CDC Greatly Exaggerates Risk of Outdoor COVID-19 Transmission

The agency's disease advice is seen as increasingly irrelevant by more Americans.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been largely missing in action when it comes to effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency's chaotic responses during the Trump administration have now given way to absurdly cautious approaches under the Biden administration.

Case in point: On April 27, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky grudgingly acknowledged that fully vaccinated people could gather outdoors and conduct outdoor activities without wearing a mask. She cited increasing data that a person is much more likely to get infected with COVID-19 through close extended contacts indoors. Walensky added, "Less than 10 percent of documented transmission in many studies has occurred outdoors. We also know there's almost a 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting rather than the outdoor setting."

As Walensky testified today before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, CDC officials based their highly cautious threshold estimate of an outdoor infection risk of 10 percent on a February meta-analysis in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 

As David Leonhardt over at The New York Times makes clear today, Walensky and her agency are wildly overstating the risks of getting infected outdoors. As he explains:

That [10 percent] benchmark "seems to be a huge exaggeration," as Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews, said. In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. The rare outdoor transmission that has happened almost all seems to have involved crowded places or close conversation.

Saying that less than 10 percent of Covid transmission occurs outdoors is akin to saying that sharks attack fewer than 20,000 swimmers a year. (The actual worldwide number is around 150.) It's both true and deceiving.…

These recommendations would be more grounded in science if anywhere close to 10 percent of Covid transmission were occurring outdoors. But it is not. There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.

Keep in mind that the data suggesting that the risk of acquiring COVID-19 through outdoor infection is around 0.1 percent (1 in 1,000) were gathered before vaccines became widely available.

So what do the data say about how protective the COVID-19 vaccines are, irrespective of indoor or outdoor exposures? Even the CDC reports that as of April 26, among the 95 million fully vaccinated Americans only 9,245 had experienced breakthrough COVID-19 infections. Therefore, the risk that a fully vaccinated person wandering about in the wild would be diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination is 0.001 percent (basically, 1 in 100,000). Admittedly, some of the reduced risk may stem from continued mask wearing on the part of fully vaccinated people, but even so, it is clear that vaccination confers a huge amount of protection against the virus.

As Leonhardt observes, "The scientific evidence points to a conclusion that is much simpler than the C.D.C.'s message: Masks make a huge difference indoors and rarely matter outdoors."

Over at Stat news, Leana Wen, a George Washington University health policy professor, declared, "If [the CDC's] advice is too disconnected from reality, and if they are too slow, then they make themselves irrelevant." That's entirely correct.

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are in surplus, there is no time like the present to protect yourself and your family against this scourge.

NEXT: Biden Claims 5 Past Fed Chairs Back His Jobs Plan, but 2 Are Dead and 2 More Have Been Quiet About It

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150 responses to “CDC Greatly Exaggerates Risk of Outdoor COVID-19 Transmission

    1. Remember what she said about people who can’t take a joke – – – – – – – –

      1. She wouldn’t recognize a joke if it bit her in the ass.

        1. In her defense, she’s always had the kind of physique that would prevent her from recognizing a dog if it bit her in the ass.

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    2. To be honest if there is one thing that is less of a threat to school kids than Corona/Wuhan then it is peanut allergies.

    3. Talk about horse face…

      1. She’s definitely a proponent of camel culture.

          1. Mute Warning! If you ever make me think of Bette Middler’s moose knuckle again so help me god.

    4. So, kids for whom the vaccine isn’t approved yet? Those kids?

      Wow, she’s both nasty and uninformed.

    5. Aren’t kids basically just walking spore sacks?

      1. Aren’t we all?

    6. If we want the unhinged truth, we need only to go to the remarks of Dr. Rand Paul.

      But the libertarian website of record hardly shares Rand’s wisdom with us at all. Did Rand go to eye doctor college and libertarian college for nothing?

  1. “She cited increasing data that a person is much more likely to get infected with COVID-19 through close extended contacts indoors”

    So let’s be clear; lockdowns cause spread of the Communist Chinese Virus.

