Meta-analyses of more than 100 studies and trials: masks do not work.

There’s been nothing but backlash against those of us who do not mask. As always, the argument to support physically assaulting or verbally abusing the maskless is that “science” proves masks are effective at preventing virus transmission.

Yet never do the media, online comments, or our self-appointed babysitters offer that “science” for examination. Their evidence consists of a statement their governor or news media or next-door neighbor made alleging masks work.

There have been studies done, dozens of them, over decades, examining whether masks are effective at preventing respiratory virus transmission. I have shown you more than a couple that found surgical and cloth masks are ineffective and that N95 masks do not perform significantly better. What of other studies though?

As I’m just a layperson with more than just masks to research every day, I have to leave analysis of those studies to the professionals.

So, have any professionals done analyses of mask studies? Yes, in fact. I found that 108 studies and randomized controlled trials have been analyzed; the most recent analysis was specifically done this year in light of coronavirus. What was found after looking at all that data?

They found no evidence proving that masks of any kind significantly reduce transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.

Here’s their hard work, but friend, do not attack me, or them, for reporting facts and telling the truth:

The most recent meta-anaylysis was done this year in the UK and they went after 21 studies looking for the truth. What they found was that none of the studies could be fully trusted due to bias. The authors stated that they were only able to find a comically low effectiveness of masks, reporting:

a moderate likelihood of a small effect of wearing surgical face masks in community settings in reducing self-reported influenza-like illness (ILI)”

In 2010 a meta-analysis from Cambridge University looked at 12 studies on masks, and determined that none of the studies reviewed showed a benefit from wearing a mask, in health care workers, community members, or in the household:

“There is little evidence to support the effectiveness of face masks to reduce the risk of infection.”

Another meta-analysis of 17 pieces of scientific evidence on whether masks are effective at couldn’t come up with anything, either, saying:

None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”

A 2016 analysis of 29 studies going back 26 years found that N95 masks do not perform any better than standard surgical masks:

“we found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in associated risk of (a) laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, (b) influenza-like illness, or (c) reported work-place absenteeism.”

A 2017 meta-analysis of 23 studies (and six controlled trials) found, as the current 2020 analysis found, that yet again there was bias and that masks are not effective:

Self-reported assessment of clinical outcomes was prone to bias. Evidence of a protective effect of masks or respirators against verified respiratory infection (VRI) was not statistically significant.”

And we come back again to 2020, where a systematic review and meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials of masks also found that N95 masks are no more effective than surgical masks (which, if you recall, have also been proven to be ineffective):

There were no statistically significant differences in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza, laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, and influenza-like illness using N95 respirators and surgical masks.”

It doesn’t matter if you believe masks are effective, or which of your celebrity idols swear by them, or how much shame you cast on the maskless, the facts are completely and totally undeniable: there is no evidence masks work. Anyone arguing otherwise is signaling their willful ignorance of science, facts, and the years of very hard work dedicated scientists have put into answering this question.

For you to call more than 100 studies incorrect merely because your favorite politician tells you to is also not just ignorant– in light of how terribly damaging our response to the virus has been, it is dangerous.

Take off your masks. They do nothing but hurt you.


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