Masks Have Helped To Blunt the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kansas

There's more evidence that community use of facial coverings is an effective tool for curbing COVID-19 transmission.


While masks are not a panacea for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, there is mounting evidence that they are a useful tool for slowing community transmission of the disease. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took advantage of a natural experiment in Kansas, producing an analysis of mask efficacy after some counties enacted a mask mandate and others did not.

On July 2, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order requiring people to wear face coverings when entering any indoor public space, visiting health care facilities, or using public transportation. State law, however, authorizes counties to issue public health orders that are less stringent than statewide executive orders. Many counties opted out of Kelly's mask mandate.

During the period of the CDC study, 24 counties adopted a mask mandate whereas 81 counties did not. The researchers then compared what happened to the COVID-19 incidence trends in counties with and without mandates. They reported that in early June, a month before Kelly's order, the daily average COVID-19 incidence rate in counties that would eventually adopt a mask mandate was three cases per 100,000. In counties that ultimately chose not to mandate masks, the daily incidence rate was four per 100,000.

By early July, in the week just after Kelly's mask order, the COVID-19 incidence rate had risen to 17 cases per 100,000 in the counties that would ultimately adopt the mandate—a 467 percent increase from early June. In the counties that would not adopt the mask order, there had been a 50 percent increase, for an incidence rate of six cases per 100,000.

By mid-August, the 7-day rolling average COVID-19 incidence had decreased by 6 percent to 16 cases per 100,000 in mandated counties. In non-mandated counties, it had increased by 100 percent to 12 cases per 100,000.

"After implementation of mask mandates in 24 Kansas counties, the increasing trend in COVID-19 incidence reversed," noted the researchers. "Although rates were considerably higher in mandated counties than in non-mandated counties by the executive order, rates in mandated counties declined markedly after July 3, compared with those in non-mandated counties. Kansas counties that had mask mandates in place appear to have mitigated the transmission of COVID-19, whereas counties that did not have mask mandates continued to experience increases in cases."

The Kansas jurisdictions with the greatest increases in COVID-19 cases were the ones that moved most quickly to require people to wear facial coverings while in indoor public spaces. It appears that those communities learned hard lessons early, ones that other Kansas localities are only now beginning to understand. Since August—as COVID-19 cases have risen steeply in the Sunflower State—the number of counties adopting mask mandates has now more than doubled to 50.

However, the current statewide COVID-19 daily incidence rate of 96 cases per 100,000 people three months after the study's cutoff date clearly shows that wearing facial coverings alone does not stop the transmission of the virus.

Setting aside authoritarian concerns over mandates, the data from the study indicate that wearing facial coverings will help mitigate the transmission of the disease. This could prove especially useful as more people crowd together indoors with the onset of cold winter weather. Despite the pandemic fatigue that we are all suffering, the CDC researchers remind us that "community-level mitigation strategies emphasizing use of masks, physical distancing, staying at home when ill, and enhanced hygiene practices can help reduce the transmission of [the COVID-19 virus]."

NEXT: Senseless Restrictions on Outdoor Activities Undermine the Goal of Curbing COVID-19

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  1. They would also help with the common cold/flu but you don’t see us running for the hills each year!

    1. Oh just wait for the mandates. They haven’t even gotten started.

      1. Lethally reckless, science-disdaining, anti-social, right-wing slack-jaws are among my favorite culture war casualties.

        Watching their can’t-keep-up backwaters continue to rot will provide good entertainment for at least a few decades.

        1. I’ll remember that when I’m having Grandma’s pumpkin pie tomorrow and enjoying life.

          1. I hope you don’t unwittingly infect your grandma.

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            4. Youre a regular piece of shit it seems.

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        2. So why are blue states like NY, NJ and CA having so many cases?

          1. All the slack jaw malcontents from flyover states are bringing it in.

          2. Populations density

        3. Let me guess what will happen in this thread. The Danish study was praised, because it confirmed the biases of the peanut gallery. This study will be pilloried for the opposite reason. So predictable, so pitiful, so utterly human. You guys ever stop and think that you are slaves to your ideology? Reality doesn’t care about your beliefs.

          1. The Danish study showed a small benefit to masks, just like this study.

          2. Clearer Chipper:
            “You’re bad for touting a study that agrees with your biases, and bad for disagreeing with a study that confirms my biases.
            And even though we’re both wallowing in our own prejudices, you’re the crazy, unrealistic ideologues because reasons.
            I am very smart.”

            What a fucking clown this guy is.

