fully Vaccinated People in Connecticut Starting May 19: Governor  [ source ]

Illinois – “Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that he will revise executive orders to sync up with new CDC guidelines on mask wearing by vaccinated individuals in indoor and outdoor spaces.” [ source ]

Nevada – “On May 3, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive updating mask and face covering requirements for the state to align with the CDC’s recommendations, including any subsequent guidance. As a result, the new guidance from the federal agency became effective immediately, according to a news release from the state.” [ source ]

Pennsylvania – “In short, the Health Department says it is following the CDC’s lead.  That means Pennsylvanians who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks outdoors or indoors except in certain situations.“  [ source ]

Washington – “Masks off: Fully vaccinated people can shed masks in Washington, [Washington Governor] Inslee announces following new CDC rules”  [ source ]

New York – “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance on mask use for fully vaccinated people. The guidelines state that fully vaccinated people, defined as two or more weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, no longer need to wear masks outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.” [ source ]

Virginia – “Governor Ralph Northam today lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Governor Northam also announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned. The updates to Virginia’s mask policy …. will become effective at midnight tonight along with previously announced changes to mitigation measures.” [ source ]

Colorado – “Coloradans who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks, and people who aren’t vaccinated are only required to wear them in limited settings, Gov. Jared Polis said Friday.” [ source ]

Delaware – “Governor John Carney on Friday announced that – effective May 21 – the State of Delaware will lift its requirement that Delawareans and visitors must wear face coverings anytime they are indoors with others outside their household.  Delawareans should instead follow masking guidance issued on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all indoor and outdoor activities.”  [ source ]

West Virginia – “West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that he is signing an executive order to modify the face covering requirement during a press conference on Friday. The governor says West Virginia will immediately begin following the updated CDC guidance for those who are fully vaccinated.  The facial covering requirement will still apply to those who have not been vaccinated until June 20.” [ source ]

The Governors of the states (in the United States) are announcing allegiance to the CDC so quickly that I literally cannot keep up with adding them in above as I write this column. 

How long do you think the other governors, who have not yet fallen into line with the new (and very welcome) diktat from the CDC, can delay?   Does anyone think that citizens of one state seeing freedom restored in the neighboring state will not demand the same freedom? 

I think that reasonable people will realize that the mask mandate was unnecessary from the beginning — especially as The Science from The Epidemiologists  has been telling them all to expect to have to wear masks for at least another six months, a year longer, two years, or maybe forever.  In a poll conducted by the NY Times that was completed just 4 days ago, 81% of professional epidemiologists expected mask mandates to continue for at least 1 more year.   52% expected masking to last for more than a year.  The minimum expected was “a few more months”.  Up until yesterday, Epidemiologists represented The Science….no longer, they have been kicked to the curb. 

In my opinion, this new CDC Guideline breaks the back of the oppressive Covid-19 Panic Power Grab by presidents, governors, city councils and mayors who have reveled in their free pass to rule by executive order under emergency powers without oversight by elected law makers. 

There will be no going back,  I don’t think the people will stand for it, at least not in the United States. 

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Note: A few typos and other editing errors have been corrected on my first review of “as published”. — kh

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Author’s Comment:

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have never worn a mask unless absolutely required by a “no mask, no service” rule at a place of business.  Despite signs requiring masks, I have never worn a mask at a gas pump. 

I have been appalled at the sight of nuclear family groups walking in the woods, hundreds of feet from the nearest non-family members, wearing masks.  I have had the same reaction seeing married couples bicycling on rail trails in the bright Spring sunshine, wearing masks.

The Power of Experts, abused, for the sake of fame.  The intentional ignorance of the truths of medical science, gained over the last fifty years but abandoned by today’s self-serving “experts” in the throes of a Mass Hysteria who have gone-along-to-get-along, bandwagoning and cheerleading whatever the current Covid Hysteria message from WHO and the CDC and unknown/unnamed political forces have demanded. 

It is entirely possible that the CDC has issued the “vaccination will free you from mandates” guideline as a tool to increase vaccinations (not a bad thing) and/or as a political tool to improve the sitting President’s miserable approval ratings.

Address comments to “Kip . . .” if speaking to me.

Thanks for reading.

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