  2. I truly feel sorry for Walensky, she seems like a competent doctor but she knows if she strays from the lock down policy even if backed by science she will forced to quit and good luck finding another job.

    1. “I used to be the director of the CDC. Please pull around to the first window to pay.”

      1. But you forgot to ask if I wanted fries with that.

    2. “Blink three times if you’re being held against your will.”

    3. Why would a doctor have a hard time finding work?

    4. Competent doctors should stick to treating individual patients.

      1. The problem is that incompetent ones like Fauci become government bureaucrats and set policy for the competent ones to follow.

      2. Actually she is very qualified and spent most of her career as professor at Harvard and Mass General. She was just recently appointed to the CDC.

        She has a whole list of accomplishments.

        Medicine very much needs academics and research docs. Without them there would be no advances.

        1. Ok. So can you explain the stupid coming out of her agency?

        2. I make no comment on her, as I don’t know. And you are right, of course.
          My point is mostly that being a practicing physician and a public health panjandrum are very different jobs with very different requirements. Public health needs to be about managing a problem to minimize disruption to society. And that’s a very different job from treating patients.

          1. She has not been a director before but her career has been as a professor of public health from some leading institutions and she has a MPH degree.

            Bringing in someone from outside the beltway was a good idea. Look Fauci gets slammed for being in government all this time then she gets slammed because she is an outsider. You can’t win.

            It is different. Really anyone who has that job is going to be vilified by a good chunk of the population.

        3. At this point the subterfuge and duplicity has reached unprecedented levels. It is mind blowing that more folks are not more pissed about this sort of behavior.

          1. That fucking goblin decided to shift the goalposts again and say that things might get back to normal by this time next year.

  3. I can’t wait for the NYT article questioning the use of masks entirely. I’m not joking, even in the slightest. The day will come, perhaps a month from now, when major news outlets start running with the story that 50 years of research says masks don’t work and that universal masking is a relic of the Trump-era CDC that should be abolished immediately.

    If the doublethink whiplash is already hitting you pretty hard just wait.

    1. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

    2. Won’t happen. For the New York Times and others on the left to admit that masks aren’t necessary, even if we achieved 100% vaccination and the last vestiges of coronavirus were eliminated from earth, would be for them to perceive themselves as admitting that, in some minuscule way, Donald Trump may have been partially right about something. And they will never let that happen.

      1. admitting that, in some minuscule way, Donald Trump may have been partially right about something.

        Why would they do that? Clearly the byline will be that Donald Trump’s mask mandates were ineffective and stupid and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    3. I dunno, people seem pretty attached to their religious face coverings. I think we’ll be seeing niqab mandates for a long time. I’m in Washington state at the moment, and the highway electronic billboards all carry the message “Vaccinated or not mask up”.

      1. Yeah, and fuck that. I’m in Washington too, and I have stopped participating in outdoor mask requirements, unless on private property. I’m getting dirty looks, but one of the benefits of being a sociopath (R Mac diagnosed me) is that I’m not bothered by social cues.

        I started wearing a mask out and about indoors before the mandate when I noticed cashiers were exhibiting some fear and backing away from customers, etc., and studies started getting published demonstrating the possible benefit of masking. And now that the vaccine is available for whomever and the data is out that outdoor transmission is unlikely in any case, now my family and I are the lone obstinately unmasked.

        I follow the science, and it’s the liberal scold’s turn to be asked whether or not they believe in science. Goes both ways.

        1. “…. the lone obstinately unmasked.”

          Where are you hanging out? I’m in WA too. You may not be as unique as you think, you rebel, you. Haha.

          1. In my urban area, I mostly am. All of Seattle and the more gentrified portions of Tacoma and Olympia are outdoor maskers’ turf.

    4. The left will never let go of the myth that masks stop the spread of any virus, despite the lack of evidence. The states that have eliminated their mask mandates have done better since then. And what about India? Aren’t people wearing masks there?

  4. “But every religion says there’s a soul, Bart. Why would they lie? What would they have to gain?”