            1. He makes up for it though by being an evil piece of shit groveling pathetic bootlicking cunt.

          3. Slaves to liberty? I’ll take it.

          4. Did you forget the MIT retraction of mask benefits?

            Keep bowing down to the state sweetie.

            1. It would have been so much easier if you cited the article.

              If you were referring to the PNAS article contributed by the late Mario Molina, formerly of MIT, it has a correction and letters, but wasn’t retracted.

              Unfortunately, most media failed to update their headlines that it now is tagged by PNAS for errors.


          5. When you start using the same phrases as that piece of human shit shrike, you should really take a moment to evaluate your life.

            Something tells me you won’t.

          6. This study is pure rubbish. One can learn nothing from it except that most people wouldn’t recognize a proper scientific study if it bit them on the ass.

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  3. Are those incidence rates per 100,000 tested or per 100,000 population?

    1. population – the percent positive rate from tests is much higher.

      Of course, the criteria for getting test is always changing – sometimes anyone can, other times you must be symptomatic.

      1. Hence, the study is rubbish.

  4. I did the sun dance this morning, and the sun came up.

    You’re welcome.

    1. Marvelous.
      Get this man a grant.

    2. Thanks?!?!?!

  5. I don’t know why progressive libertarians are afraid of these words: Mandatory Mask Mandate. It is for your own good and the good of your fellow citizens. In fact, it should probably be extended to include mandatory condom usage too. As a supporter of universal, single payer government healthcare, condom usage must be mandated if we want to cut back on the spread of another deadly disease, HIV.

    1. i think people should wear masks, and i will continue to ridicule anyone who says otherwise….. but i do not believe the government should ever mandate anything….. so you can save that straw-man for someone else.

      1. You’ll just sit there and whinge like a pathetic little faggot every time somebody criticizes the mask mandates.

        1. Wow. It seems like every time I read a condescending, nasty, name-calling comment someone has written it in your name. You should check into that. It might make people wonder about your reasoning abilities or intellect…

      2. Foo, I agree. Masks help a little. But they also can cause problems since they direct your breath to the sides, and in a crowded situation this could be worse since that person may be standing much closer. They also give a false sense of security so people get too close together.

        I’m doing what will protect myself and my family. The rest of you can take care of yourself.

        1. Irrelevant. If you don’t wear the uniform we can’t tell which side you’re on.

    2. Oh…you’re serious?
      I thought it was another one of those second, pseudo names from a regular.


      1. It is.

    3. single payer government healthcare, condom usage must be mandated if we want to cut back on the spread of another deadly disease, HIV.

      Why not just enforce social distancing?

      1. Andrew “poz pig” Sullivan thinks that violates freedom of association. Andrew is obviously mentally ill. No reasonable homosexual would support Republicans!

      2. Yes, good choice. That way sexual contact could be regulated along with birth rates through government implemented artificial insemination. Upside is the gov could mete out the ‘right’ insemination to the ‘right’ people to create the decent society we all deserve, well those of us who fit the mode anyway. Puts a damper on the alphabet group’s agenda but no policy is perfect.

    4. Because it violates the NAP, duh.

    5. If masks help just a little, mandate full hazmat suits with powered air filtration. We can’t risk even one person.

  6. correlation/causation/utter bullshit…

    1. Yup. Georgia has no mask mandates and many Georgians dont wear a mask. Our businesses and schools are open.

      We are living proof lockdowns and masks are not needed to live a normal life.

      Its why georgia is completely ignored about how are just fine not doing the kungflu hysteria thing.

      1. GA: 879/million dead 14th worst state. Why you bragging?

        1. The nationwide average is 814/million. Georgia is all of 8% higher than the national average.

          By comparison:

          New Jersey, 1920/million, 135% above nat’l average.
          New York, 1768/million, 117% above nat’l average.
          Massachusetts, 1538/million, 88% above nat’l average.
          Connecticut, 1382/million, 69% above nat’l average.

          But go on and tell me how horrible Georgia is, please.

  7. More terrible science. The differences they are harping about is the rate of change in cases – not the case rate. the non-mandate counties have always had a lower case rate than the mandate counties. What has occured is the rate in the mandate counties has come down a bit, and the non-mandate counties has come up a bit to where they are closer, but it is still higher in the mask mandate counties.

    aditionally – I live here – the mask mandates did not appreciably change how frequently people are wearing masks, and to be honest, I see more people without masks now than I did in the May-July timeframe – something the CDC does not account for…in fact, the only thing they seem to look at is whether there was a mandate or not, and even then, had to massage the numbers to get they headline they wanted.

