Masks…The curious case of the Danish mask study.

Read it and wonder about everything else that Facebook does, or that PHE didn’t.

DANMASK-19, the first trial of mask use during covid-19, was “negative.” Masks didn’t work. We knew this before the trial was published because we were told so on social media. The authors were reported by the media to be struggling to find a major journal for their trial.1 Journals weren’t proving brave enough to publish the study, said the authors, and they didn’t make a preprint available.

When the mythical trial was finally published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine we didn’t need to read it. We already knew its damning verdict on mask wearing. Social media told us as much. Eminent professors of evidence based medicine, Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson, confirmed this in an article for the Spectator.2

Except that if you read the published paper you find almost the exact opposite.345 The trial is inconclusive rather than negative, and it points to a likely benefit of mask wearing to the wearer—it did not examine the wider potential benefit of reduced spread of infection to others—and this even in a population where mask wearing isn’t mandatory and prevalence of infection is low. This finding is in keeping with summaries of evidence from Cochrane.

A disagreement among experts, especially about interpretation of a study, is a common occurrence. It is the usual business of science. Only, Facebook didn’t see it that way. The social media platform that allows statements about injecting bleach to prevent covid-19, as well as calls to behead the leading US expert on pandemics,67 decreed that Heneghan and Jefferson should be censured for misinformation after they reposted their Spectator article on the site….

…..When accountable national organisations move in the direction of political and commercial interests, public trust is eroded, and the power of unaccountable and self-serving social media platforms only grows.

Read full article HERE.

 

 

Published by Alun Rees

Dental Business Coach. Analyst. Troubleshooter. Consultant. Writer. Presenter. Broadcaster.

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