    1. I am familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda.

      1. Way to breathe, No-Breath!

        1. In the Garden of Eden, by I. Ron Butterfly

  5. Now do the affect of unvaccinated border crossers moving about the general population. I see no-talent Midler didn’t tweet about them, just some imaginary white kids who need to be vaccinated.

    (vaccine hesitancy is by the way still high among democrats and leftists, and many minorities as well – Midler didn’t want to offend them as well)

    1. If you had a rational immigration procedure you could have the same policy as for international travel such as recent test or vaccination. You could even do a rapid test right there.

      The reason there are so many illegal immigrants is that our legal process is broken. I think that has been intentional for decades.

      1. Crossing the border in the middle of nowhere is not a reaction to our “broken” legal process. That’s like saying that the fact that there are murders in this country is indicative that our murder laws are “broken.”

        1. It is a reaction to our immigration system, whether you think it’s broken or not. If they can’t cross legally, or somewhere less dangerous they go to the middle of nowhere.
          And the murder law analogy is pretty weak. Immigration is a practical administrative matter. Murder is, well, murder. No murder is desirable. Some immigration is (how much depends on who you ask).

        2. Do you understand the ‘legal immigration process’ from say Mexico?

          It’s pretty simple actually.

          IF you have close-enough family (meaning adult children of a US citizen or spouse/child of a green card holder) in the US, you wait 20+ years. The current family visas being processed for Mexico were started in 1996-1998 so 22-25 years.

          That’s it.

          Of course people are going to ignore a ‘legal system’ that requires an entire generation wait. And even then only for the one million or so who qualify as family waiting on that list.

          1. Can I have a cite for this 20+ year process you speak of? I’m almost positive you don’t have a single one.

  6. Therefore, the risk that a fully vaccinated person wandering about in the wild would be diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination is 0.001 percent (basically, 1 in 100,000).

    AND…the risk that it would have a substantive negative effect is (speculating based on current evidence) 0.00001 percent.

  7. >>Now that COVID-19 vaccines are in surplus

    they can stick it in the stuffed crust pizzas with all the leftover cheese.

  8. Mr. Bailey,

    I’d love to read an article from you about the implications for the precautionary principle associated with some of the statements made in this article at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

    From publicly available and independently verifiable grant applications to the NIH, it has been determined that the NIH was funding the creation of novel viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    “Baric and Shi referred to the obvious risks in their paper but argued they should be weighed against the benefit of foreshadowing future spillovers. Scientific review panels, they wrote, “may deem similar studies building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains too risky to pursue.” Given various restrictions being placed on gain-of function (GOF) research, matters had arrived in their view at “a crossroads of GOF research concerns; the potential to prepare for and mitigate future outbreaks must be weighed against the risk of creating more dangerous pathogens.”

    —-The Bulletin

    On one hand, there are standard questions to be answered about the precautionary principle when it comes to gain of function modifications that create new and stronger viruses, as well as whether mice should be “humanized” so that we can study the way these souped-up viruses go after human cells. Regardless of whether this research was the actual source of Covid-19, this practice probably needs to be defended in light of the pandemic if it is to continue.

    On the other hand, however, there are questions that need to be asked. Fellow commenter “Cronut”, yesterday, pointed out that it may be necessary for the NIH to fund these kinds of studies through subcontractors that use Chinese labs, where the safety protocols and inspections aren’t necessarily up to snuff, because U.S. regulation (perhaps based on the precautionary principle) prohibits us from doing this kind of research in the United States at safer labs.

    Likewise, I staked out a possible position, where someone might object to the NIH overseeing dangerous research like this on the basis that bureaucratic oversight by government should be considered incompetent by default. Even if the NIH shouldn’t be funding or overseeing this research, maybe private companies should be free to pursue these things–like a chemical company performing dangerous procedures in urban areas with extreme caution.

      1. We don’t know that the virus originated from that research, but we don’t need to know that for sure. We know that this funding probably shouldn’t be allowed to continue–even if that research didn’t actually create Covid-19. It’s one thing to say that private parties should be allowed to do research as they see fit. Quite another to say that Ken Shultz should be taxed to finance the creation of novel super viruses in China and to render them transmissible to humans.