    1. Any thoughts as to why the Chicom-19 killed 4 of the first 50 cases in my township – in March-April – and hasn’t killed any of the 192 cases since then? Less lethal? Better treatment? Bushwa stats?

      1. All the low hanging fruit has been picked.

    2. More terrible science.

      No joke. Not even an attempt at a single control. Why is Bailey so in the tank for these mask mandates that he buys this kind of crap whole cloth?

      1. well, in fairness, this did have a control – counties that opted out of the mask mandate. It’s just they didn’t even attempt to control for confounders, leaving a few sentences in the summary to cover a lot of ground for what else might have been the reason.

        Doesn’t help that rate of change is going to be the measure most sensitive to noise and confounders.

        1. That’s not a control. If you’re testing the effect of mask/no mask, ideally every other variable would be the same between the two samples. That would be a well controlled experiment. You can’t really do that, so you could try to control as many other variables as possible. If they can take into account a lot of (what are considered to be) other variables that affect the rate of infection, then it would be much better evidence that masks have an effect.

          1. I gave it credit for that since many of the ‘studies’ haven’t even bothered with that much, simply comparing a place with itself before and after.

      2. i forgot one of the fun confounders – the testing criteria keeps changing – at times you don’t have to have any symptoms, other times you do… because that won’t effect the numbers.

      3. Observational studies don’t have control groups, and in fact no variable is controlled whatsoever.

        Pretty basic stuff for such an evolved science critic.

        1. And so with all those uncontrolled variables, the difference between 17, 16, or, 12 out of 100,000 means what then?

          1. It means cytotoxic is a fucking retard who regurgitates shit he reads from Vox, but can’t comprehend it well enough to understand how to properly reference it in context. It’s why he so frequently posts links as citations for his arguments that actually say precisely the opposite of what he’s arguing.

        2. Then why does Bailey treat the 19 non-mandate counties like they are a control group? Clearly, you believe that is mistaken and wrong.

      4. Because Bialy is a technocrat?

    1. And believe or not, here’s a pretty… good article on… TMZ describing the fracas.

      That said, on the subject of censorship, this is exactly what critics have been screaming but few have cared to listen … to make Facebook the gatekeeper of the information we receive is fraught with peril. It assumes Facebook can tell us what to think about everything from auto repair to cancer … at least, that’s what critics charge.

      I have to go to TMZ to get a libertarian take on the culture surrounding facts, science and dissent in media.

      1. So basically idiot journalists and low-level tech workers are determining the science and censoring scientists who deviate from their pandemic narrative.

        How did we get to this point?

        1. When were we ever not at this point? (substitute idiot gossips and low-level priests)

        2. You mean the point at which people are getting all their information from Facebook? We have the entirety of human knowledge available in the palm of our hand but can’t be bothered to log out of FB.

        3. Man, I remember in college when the journalism kids were the ones who weren’t smart enough to hack it as English majors.

          I doubt that changed too much.

          Like how education majors were looked down on by varsity football players as having easy courses.

  8. The mask orders didn’t seem to help in California.

    And one group having an incident rate of 0.00003 and the control group having an incident rate of 0.00004 is not what you’d call slam dunk science. There could be other differences between the two groups of counties.

    1. Does anyone have any hard data on the rate of spread throughout the homeless community? Also, realistically, we should be seeing a very high CV19 CFR among the homeless as they’re far more likely to have a high number of co-morbidities.

    2. Especially since counties weren’t randomly assigned to Group M or Group M_bar, the assignments were based on previous history with COVID-19.

    3. But it gave Newsom and his cronies something to laugh about at dinner.

  9. If it worked, you wouldn’t need to mandate it.

  10. I’m done with this shit. Fuck you Ron.

    1. No credibility left. Sad and pathetic.

      1. A midwit philosophy major with no scientific background never had any credibility writing about science in the first place, although it’s great that some of you are finally noticing.

        1. But if “science” is something to believe in, and not a discipline based on concrete physical data, then Bailey is just as qualified as your crazy neighbor.

          1. Einstein said something like “No amount of experimentation can prove me right, but one experiment can prove me wrong.”

            The left has totally lost this because science scientism is their religion. The experts shall not be questioned, yet questioning is at the heart of science.

  11. ….. three months after the study’s cutoff date clearly shows that wearing facial coverings alone does not stop the transmission of the virus.
    Why wasn’t this in the title?

  12. Everyone knows that science is only credible if it confirms your political biases. If you believe this you’re a dirty commie. Why do you hate America?

