(FULL) Digi-Debates. The Face Mask Debate
Jul 25, 2020 | Digi Debates | Resolution: VOL 7. The Face Mask Debate: Public mask mandates curb the spread of Covid-19.
With mandatory masking being enacted by governments around the world, in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, many questions have surfaced as to whether or not these measures work. What do you think? Do public mask mandates help curb the spread of the virus?
Affirmative to the resolution is David Kyle Johnson, Professor of Philosophy at King’s College
Links and references provided by Professor Johnson:
Negative to the resolution is Denis Rancourt, PhD. Lead Researcher, Ontario Civil Liberties Association
Links and references provided by Denis Rancourt, PhD
2) https://www.cfp.ca/content/66/7/505 [July 2020 article he mentioned]
5) https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/masking-lack-of-evidence-with-politics/ [another July 2020 article]
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My notes on some of Denis Rancourt’s points:
The lockdown is very destructive and the severity of this and other measures needs to be justified.
Masks have known potential harms such as reducing oxygen intake and the build-up of bacteria & viruses
Randomized control trials are necessary for medical decisions. Observational trials can be useless vs. randomized control trials with verified outcomes, which do have a chance to discovering the truth about particular medical therapies. A randomized control trial is necessary to remove bias. He gave a couple of examples of therapies where RCTs turned out to give the opposite information to what the obsesrvational studies concluded.
He refers to an April 8 paper [links above seem to have most of these except letter to WHO] which he quotes from.
He refers to a July 2020 paper which is a systematic review. No detectable benefit of masks. He refers to another article which summarizes this study also for the benefit of doctors. Different trials were done: some with sick wearing masks, some with healthy wearing masks, some with both. A July 24 study is mentioned by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine [see the links above]. Conclusion that masks have no significant effect on interrupting viral transmission.
One of the basic arguments was that there are large gaps between the mask and the person’s face.
He says that the precautionary principle requires the government to justify the use of masks which cause potential harm (reducing oxygenand collecting pathogens on their masks). He asserts that WHO never recommended masks to general public until recently (see the notes below). They’ve turned 180 degrees.
He mentions another letter to WHO by 200+ scientists pleading with WHO to talk about aerosols and not just droplets [see if this article is included above], their point being that the main source of transmission for infections is buildings with fine aerosol particles and therefore that governments need to look at the problem of ventilation in buildings–and hence the problem with locking away seniors in buildings with poor ventilation and closing windows and doors. In this paper he says they never mentioned masks because they’re useless.
More info – includes a statement about WHO against masks.
Follow-up: locate copy of letter to WHO?