        The Republicans really shouldn’t overplay their hand on this–even if the average progressive journalist treats this independently verifiable evidence gleaned from publicly available documents at the NIH like it’s a conspiracy theory that was cooked up on 4-chan. Republicans certainly can’t prove that Dr. Fauci created Covid-19 on purpose, and the more they insist that’s the case, the less likely they are to gain the credibility necessary to make Dr. Fauci answer publicly for the NIAID’s decision to fund this research.

        And that’s what we should be after. We want Dr. Fauci on national television explaining why he and the NIAID did this and why it should continue. Then we can have a national conversation about what it means to empower experts and bureaucrats to make qualitative choices for us on our behalf. And then we can really start talking about who should control Congress come 2022.

        1. Exactly! Republicans should be questioning the need for publicly funded gain-of-function research with questionable, if limited utility. The more they personalize this issue, the more the other side is going to dig its heels.

          As they say in cricket, play the ball, not the bowler!

      2. I love how they use the fact that it is unproven that the virus came from the Wuhan lab to imply that it is unproven that Fauci approved funding of gain-of-function research at that same lab.

        1. Yeah, they say it’s an unproven theory, but they fail to mention which one they’re talking about.

          The damning text is lifted from the publicly available application for funding to the NIH and the scientists own published research reports.

          It’s so easy to oversell this stuff. It’s a danger.

          1. It’s worth checking out the WHO report linked in the article.

            Of four possible scenarios the only one which they dismiss and recommend no further study on, the lab-escape scenario, is (even according to this WHO report) the only one that has any evidence at all to support it.

            They use the “evolutionary distance” argument to say that it couldn’t have come from a lab, but handwave away the very same evolutionary distance argument with regards to zoonotic transmission. Even though, again according to this WHO report, they haven’t found any animals that have had it who didn’t catch it from humans rather than vice-versa. But they conclude that it’s only because they haven’t looked far and wide enough yet.

            And there’s certainly no reason to consult the records of the Wuhan Institute of Virology!

            1. The records of which lab, I can safely predict, no longer show any of the Sars/Covid viruses being handled using Level 2 safety protocols instead of Level 4, as is/should be required.
              Even though biologists touring the lab did observe that very thing and expressed concerns back in 2016.

  9. “As Leonhardt observes, “The scientific evidence points to a conclusion that is much simpler than the C.D.C.’s message: Masks make a huge difference indoors and rarely matter outdoors.””

    It’s not completely clear from the context here, but I didn’t see any data or evidence for the efficacy of masks in the preceding quotes, just the efficacy of vaccines.

    Also, what data suggests whatsoever that full vaccinated adults should be required to wear masks anywhere? Indoors or out?

    1. That would require vaccine passports and there are issues with that. You are right there is no such data.

      I think that maybe in a month or so when everyone has had a chance there should be no restrictions at all.

      We are almost at 50% now. Israel started to see major results at 60%.

      1. I don’t think that it should require vaccine passports.

        Like you said, shortly, everyone (adult-wise) will have had the opportunity to either receive their dose(s) of the vaccine, or choose not to. At that point, we have all decided which risk-route we found preferable. I chose the vaccine route, others have decided to hold off. That can and should be their individual prerogative, even if the CDC doesn’t like it much.

        Don’t we find collective punishment just as problematic as ‘papiere, bitte’? We should not hold up on any reopening, loosening of restrictions, or anything else based on how many people have been vaccinated / not vaccinated.

        1. I agree with that but at this point there are people still who have not had enough of a chance. Masks are weak defenses. I think in a month or so everyone will have had enough of an opportunity.

          1. I agree with you on this one. Many people out there believe that we are further along in the vaccination process than we actually are. I am over 50 and don’t get my 2nd shot until Friday, and I made my initial appointment on the day it first became available in my state. It took so long because my state has a very large elderly and senior citizen population. We’re close, but not there yet. In six weeks though, we will absolutely be there.

            1. >>we will absolutely be there

              go get ’em!