    1. This isn’t even very far removed from the material you are parodying.

      1. When religious people people on the left hear words from their preacher scientific “experts”, the words are taken with faith that is both loyal and unquestioning.

        Well, to be honest, I think the left puts more faith in scientists than religious people do in preachers.

        1. Given how little faith many of the religious people that I know have in preachers, that’s not a particularly high bar to clear.

      2. This isn’t even very far removed from the material you are parodying.

        Which is why the mean girls shower me with hate.

        1. It’s all worth it though to get sucked off by Tony and cytotoxic’s 45th sock though, right you alcoholic piece of shit? Enjoy drinking alone on thanksgiving with no friends or family for the 40th year in a row you worthless sack of shit.

        2. It’s hilarious by the way that you think calling people “mean girls” and playing the victim somehow makes you LESS of a pathetic piece of shit. Go wet your pants and rat out your neighbors for having too many people over to thanksgiving while you drink alone you bitter, bootlicking, sadsack fucking faggot. Awwwwwww did that hurt your feewings?

          1. Thank you for proving my point, mean girl.

        3. You get showered with hate because you pretend you have principles but clapped along as an authoritarian with grand authoritarian plans won while trying to ridicule anybody who saw the steps towards actual liberty from the other candidate. You resorted to complete strawman arguments like the idiot you are. You refuse to recognize reality. You call others racist as you sit in lily white Maine because they think 2 steps towards freedom is better than 10 steps towards authority.

          Youre a broken fucktard.

          1. Yet you still can’t quote a single comment of mine that supports any of your allegations, mean girl.

  13. By early July, in the week just after Kelly’s mask order, the COVID-19 incidence rate had risen to 17 cases per 100,000 in the counties that would ultimately adopt the mandate—a 467 percent increase from early June. In the counties that would not adopt the mask order, there had been a 50 percent increase, for an incidence rate of six cases per 100,000.

    By mid-August, the 7-day rolling average COVID-19 incidence had decreased by 6 percent to 16 cases per 100,000 in mandated counties. In non-mandated counties, it had increased by 100 percent to 12 cases per 100,000.

    So let me get this straight – in mandated counties, the rate of infection plummeted from 17 per 100k all the way down to 16 per 100k? Well, can’t argue that masks sure are effective!

    Just out of curiosity, were the mandated counties heavily populated urban counties and the non-mandated counties sparsely populated rural counties? Did the study take into account commuter traffic, people traveling back and forth between mandated and non-mandated counties and compare the traffic to the spread of the coronavirus?

    1. Shorter version: the counties with the mask mandate have an incidence rate of 16 per 100K, and the counties without the mask mandate have an incidence rate of 12 per 100K.

    2. Kansas has 105 counties.
      Only 5 of them have over 100k population, and 5 more have 50-100k
      All the rest are under 50k, and probably half are under 10k.

      Something else to think about is rural counties that have one or two large employers that employ 20-40% of the workforce (who are probably required to wear repurposed T-shirt material on the job) vs rural counties with few large employers.

      Makes a huge difference in things.

      1. I live in Kansas. 67 of the 105 counties have less than 10K in population. One-third of the counties have a population less than 5K. The county I live in did not adopt the mandate the first time. I made a rare trip into town to attend the county commissioners’ meeting earlier this week. They voted (3 to 2) to adopt the new mask mandate. Cases have gone up in our county recently but note that of the total 89 cases over 80 are patients or workers in the mental health hospital or people living in nursing home/assisted living facilities.

    3. So let me get this straight – in mandated counties, the rate of infection plummeted from 17 per 100k all the way down to 16 per 100k? Well, can’t argue that masks sure are effective!

      Meanwhile the number doubled where they weren’t wearing masks. Did you miss that part?

      Remaining relatively constant vs doubling.

      I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the article because more information is needed to make the numbers relevant, like population density as you rightly mentioned. Just saying if you’re gonna rag on Ron you could at least be honest about it. Or pay more attention to the numbers. You know, remaining constant with masks vs doubling without.

      1. ….. three months after the study’s cutoff date clearly shows that wearing facial coverings alone does not stop the transmission of the virus.

        1. What’s your point? They’re not the perfect solution? Well you certainly took that strawman to the woodshed.

          1. Yeah it’s a strawman because you use weasel words to pathetically attempt avoiding being held accountable for the position you took. Why don’t you and your pal shreek get together, you can impress the 3rd graders with your sophistry while he fucks them in the ass.

