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Letter to the Editor: Source: Discrediting CDC study on benefit of school mask mandates

The primary source for my statement that the CDC’s study justifying school mask mandates “has been thoroughly discredited” was an article in The Atlantic magazine published last December by investigative journalist David Zweig.

Mr. Zweig interviewed nine experts who all had very serious reservations about the usefulness of the study that the CDC based it’s school mask mandate on. This is the study done in Arizona that is posted on Plumas County’s Covid-19 web page. Mr. Zweig also questioned the study’s authors on the numerous flaws pointed out by the experts. Here is a link to this balanced article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/12/mask-guidelines-cdc-walensky/621035/

Another investigative piece by Mr. Zweig, published in New York Magazine last August, also delves into the CDC’s huge study of over 90,000 school children that showed no statistically significant reduction in the spread of Covid-19 among masked students. A link to that article, written in August of 2021, is here:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/08/the-science-of-masking-kids-at-school-remains-uncertain.html

Finally, last January I included a link to another article from The Atlantic that was co-authored by a scientist (Margery Smelkinson) who works for the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that is currently headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The piece was not an official publication by the NIAID, but is very illuminating making many of the same points made by Mr. Zweig. Here is the link:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/kids-masks-schools-weak-science/621133/

When reporters recently asked CDC Director Rachelle Walensky to justify the school masking mandate in the context of the scientific criticisms discussed in these articles, she essentially dodged the question by saying that they weren’t mandates, and that the decision was up to “local jurisdictions”

Based on what I have read in these articles and more, there is very little if any scientific basis to continue masking our school kids, and the developing adverse effects of continued masking indicate that this is not a prudent and sustainable mitigation. We may not all agree, but it is definitely our responsibility to ask hard questions at this stage of the pandemic. Our kids are counting on us.

Sam Wilbanks

Sierra Valley

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