            2. I might disagree with you on the timeline – Echo says 4 (ish) weeks, you say 6, I would put it at more like 3. But it seems like we are in agreement basically about the ‘why’. Perhaps, as you mentioned, that’s due to the differing conditions in the various states where we live.

              Would it not therefore be a good policy for the states which have not yet opened up, to commit to opening up again individually after ‘X’ number of days from when the vaccine was made available to everyone?

              In Missouri, for instance, the vaccine was opened to ‘tier 2’ (me) on March 29th. I was able to get my first dose by April 6th. 2nd dose on April 27th. It opened up to Tier 3 (everyone over 16) by April 9th. It’s now been a month in my state since any adults who wanted to get a vaccine could do so. The Pfizer vaccine has a 3 week wait between doses. The Moderna one is 4 weeks. In either case, they figure you’re fully efficacious 2 weeks after the 2nd shot.

              So, in my state’s case, we should be opening up everywhere about the end of May or the first week of June. Should be. That’s not to say some locals won’t try to hold on to some restrictions.

          2. Now do every other virus that has existed and thousands of years of human civilization

    2. Yeah, let me see some evidence for that “huge difference”. Like an actual study of actual people in the real world.

      1. There is none. The cult of mask is not about evidence.

        1. That’s how it looks to me. But if there is something, I want to know about it.

          1. Agreed.

      2. I think they are referring to this which Ron wrote about.

        It is based on mathematical modeling not real world. A population study is really not possible or very difficult because of confounding variables and inability to have a control group. Comparing say one country to another is not useful as there are different viral loads, population density, cultural behaviors and other factors.

        1. The results of a model are a hypothesis, not a conclusion. Not worth much until you can do an actual study to validate them.

          I’d agree that you can’t simply directly compare different countries. But you have to try, that’s what we have data for. However, there are very large differences in both policy and outcome in different countries and you can learn something about the effectiveness of different responses. For example, the huge difference between many East Asian countries and pretty much all of the west cannot be explained by the NPIs used in the different places.

          Anyway, as much as I get sucked into it, this kind of stuff is kind of a distraction. Lockdowns and forced business closures, mask wearing and such are simply not justifiable in a supposedly free society in any case. Somehow we knew this up until a bit more than a year ago and then completely forgot.

        2. If it doesn’t show up in the data for cases/hosp/deaths, then it really doesn’t matter. Using all the publicly available data, we know that no inflection points or no trends have been observed that correlate with a mask mandate. The only thing that counts is how the data shakes out at the large system level because that is how the outcomes are manifested. Even if the mandates have some small effect but are swamped by something else, then you still have to say that the mandates were worthless. Because the only thing that matters is how it all behaves in The System.

        3. Just use non-people as the control group. Easy-peasy.*

          *-that would be cis white alt-right, cis white MRAs and cis white incels. Surely Alphabet has an algorithm that can identify non-persons based on social media activity.

    3. There is not enough evidence to say that the vaccinated don’t transmit to others. Ignoring those who are willing to take that risk, there are people who want to be vaccinated but who can’t be.

      It’s possible that evidence will show up shortly but the US is so politicized that no basic research is worth a damn and other countries don’t have enough time yet for that research to conclude.

      1. I’m sorry for those people. But it’s on them to take what precautions they need to protect themselves, not the rest of the world.

        1. The point is that that information on which THEY can base a decision does not exist yet.

          You assclowns spent the last year lying to everyone re ‘this is just the flu’. Now you want to keep on lying to everyone ‘oh hell there’s no risk now of getting the ‘this is just the flu’ disease’. Don’t need actual information. Just some pretense and a loud mouth.

          I’m beginning to really despise you people. Whatever your beliefs, they are toxic and should be entirely ignored. Shame too because it certainly leaves the ninny brigade on the field – and outside covid I’ve always thought you people had some ideas worth thinking about. No longer.

          1. What people? I didn’t say any of those things. Don’t be a shit.

            There is risk. I choose to accept it and continue with my life. That’s it. That’s what I’ve done. If some people feel their risk is too high, they can continue to isolate themselves.