            1. The only position I took was in your sick fantasy, mean girl.

        2. wearing facial coverings

          That’s not what they were measuring. They measured the mask mandate. They don’t know how many people in mandated counties didn’t wear them or how many in non-mandated counties did. And how did they determine the number of cases anyway?

          the findings in this report are conditional on the absence of any time-varying factors (e.g., mobility patterns, changes in other community-level mitigation strategies, and access to testing) within counties before and after July 3.

          1. I think the idea was that in a county with a mandate that more people would be wearing masks. I was responding to Jerryskids’ analysis of the article, not defending the article.

      2. Meanwhile the number doubled where they weren’t wearing masks. Did you miss that part?
        Remaining relatively constant vs doubling.

        Considering they are the places that never really had it until somewhere between mid August to mid October it is in no way surprising that it could or would have doubled, regardless of the talismans they wore. Those were target rich environments compared to the highly populated counties that had seen a lot of unconfirmed positives as they were afflicted earlier when testing ability was lesser.

        In all probability most of these places are on the down side of things and will probably stay there for the next 2-3 months.

        1. I was responding to Jerryskids’ analysis that I thought he got wrong, not defending masks or the study.

      3. Do you even bother with basic analysis? In the counties that had a much lower rate for months, the population that could get sick was much greater than the other county. The population rates weren’t normalized by the percent of population that was still susceptible.

        But keep up with your new character of doing what you’re told without any thought.

        1. I was responding to Jerryskids’ analysis of the article, which I thought he misinterpreted. I wasn’t defending the article.

          Did you miss this part?

          “I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the article because more information is needed to make the numbers relevant, like population density as you rightly mentioned.”

          Of course you did. Not like I’d ever expect a mean girl to be honest.

  14. Ohhhhh, here we go again with another mask article about masks. Sometimes I think Reason writes these articles just to antagonize Trump minions. Anyone with any sense of logic and reason knows masks and social distancing help. But those who have the ability to logic and reason know Trump minions are void of any logic and reason.

    Oh and by the way. Trump lost the election. His fake news of fraud are falling on deaf ears. Haaaaaahahahahaha. TRUMPS A LOOSER!!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    1. Jackoff Ace wasn’t working for you anymore, Buttplug?

    2. Anyone with any sense of logic and reason knows masks and social distancing help. But those who have the ability to logic and reason know Trump minions are void of any logic and reason.

      Not so much that as the Trumpistas are against anything that isn’t 100% effective, and anyone who suggests anything that isn’t perfect will be showered with hatred.

      Here I thought the left were the blind haters. Trumpistas have proven that to be totally wrong.

      1. I guess they won’t be getting the vaccine then. Although it’s not like I feel bad about it. Although I’d probably feel bad if they killed a family member because they’re smarter than the drs and scientists. But I guess when they follow an idiot like Trump, you get what you get. Kind of like an election loss. How big was the loss? Oh yeah, 6 million votes. Lol.

        1. The popular vote total has nothing to do with the presidential election. Your civics knowledge is very poor.

          1. And that’s why Trump lost. It’s over give it up. TRUMP IS DONE!!!

      2. Your alcoholism is quite literally about 10,000 times more likely to kill you than the ‘rona you scientifically illiterate pathetic boolicking faggot. Masks and face coverings are useless at containing the spread of viruses. Period. This is not controversial. Science has known this for a century which is why the recommendation until 2/3 of the way through the “first wave” of the ‘ronademic was exactly the same as it has been for every viral respiratory illness for the previous century.

        But even if masks were marginally effective to some degree (and to be clear – they are not. This is scientifically established fact through hundreds of studies dating back a century and not controversial), what’s the threshold of effectiveness that justifies the government using guns to force people to wear face diapers, bootlicker? 5%? 20%? 50%?

        1. Here’s the part where sarcasmic claims he has never supported mask mandates. He just passionately hates and abuses anyone who opposes mask mandates and insists that anyone who doesn’t rely on his talisman is an asshole who doesn’t believe in science. See how advanced his sophistry is? What a clever bloated alcoholic piece of shit with no family or friends.

          1. Thank you for proving my point, mean girl.

          2. He Truely gives the rest of us alcoholic S a bad name

        2. Looks like someone is off their meds.
          Oh and I’m not an alcoholic or a boolicking faggot, although I’m not really sure what a boolicking faggot is.

          If you don’t believe wearing a mask offers you or those around you any protection, then don’t wear one. But if someone you know and love dies and it traces back to you, expect to see me point and laugh at you and your new found misery.

          Oh, and Trump lost. Go and enjoy that one. I know I am.

