The CDC Knew Masks Didn’t Work And Misrepresented The Evidence Anyway

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The CDC has worked harder than almost any other agency in America to discredit itself.

Starting with its atrocious work during the early portions of the pandemic, when it helped create the disastrous lockdowns which accomplished nothing while harming millions. Or when it worked with teachers unions to ensure that schools would remain closed, contradicting evidence and data from Europe which showed that schools could safely stay open.

The CDC’s misinformation on vaccine efficacy almost certainly contributed to the rapid proliferation of vaccine mandates and passports. Institutional, government sponsored discrimination promoted and encouraged by what’s supposed to be the nation’s leading public health agency.

But all that pales in comparison to the CDC’s most inexcusable mistake: masks.

In Febraury 2020, virtually every available piece of evidence had confirmed that masks were not effective against respiratory viruses. Pre-pandemic planning documents created by the World Health Organization and the CDC itself either outright stated there was no evidence for masking, or completely omitted it as a potential intervention.

By April 2020, the CDC, with no evidence, dramatically altered course. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, reports later suggested that the agency felt pressured by a New York Times article written by sociologist Zeynep Tufecki.

That’s correct; the CDC was pressured into changing guidance by an unqualified New York Times writer. Perfection.

To make matters worse, newly released information shows they knew soon afterwards they were wrong. And kept going anyway.

CDC masks
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 11: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The committee will hear testimony about the federal response to COVID-19 and new, emerging variants. (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

CDC Shows Yet Again Why They’ve Lost The Public’s Trust

The Epoch Times reported that newly released emails show that the CDC was warned in 2021 that their page advocating for mask usage was deeply, and fatally, flawed.


Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, along with seven other colleagues, emailed the CDC in November 2021 detailing a series of mistakes and unsupported conclusions they made in attempting to promote their agenda. Osterholm and the other experts also highlighted that the agency was ignoring evidence disproving their assertions.

Wonder why they were doing that?

One such claim highlighted in the letter was that “Masking may reduce viral inoculum when transmission occurs, resulting in more mild disease.” Osterholm pointed out that the page cited “highly questionable and misleading commentary” to claim that lower viral load, and thus reduced infection, could result from that had already been debunked.

“We believe human epidemiological and animal experimental data have been misinterpreted,” they wrote.

But that’s just a specific claim, and the authors pointed out that the CDC made, even more importantly, inaccurate statements about mask efficacy as a whole.

Leading Public Health Agency Told They Were Wrong, Refused To Acknowledge It

More broadly, Osterholm pointed out that there was no growing body of evidence enhancing claims of mask efficacy over time.

“We also recommend that IDSA reconsider its statements about the efficacy of masks and face coverings for preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” the letter reads. “We do not agree that the evidence for their efficacy has strengthened throughout the pandemic, as the website suggests.”

They also cited the Cochrane Library review on masks, which has since been updated and confirmed that there’s no evidence for their efficacy.


Similarly, the CDC was also informed of shortcomings in “studies” used to promote masking. Shortcomings they purposefully ignored.

“The second of these pieces describes the important elements of a rigorous mask study and critiques several studies as examples of the shortcomings of most such studies to date. One of the critiqued studies is the randomized clinical trial of masks conducted in Bangladesh and released as a preprint by Jason Abaluck; this study is cited by IDSA in support of mask efficacy. This study has many significant shortcomings not described or recognized by the IDSA summary, which were highlighted in the CID RAP commentary. Most important, this study did not consider or measure baseline seropositivity in the study population, but instead concluded that anyone seropositive at the end of the study must have been infected during the study period.”

Promoting Flawed Research While Ignoring Quality Results

While promoting deeply flawed studies to promote their agenda, the CDC also downplayed results from high quality research.

“The IDSA ‘Masks and Face Coverings for the Public’ webpage appears to focus on the strengths of studies that support its conclusions while ignoring their shortcomings of study design; studies that do not support its perspective are similarly downplayed.”

Sounds about right.

And the CDC virtually ignored it.

Nothing changed in their recommendations, nothing changed in the winter of 2021-2022 for the CDC to reconsider their guidance or spreading inaccurate, incorrect information. Why? Because they didn’t want to.

The CDC wanted to promote masks, and so they did. Facts and evidence be damned.

The discrediting of public health at large, and the specific public health agencies has been widely decried by “experts” as a disturbing lack of faith in science. But it’s impossible to have faith in the CDC when they work so hard to erase it themselves.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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