So if you’ve been following along for any amount of time, you might remember back on December 9, 2021 I posted a piece entitled “ONE MORE NAIL IN THE MASK COFFIN”. It was about the famous (perhaps now infamous?) Bangladesh Mask Study which was touted far and wide to be “proof positive” that masks work! You can read that piece here if interested https://www.springfieldholisticwellness.com/post/one-more-nail-in-the-mask-coffin but the gist of the piece is that, contrary to the headlines like “MASSIVE randomized study is PROOF that SURGICAL MASKS limit coronavirus spread, AUTHORS SAY” from no less than the Washington Post (so you know it’s legit) in which we’re informed “I think this should basically END ANY SCIENTIFIC DEBATE about whether masks can be effective in combating covid at the population level…calling it “a nail in the coffin” of the arguments against masks…” the actual data presented in this landmark study said otherwise. But for all the “smart” people out there who consume such propaganda nonsense as the Washington Post, they now “KNEW” even more that masks work. I said in part “That’s because the authors knew they were full of crap and they needed to soften their landing when the truth came out. So the public reads the blaring headlines heralding the value of the almighty mask, then we all “know” they work and we should wear them. And you’re an evil bastard if you don’t. But the truth is something different. Has anybody seen this analysis of the new data in the Washington Post or Live Science or CNN?”
Anyway, more truth just came out as (hat tip Vinay Prasad on substack) a new analysis of this landmark study shows it was even worse than originally thought. In a paper entitled (my bold) “Re‑analysis on the statistical sampling biases of a mask promotion trial in Bangladesh: a statistical replication” tell us “The purpose of randomized control trials is to establish a causal link between interventions and outcomes. However, causal implications are diminished in the presence of unblinding, ascertainment bias, and bias-susceptible endpoints. Unfortunately, in the Bangladesh mask trial we [have] evidence of all of the above…The mask intervention was highly effective at modifying behaviors (distancing, maskwearing, symptom reporting). Nonetheless, the data is consistent with mask wearing having modest or no direct effect on COVID-related outcomes in this experimental setting.”
In short, not only was the “benefit” touted in the study essentially zero, the process by which the study was conducted was crap; with the "mistakes" all somehow moving the needle to make mask-wearing look better than it was…what a surprise. Hey, I know someone who back in December 2020 called the Bangladesh study “a crapily designed and executed study”. Boy, I bet when that guy’s not veering “out of his lane” and disseminating disinformation that’s killing grandmas or juniors or vaccinated people, he’s a lot of fun at parties.
By the way, Prasad also points out “I have one separate question about this study. The strongest secondary endpoint— the only one truly bias resistant— is random seroprevalance (which does not rely at all on reporting). This endpoint remains listed on ClinicalTrials.gov, but unreported. It must be completed and reported.” So this study was completed a year ago, published (again, to great fanfare) nine months ago, but the data seemingly most pertinent to the truth of this study’s assertions; that is, how prevalent was infection in people masked vs. unmasked remains...unpublished. Now why would that be? Well your choices as always are either incompetence or dishonesty. FOLLOW THE SCIENCE!!
Today’s takehome? Second verse same as the first: we are being lied to all the time by everybody everyday. This Bangladesh study was BS then and it’s more BS now. And for all those really smart people out there who actually believe they think they “know” something, anything about this pandemic like say, masks work, because some “expert” or talking head told you so, well you’re just plain wrong. Sorry. Remember this the next time someone tells you to put on a mask. For those still clinging to the filthy chin diaper, it's long past time to cast off the oppressive yoke of fear and get back in the game.