          1. You’re not even a good troll.

            1. Troll? Who’s trolling? I’m simply pointing out that dude’s off his meds. Don’t kill the messenger.

      3. God youre fucking broken and now a statist.

        The “trumpistas” are relying on 40 years of studies and not the new models produced this year that only produce the assumptions that went into writing them. But you’re so fucking broken at this point youre just lying down for the state.

        See here:

        1. Are you gonna quote the comment of mine where I advocated for masks or mask mandates? No, because you can’t.

          Then you call me a liar?

          Go back to high school, mean girl.

    3. Anyone with any sense of logic and reason knows masks and social distancing help.

      And yet hundreds of studies going back to 1914 have found masks ineffective against the prevention of community spread of viruses. Because sometimes actually studying a subject works better than relying on your gut instincts and the cozy feelings that come from faith in talismans.

      1. Science is only credible when it confirms your political biases.
        If you’re a Trumptard then any study that shows masks to be effective is wrong, and if you’re a leftard any study that shows otherwise is wrong. It’s stupid. Like you, mean girl.

      2. Now we’re back in 1914? You’ve come a long way baby.

    4. “Anyone with any sense of logic and reason knows masks and social distancing help.”

      “Anyone” has been similarly confident in knowing:

      The earth is flat.
      Gremlins and/or evil spells cause disease.
      Tetanus comes from rusty nails.
      Humans come from a hole in the ground, some gods screwing, or alien spaceships.

      What “anyone” knows has been and always will be worthless.

      1. Wow, I’m surprised you know all that stuff. Ima have to goggle and see if all your Trump like statements are true.

    5. The presidential election is on Dec 14. What took place on Nov 3 was the election of the state electors. Have you heard of the Electoral College?

      1. Do you know how the electoral college works? Apparently not. I’ll give you a little lesson. They vote for the will of the people, not some imaginary fraud that your loser, opps, I mean fearless leader spouts from his mouth.

        1. Whiny troll whines.

          1. I know, IceTrey must be in some deep sleep state until dec 14th. Won’t he be surprised when he wakes up.

  15. This is junk science propaganda by CDC to defend/promote mask mandates.

    The recently published Danish study (which found that ALWAYS wearing a mask outside the home for one month did NOT reduce covid transmissions) is real scientific research.

    1. Wow, all the way to Denmark to get that info. Are you that down on the work we do right here in the USA?

      1. Nationalism is OK as long as you’re cherry picking studies to support placing guns to people’s heads to make them put a diaper on their face, doncha know.

        1. Welp, I’ll believe in what I’m hearing and doy best to make sure I don’t catch covid or pass it on to anyone. If you want to believe a witch doctor like Stella Emmanuel, the go ahead. I’ll even give you some of my own witch doctor advice.

          Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
          Walla walla, bing bang

        2. And I also see that your amazing lawyer Elite Strike Force team is wearing masks now. If they are useless as you claim, why are they wearing them? But you at least gotta admit that Elite Strike Force team is a joke of a name.

          1. I hadn’t realized Soros was paying people to troll here, now.

            1. Who’s paying who? Oh yeah you paid Trump to win an election that he lost. How much did you pay him, 1.00 100.00 1000.00? Sorry brah, he lost.

  16. CDC published a real study in September that found 71% those who tested positive for covid (at 11 outpatient testing or healthcare centers) reported ALWAYS wearing a mask in public during the past two weeks, and another 14% reported OFTEN wearing masks.

    But notice how CDC didn’t mention that critically important finding in the study/report’s title or summary (which insinuated restaurants and bars were high risk despite little data in order to defend/promote shut downs and regulations).

    CDC buried the study’s key finding on masks in one sentence:
    “In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control-participants reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public.”

    Today’s CDC junk study also failed to acknowledge that new cases of covid sharply increased in most states (and foreign nations) after/during mask mandates.

    Yet more propaganda from CDC.

    1. Should have been titled, Masks Cause higher Covid Numbers

  17. Last week, Bailey misrepresented the findings of the Danish mask study (to promote mask wearing), as many commenters pointed out.

  18. Wearing a mask is subjugation to government tyranny. There is no hard evidence of asymptomatic spreading and, even if there were, it is better for each person to practice his own choice of healthy behavior as an individual and let the virus spread until enough have immunity so as not to catch it.

    I do not wear a mask unless explicitly told to by someone with authority such as a cop or business owner. And they must tell me each and every time. I ignore signs outside stores. Fortunately, the Oklahoma city that I live in has stopped enforcing masks and I’ve only been asked to wear one once (which I put on improperly). Most other people are still wearing masks because they’re unfree.

