On December 16, 2021 The Atlantic published an article called "The CDC's flawed case for wearing masks in school". Our blog post pointed out the same flaws from the AZ study that CDC and CDH are using to justify mandatory masking in our schools.
This is not the first time The Atlantic has published articles critical of mandatory masking of school children. For those who accuse people who oppose mask mandates in school (or anywhere else) of being overtly partisan, please refer to this media bias chart which classifies The Atlantic as "skews left" with " Mostly Analysis OR Mix of Fact Reporting and Analysis".
Opposition to mandatory masking is not, and should not, be a partisan issue.
Back to the new article in The Atlantic.... The author interviewed a total of nine experts who all echoed the same sentiment: “You can’t learn anything about the effects of school mask mandates from this study,”
This article points out many of the flaws we noticed. Rather than provide further analysis, we will refer you to the article and provide a handful of excerpts including additional study flaws we did not notice or include in our previous commentary.
“You can’t learn anything about the effects of school mask mandates from this study,”
"“so unreliable that it probably should not have been entered into the public discourse.”
Some "schools had twice as much time—six weeks instead of three weeks—in which to develop a COVID outbreak."
"782 of the 999 public, non-charter schools included in the study were in Maricopa County. In response to a public-records request, the Arizona Department of Education sent me what it said was the same list of schools that had been provided to the researchers, with 891 relevant entries for Maricopa. But closer inspection revealed that about 40 of them were virtual learning academies, about 20 were preschools, and about 90 were vocational programs associated with otherwise-listed schools. That left at most roughly 740 schools for inclusion in the study, not 782. If dozens of entries were inappropriately included in the final data set, were “outbreaks” counted for them too?"
"How did research with so many obvious flaws make its way through all the layers of internal technical review? And why was it promoted so aggressively by the agency’s director? I reached out to office to ask about the study ... The CDC did not respond to my inquiries."
"Dubious research has been cited after the fact, without transparency, in support of existing agency guidance. “Research requires trust and the ability to verify work,” Ketcham, the ASU public-health economist, told me. “That’s the heart of science. The saddest part of this is the erosion of trust.”
The Atlantic and Boise School Parents aren't the only ones that noticed the flimsy science of the CDC....
Dr. Neeraj Sood, PhD, from the USC Price School of Public Policy and founding member of the USC Schaeffer Center, where his research focuses on economic epidemiology and infectious diseases, is leading a study on Covid-19 in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He recently wrote an article called "The Harm of Mandatory Masking of School Children is a Bad Idea" .
In the article he points out..
"A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimated that mask mandates in schools are associated with a roughly 20% reduction in COVID-19 incidence though the effect estimate was statistically indistinguishable from zero. Let’s take the 20% effect at face value and do the math. Last month, about 5,000 school age children in California were diagnosed with COVID-19, which means 1,000 infections would have been prevented if all school kids wore masks. Given the survival rate among children, mask mandates might prevent one child death in the coming school year, a tiny fraction of the approximately 900 deaths of children 5 to 17 years old in 2019. If the aim is to save children’s lives, other interventions – like enhanced pool safety – would be much more effective."
"The benefits of masks in preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19 among children are infinitesimally small. At the same time they are disruptive to learning and communicating in classrooms. They may be partially effective in shielding adults from COVID, but since when is it ethical to burden children for the benefit of adults?
COVID-19 is less of a threat to children than accidents or the common flu. The survival rate among American children with confirmed cases is approximately 99.99%; remarkably, recent studies find an even higher survival rate."
Furthermore, a research letter published in Jama Pediatrics shows the ill effects of compulsory wearing of a mask all day in school. They measured carbon dioxide content in inhaled air with and without 2 types of nose and mouth coverings in a well-controlled, counterbalanced, short-term experimental study in volunteer children in good health. The study showed that the the value of the child with the lowest carbon dioxide level was 3-fold greater than the limit. The study concluded that "there was ample evidence for adverse effects of wearing such masks. We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks."
There is enough conclusive evidence that shows masks are harmful to children in schools.
The decision to wear a mask or not to wear a mask should be the right of the child/parent and not to be mandated based on half witted science.