            1. There is risk. I choose to accept it and continue with my life. That’s it. That’s what I’ve done. If some people feel their risk is too high, they can continue to isolate themselves.

              Choose to accept based on what knowledge? Whatever someone lies to you about? I don’t care if any individual chooses to accept that risk based on the stupidest stubbornest imaginable criteria/lies acceptable to them. But that is not the decision that is being made.

              We don’t know whether the vaccinated transmit to others. All we know is whether the vaccinated get transmitted to. Why are people obsessed with trying to bury every fucking attempt to even gather the knowledge for people THEMSELVES to assess risk? This is nihilism not liberty.

            2. My coworker is a huge Fox News fan that has refused the vaccine because he believes in the microchipping nonsense (like you can even fit a grain of sand in a 25-gauge needle). His whole family just became infected, after making it lure than a year, he (45 years old and thin) was hospitalized for 2 days, and his father is on a vent.

              It’s amazing that so many people, including researchers and scientists, believe that there is no possibility that viruses do far more chronic damage than we currently realize. Enteroviruses cause type I diabetes, Epstein Barr causes cancer and six autoimmune diseases, and herpesviruses remain latent our entire lives.

              This “just a cold” mantra is based on a lot of assumptions.

              Sadly, the unvaxxed that eventually get infected May Cody out healthcare system and taxpayer dollars more in the long run and the short term.

              1. Sounds like you’re unfit to survive.

              2. I have 5 relatives who caught it. One of them was my 99-year-old grandmother with dementia. The nursing home didn’t even know she had it until her temperature was measured and they performed a PCR test. Otherwise, they could not tell — no other symptoms. The other 4 relatives had the sniffles. Anecdotal, yes. Just providing some context as to why someone might consider it “just a cold”. I wouldn’t call it as such, but my family’s experiences certainly make it look that way.

                1. I have no problem with someone assessing the risk – for themselves – as ‘just the cold’.

                  I have a serious problem with people denying the existence of 600,000+ excess deaths over the last year – because ‘just the cold’ is ingrained in how they view facts/reality outside themselves.

          2. I’m beginning to really despise you people. Whatever your beliefs, they are toxic and should be entirely ignored.

            My God you are one colossal schmuck.

            1. “….. beginning to…..”?

        2. Hey buddy, haven’t you heard of “entitlement”? You need to be Karen’d about the non-zero risk you people present to the Precautionary Principle crowd.

      2. This is a logic failure; you’re asking for proof of non-existence.

        1. This is not a logic failure. If you can’t understand the difference between an absence of information and an impossibility of information, then what you are experiencing is a stupid failure.

          1. “This is not a logic failure…”

            Yes, it is.

          2. Ok. Let’s run through the arguments and the premises and conclusions here. I am going to try to construct yours without building too much of a straw man, but I am going to need to rely on you to let me know where I have erred and misrepresented your position. Since I don’t fully understand your position, it may not be entirely representative. You can correct that. Fair enough?

            1. I am not constructing an argument that will somehow magically solve anything itself.

              It is about finding out the data re – do the vaccinated transmit the virus to others (specifically the unvaccinated) at a similar rate that the unvaccinated infect others.

              This can’t happen in the US because we do not do public health in this country. We do not contact trace. We do not attempt to even try to understand how covid is actually moving from one person to another. All we do is mathematical models. Or in your case, rationalist arguments that have nothing to do with anything in the real world. As if this is nothing but a debate.

              I don’t know why this is what we do – but fact is all that type of data re this virus has been gathered from outside the US. ALL of it. That does not mean this info can’t exist. It means we in the US are too fucking stupid to gather the info ourselves so that individuals CAN make their own decisions based on something other than political loyalties or agreement with someone’s argument.

              1. Listen.

                You’re making an extraordinary claim – that masking *MUST* continue, even for vaccinated people, until such future time that you’re personally satisfied that it doesn’t have to anymore.

                If you can’t back that up, then shut the fuck up.

                1. Im not saying any such thing. I am saying that the move to open up the large social gatherings and ‘superspreader’ events and demask needs to accompanied by enough ACTUAL info so that people can themselves choose their own course of action.