    Practice civil disobedience.

    1. LOL @ “subjugation to government tyranny.”

      You go rebel.

  19. Ron Bailey is a fucking liar and scared little pussy.

    I dont wear a mask. I am having over 20 friends and family over for thanksgiving. Me and 10 other people just had dinner at fogo de chao in Atlanta the other day.

    1. You must not be a libertarian.

      Oh, and Trump lost, BIG TIME. Haaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha

  20. Talk about lying with statistics.

    Look at Figure 1 in the paper. The experience with the virus, both before and after mask mandates, was significantly different between the two county populations
    -The no-mask-mandate counties had much lower virus incidence before the ‘mask mandate’ date.
    -It’s impossible to reject the idea that viral incidence in the mask mandate counties peaks around the date of the mask mandate, and thus the decrease observed was due not to masks, but the virus simply having already infected the most vulnerable population.
    -That means the difference in trajectory after the mask mandate day between mask-mandate and no-mask-mandate counties could be entirely due to differences in their infection rate before the mandate. (You do expect a feedback effect, where a higher infection rate decreases the rate of new infections, because there’s fewer available hosts.)
    -No attempt is made to control for prevalence of testing between counties, which is pretty significant since they can’t measure actual virus incidence, and simply use tested and reported cases.
    -Mask mandates are of course not the same as people’s behavior. There’s no estimation of compliance, or whether masks were worn even without mandates in the no-mandate counties.
    -And the difference in initial virus prevalence could also have materially affected people’s behaviors in other ways besides masks – people in higher incidence areas may well have started being more scrupulous about social distancing, which (unlike masks) there is good evidence for it decreasing viral transmission of respiratory viruses. No attempt is made to measure or control for this.
    -The no-mask-mandate counties still had lower total incidence by the end of the study than the mask-mandate counties.

    In short, RCT experimental study or it doesn’t count.

    1. Don’t take my word for it, the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine not only makes the same criticism of these kinds of studies, but did so *before this study was ever published*:

      “What do scientists do in the face of uncertainty on the value of global interventions? Usually, they seek an answer with adequately designed and swiftly implemented clinical studies as has been partly achieved with pharmaceuticals. We consider it is unwise to infer causation based on regional geographical observations as several proponents of masks have done. Spikes in cases can easily refute correlations, compliance with masks and other measures is often variable, and confounders cannot be accounted for in such observational research.”

  21. Great post.
    I like this post.
    Thanks for sharing this useful information.


  22. Masks are insignificant in spread. This writer KNOWS they are insignificant related to spread. The New England Journal of Medicine has a study on it. Denmark has a study on it. The data is already clear.

    Nations that have imposed lockdown and masks longer than Kansas, with less ability for people to move in to low spread areas are seeing numbers rise. This is all propaganda…..

    I’m still not sure why Reason is drifting into progressivism, but it continues apace.

    1. I know. It’s disappointing to say the least. Gates money hard at work.

  23. Meanwhile, we had mask mandate in France for inside and outside since August, and we still had to lock down again in November because of the rapid rising of cases.
    Masks have no effect. Period.

    1. Wrong.

      Masks have a huge effect in behavioral conditioning, virtue signaling, security placebo effect, and partisan division.

      Most effective bit of cloth since the Star of David in 1930s Germany.

      1. You make a valid point.

  24. As would standard quarantine, which we have used successfully for hundreds of years, and which the CDC completely blew off like it did not exist. That is criminal malpractice.

    Masks, plastic bubbles, lockdowns, and encasing everyone in concrete bunkers may offer some benefit, however we do not take these outlandish measures for other diseases that kill .03% of the least healthy people in our civilization either.

  25. Sales of Alex Berenson’s new book (finding masks provided little or no protection from covid transmissions) have skyrocketed since Amazon banned it

  26. Doctor uses vape to show how masks don’t work

    1. I wish you had included the name of this doctor and where to find the original video.

  27. Memo to Mr. Koch: Look, it is your money, but shit….your science writer doesn’t know shit about how to discuss science.

    Unreason strikes again…as the anti-thesis of reason.

  28. People die for all kinds of reasons all the time why does government suddenly care if the reason is a virus with a 99% survival rate?

