I had my Popeye moment and it's been building.
I fully respect if you think you ought to wear a mask. The same for any privately owned business to require them. That being stated I am convinced you and I have been completely misled about the effectiveness of masks and for one reason - control.
When our (Leon County) Board of Commissioners extended the mask mandate this week I felt it was time to offer a reasoned, scientifically supported apologetic. So, I began to write. I asked my sweetheart to check my spelling and grammar. Then I sent it.
My case is, I think, ironclad. Everything we have experienced makes sense through what is below and it fulfills theory known as Occam's Razor. I have pasted what I sent, with links, below. I apologize if it doesn't format cleanly. Feel free to share and make your own wherever you live which is under "the mandate."
The unmitigated gall of elected officials telling us when, where, or how we can gather is too much. It's time to stop it.
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April 27, 2021
The Leon County release stating no change in the local mask mandate demands a response. Initially, I had no doubt the Commission moved forward with the best of intentions. I ask you to carefully weigh and search what follows. I believe elected officials owe it to our community to do so.
The reliance on the CDC is bad policy making. Consider for decades, prior to the end of March 2020, all studies and CDC guidance of virus pathogens showed no gain was derived by healthy people wearing masks. Additionally, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on 60 Minutes with Dr. Jon LaPook (CBS Chief Medical Correspondent) and stated emphatically that while masks may make people “feel safer” they were unnecessary for healthy people. He further stated masks may inadvertently make things worse.
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRa6t_e7dgI
The same was promoted by the United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the World Health Organization. The pandemic was in its infancy at the time. It is a scientific impossibility for there to be any studies proving any new protocol would be effective in such a short span of time. There were no studies showing masks would be useful, yet it became policy within weeks. How is it possible?
Politics and the press, not science.
Two things happened within the CDC starting at the end of March 2020.
1) Masks suddenly, we were told, were going to keep nanoparticles from a virus from infecting people. 2) The CDC also changed the reporting and determination guidelines for medical examiners and coroners changing a nearly two-decade long set of standards which have been used and accepted inside the medical community for determining death when there is comorbidity. These changes matter because the urgency was heightened by the alleged death toll and masks were, against decades of science, the silver bullet of prevention.
Here are the 2003 Guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/hb_me.pdf
Here are the adjusted standards from October 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/coronavirus/Alert-2-New-ICD-code-introduced-for-COVID-19-deaths.pdf?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-icd-code-introduced-for-covid-19-deaths
An analysis states: A table in the October study titled “Comparison of Total Covid-19 Fatalities Based Upon Different Reporting Guidelines” demonstrated that deaths through August 23rd of 2020 were higher by over 16 times as compared to the traditional definition.If the reporting of these deaths followed the CDC guidebook from 2003, the number of Covid deaths would have been 9,684.However, utilizing this new reporting and classification method that exclusively applied to COVID-19, the number of deaths is 161,392.
The paper delves into a variety of other topics, some legal and some statistical, that are all intrinsically functions of the change in death reporting parameters initiated by the March 2020 alert.However, for so many of us who have had nagging doubts about the actual numbers, knowing that the calculus for recording these deaths had been replaced is reassuring.Having spent a year looking at COVID fatality numbers and assuming that the true count was more likely half or a third of what was being reported, this new report is both satisfying and startling.None of us would have guessed that the actual disparity would be that the number of COVID deaths, according to this study, is a bit less than 6% of the numbers reported by the media.
Had the CDC used the original guidance, in place for nearly twenty years, our current national death toll would be approximately 34,320. Sad, yes. Society changing, no.
That number is more in keeping with a bad flu season.
The Leon County number would be eighteen. Yes, eighteen. Tragic, yes. Business closing, no.
However, the issue at hand is masks. I want to call your attention to a study on an affiliated site to the National Institute of Health, operated and maintained by the federal government. This study shows masks are ineffective and it cites 67 other researchers, doctors, and studies. I will remind you this is on a United States government website. It controls what it publishes. The author of the study has been cited for his work fifty-five times by the National Center for Biotechnology Information which is where the study sits right this moment.
The study states: “According to the current knowledge, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nm to 140 nm [nanometers (billionth of a meter)] , , while medical and non-medical facemasks’ thread diameter ranges from 55 µm to 440 µm [micrometers (one millionth of a meter), which is more than 1000 times larger . Due to the difference in sizes between SARS-CoV-2 diameter and facemasks thread diameter (the virus is 1000 times smaller), SARS-CoV-2 can easily pass through any facemask.”
The typical media outlets are attempting to demonize this study because it has been shared by some outlets stating an affiliation with Stanford University. The researcher once worked with Stanford and now works with the Rabin Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel. The study is by a highly regarded and cited researcher specializing in biotechnology (kind of what masks are all about, right?) and it remains on a government website with all sources noted and linked.
A study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine in November chronicled a controlled study of 1800 plus Marines on a secured base. The Marines had to test negative before being allowed in the study where they were using social distancing and masking guidelines. The second group had no controls. Guess which group fared better? Neither. It was a statistical tie. There was no statistical difference between those who wore masks and those who did not. The study was done by the United States Navy in conjunction with Mt. Sinai.
From the study conclusion: Among Marine Corps recruits, approximately 2% who had previously had negative results for SARS-CoV-2 at the beginning of supervised quarantine, and less than 2% of recruits with unknown previous status, tested positive by day 14. Most recruits who tested positive were asymptomatic, and no infections were detected through daily symptom monitoring. Transmission clusters occurred within platoons. (Funded by the Defense Health Agency and others.)
Commissioners, COVID-19 is not the first, nor will it be the last virus. But this has been an overreaction and the continuation is unconscionable with the data and information you now have before you.
COVID is spiking where Spring breakers flooded (south Florida) and the cities and states with the highest level of mask mandates. Let’s go back to what Dr. Fauci originally said before politics and the press exerted immense pressure. Wearing masks could make things worse.
An argument has been made that the masks are for infected, asymptomatic persons. It’s a straw dog. There have always been asymptomatic carriers. Always, and the studies were accepted until the end of March 2020.
In closing, I want to remind you, however indelicate this may be, that you all enjoy your pay and benefits as Commissioners (as do appointed officials) due to tax payers. Your community has businesses which have closed, others on the brink. Employees have lost jobs, many are currently under-employed (as an aside the new administration in Washington, DC has changed how the jobless numbers are calculated going back to the early 1970s – you decide why that may be).
Each and every one of you has enjoyed full pay, no loss of benefits during this pandemic. Many, if not most, of the community has been financially impacted and/or have lost benefits due to a loss of hours. Remove the unenforceable mandate and treat those who pay your salary as adults and let them decide for themselves.
Preston R. Scott,
Leon County Taxpayer