                  YOU are the one who is saying that the decision to open things up should be based on a personal whim rather than real knowledge. In your case, the personal whim that it never need have happened because lielielie so it should be reversed now because bsbsbs.

          3. Question: “What data suggests whatsoever that fully vaccinated adults should be required to wear masks anywhere? Indoors or out?”

            Position ‘A’: There is no benefit to fully vaccinated adults wearing masks, indoors or outdoors.

            Premise A1: There is no data to suggest that fully vaccinated adults can be infected by or transmit to others this virus, against which they have been immunized, in any significant way.
            Support A1a: We do have data from the vaccine trials, several other studies – some linked in the article above – and several other countries, Israel in particular, to suggest that these vaccines are extremely effective at preventing people from getting sick from or transmitting this virus.
            Support A1b: We also have a bit over a century of study in viral immunology that tends to suggest that people with immunity do not spread viral contagion. That’s why we still use vaccines for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, shingles, chicken pox, HPV, hepatitis, rotavirus, etc.
            Premise A2: We do not have a lot of evidence that masks prevent the spread of airborne virus when either a) worn by people breathing them out, or b) worn by people wishing not to breathe them in.
            Support A2: We do have fairly good evidence that they can prevent the spread of mucus via cough or sneeze. However, this shouldn’t matter much for vaccinated people with essentially 0 viral load.

            Conclusion: The wearing of masks by fully vaccinated adults does not accomplish anything and is therefore unnecessary.

            Position 2: There is not enough evidence to say that the vaccinated don’t transmit to others. Ignoring those who are willing to take that risk, there are people who want to be vaccinated but who can’t be.

            Premise 2A: There is not enough evidence don’t transmit the virus to others.
            Support 2A: We haven’t had enough people vaccinated yet against this particular virus to do long term studies yet. Also the vaccine is very new. In adopting this position, I am of course using the exact same logic of the vaccine-hesitant people I like to rail against.
            Premise 2B: Ignoring those who are willing to take that risk
            Support 2B: I don’t care if the risk takers or free thinkers die, but, they better be wearing masks when they do.
            Premise 2C: There are people who want to be vaccinated but who can’t be.
            Support 2C: This is true for most vaccines, however, for the three currently available for everyone in the USA, there are no groups of people currently advised against it for medical reasons: So this group must just be people who can’t get out to get a vaccine. Maybe they are far away from a medical center, but that’s like social distancing, right?

            Conclusion: I like masks. I love masks. They make me feel safe.

            1. See above. I have no idea why you think this method above is remotely relevant to anything real.

              1. I don’t know, generally we expect policy-makers to debate the measures being proposed based on data and facts and stuff, not just irrational fear.

                You, on the other hand:
                1. We must DO something
                2. This is SOMETHING
                3. PERFECT

                1. There is not one iota of data in your comment. It is merely constructed logic. The sort of approach that has been a conflict between rationalists and empiricists since forever.

                  Libertarian-like commenters here are uberrationalist and antiempirical – like the Austrian school. It is why so many of them are anti-science and believe that the very search for data is a logical impossibility.

                  1. Well, your scared-ass bullshit didn’t age well.


                    Eat a dick, if you can fit it between your double-masks.

                  2. BTW:

                    ‘Party of Science’ – not even close.

      3. “There is not enough evidence to say that the vaccinated don’t transmit to others…”

        You’re really asking for proof of a negative?

      4. Haha. Yeah, it’s so politicized in the US that we need more data from more reliable, rational countries. If only it existed!

        America sucks, eh j?

  10. CDC Greatly Exaggerates Risk of Outdoor COVID-19 Transmission


    1. Yeah, we’re well past *Pre*cautionary *Principle* this is more overtly pseudo-caution.

      1. “Performative Safety Assurances”?

    2. saw title, thought “holy shit someone tell Bailey”

    3. Well my doctor does the same thing. Doesn’t mean I follow all of her advice.

      1. That’s fine for a doctor. You can get a new one if you don’t like it. The CDC should not try to be the nation’s doctor.