    1. I think it’s closer to 99.6%.

  29. Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump · 6m Just saw the vote tabulations. There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!! This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION…… Read More

  30. I don’t favor government-imposed mask mandates which are effectively unenforceable. I also don’t it’s anyone’s business whether I wear a mask, a beanie with a propeller or any other item of apparel. My explanation: It’s my head and I’ll adorn it as I am inclined. Overall, I see mask-wearing as a positive. It interferes with facial recognition software which is not a bad thing. Do I think there’s some measure of health benefit in wearing an N95 mask? Probably. Private enterprises like some hospitals have a financial incentive to avoid losing productive employees to COVID-19. In those hospitals, health care professionals are wearing masks and face shields. I have some measure of trust in the profit motive. Businesses don’t always act rationally, but they are fairly consistent in acting in their own self interest. Of course, if there are some hospital system posting here, feel free to link your policy of not wearing PPE.

    1. Can’t go in a public pool without a bathing suit and fecal matter is always measurable with a sensitive test. So coverings don’t stop spread, but they can still be mandated.

      Should they be mandated? No. Free the butts.

  31. There are some good criticisms of the Kansas mask study here:

  32. By mid-August, the 7-day rolling average COVID-19 incidence had decreased by 6 percent to 16 cases per 100,000 in mandated counties. In non-mandated counties, it had increased by 100 percent to 12 cases per 100,000.

    So the non mandated counties still have a lower rate.

    How does that support mask mandates?

  33. “Setting aside authoritarian concerns over mandates”

    So glad Reason has the temerity to set aside all that pro-liberty propaganda and lecture us all about the need for precautionary-principle-inspired pro-social behavior.

    If it weren’t for them, all we’d hear is constant advocacy for freedom from all those liberty-obsessed fanatics in the mainstream traditional media.


    1. Maybe one day Reason will actually become a libertarian magazine.

      1. I came in around the end of Obama, and would catch something like 1 in 4 articles that I thought were pretty decent. I thought that was pretty good. Watching the decline has been painful. These days it is more like 1 in 10. I can’t do it anymore. I’m tapping out. This place sucks.

  34. “Although rates were considerably higher in mandated counties than in non-mandated counties by the executive order, rates in mandated counties declined markedly after July 3 . . .

    And, there were absolutely no other variables . . .


  35. The Kansas Policy Institute issued an open records request to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and found that the data was willfully misrepresented. Kansas began to present data only after cases peaked in the mask mandate counties (MMC), which tend to be more population dense and thus were expected to peak earlier. The CDC data shows a longer time-frame demonstrating exactly this – after mask mandates cases continued to climb, then eventually decline. Non-mask mandate counties have never even reached the numbers that MMC are at now (after several weeks of MMC decline). Of course this unscientific bullshit gets pushed but the Dutch RCT mask study gets one slanted and buried article.

    I am done with this trash ass publication. Reason mag is an absolute rag.

    1. Probably true.


  36. Cases are going decline from their peak if you wear masks, don’t wear masks, or howl at the moon. All this “study” shows is which counties peaked earlier and which peaked later.

    Shame on Bailey for passing on this agitprop.

    1. Wait. Isn’t this all a moot point because the study looked not at the number of people who wore masks versus those that didn’t but at counties that mandated masks versus counties that did not?

      Which assumes 100 percent compliance in counties that mandated them, and 100 percent non-wearing in counties that didn’t.

      Or a mix.

      Regardless, it’s trash “science” if this is the case.

      1. There is similar “mounting evidence” where I live in Arizona that masks don’t matter, given that the number of cases is “skyrocketing”, this despite the fact that masks are mandated in much of the state.

        The difference between my report and Mr. Bailey’s science-y sounding deductions, however, is that I admit that drawing any conclusion from my preferred set of facts would be pseudoscience while Mr. Bailey seems to think his anecdotal “story” is somehow something other than simply “preaching to the choir” and is, in fact, an exercise in unassailable reason.

        Further, the fact that runs with fairy tales such as this leads me to suspect that the name of the site was chosen because it “sounded hip”, or in an effort to be facetious, and that the editors are more interested in political power and correctness than rational discourse.

        1. The name was chose 50 years ago by actual libertarians.

  37. There is a massive assumption that rates of infection would have gone up more without masks. I don’t see any reason to assume that. We have seen how differently the virus behaves in different places and times. There are seasonal patterns too. In a normal flu season, you see respiratory infections increase a bit and flatten out. Why assume this is down to masks when infection rates went up anyway and the differences between counties could account for more. I would guess that the divide among counties is largely urban/rural. That seems to be a huge factor in the severity of epidemics. Cities get hit harder.

  38. Of course when you stop in August, it looks like that, but extended into flu season and there’s little difference

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