        1. The CDC has become too political.

          They should do what they do best.

          Analysis of data on infectious diseases and offering public health advice is what they should do. They are getting used by the politicians.

          1. “…They are getting used by the politicians.”

            Or the other way around.

    4. Aren’t we still in the middle of a vaping epidemic?

      1. It is over because the black market vaping makers stopped putting Vitamin E acetate in the mix. They found the agent causing the pneumonitis.

        1. And those were all unregulated, illegal THC vape sticks anyway.`

          To the point where my smoke shop had a sign announcing that “Vaping Using Unregulated THC Vaping Products Is Unsafe”

          I chided them for not having a warning about snorting asbestos or using fiberglass inhalers.

  11. Walensky grudgingly acknowledged that fully vaccinated people could gather outdoors and conduct outdoor activities without wearing a mask

    “, mumbling under her breath, ‘Yeah, they *could* — but they’ll *die*!'”

  12. The risk of outdoor transmission is negligable (1:1000). The risk of dying is so great, everything must be shut down and people locked in their homes (also 1:1000).

    1. It is and also depends on what you are doing say outdoor basketball game vs lying 15 feet away on the beach. But I think we can figure that out for ourselves.

      I haven’t seen any mask police around anyway.

      1. “Totalitarianism is ok because it doesn’t inconvenience me at all”

        1. Echo is an equivacator.

          1. Echo is a leftist simp and passive aggressive bigot

  13. Okay baily let’s try this again.
    The cdc lied their asses off about (insert the rest of the article).
    Start calling the lying scumbags what they are

  14. Admittedly, some of the reduced risk may stem from continued mask wearing on the part of fully vaccinated people, …
    Absolutely zero evidence to back this up.

    1. That’s where it turned back into a Bailey article.

  15. To be fair, outside is where authorities can most easily see citizens and catch them in noncompliance.

  16. The level of complete garbage that the CDC has become is almost impressive at this point. It’s honestly like they are trying to be as irrelevant and worthless as possible.

  17. Out of 150 people bitten by sharks around the world in 2020, how many were wearing masks at the time? There had to have been some scuba divers/snorkelers among them….

    1. “Well, it’s certainly not ZERO! And that’s why people wearing scuba or snorkeling gear should stay out of the water!”

      At this point, if someone could identify a gene sequence that caused this “the purpose of life is to achieve perfect safety” delusion, I’D be willing to fund some research into gene-specific pathogens. Not even kidding. I’m actually a pretty empathetic person, but such people don’t even seem human to me.

  18. “Therefore, the risk that a fully vaccinated person wandering about in the wild would be diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination is 0.001 percent (basically, 1 in 100,000).”

    Actually that’s one in ten thousand, not one in a hundred thousand. Watch your decimal points (but it’s still small).

    1. Oops, my bad. It is 1 in 100,000. I should watch my own decimal points.

      1. But 9245 of 95 million is around one in ten thousand.

  19. The CDC has been on every side of every argument through this incident.
    I have been suggesting for weeks that it is best to ignore the CDC.

  20. after this idiot’s last, and laughable, article about US birth rates, this guy should never be allowed to write a “science” related article again

  21. “The scientific evidence points to a conclusion that is much simpler than the C.D.C.’s message: Masks make a huge difference indoors and rarely matter outdoors.”

    The study cited is a model with no data to confirm its accuracy. It is also has yet to be peer reviewed. Masks do nothing outdoors. Masks do nothing indoors. It is airborne. Masks don’t work with airborne respiratory viruses. Limiting contact and time in closed spaces works. That is about it.

  22. This all goes back to the fact that they teach defensive medicine in medical school. When I had an appendectomy in 1969, the doctor basically poked around and decided that my appendix had to come out.

    Fast forward to 2006. After 6 hours of blood tests, examinations, and a CT scan that could not find my wife’s appendix, they decided that appendicitis was the only diagnosis that made sense.

    No kidding. My wife and I had that figured out, before we left home for the ER.

    Doctors like to cover their asses, whether it’s cardiology, oncology, or public health. No public health physician wants to be the idiot who gave out information that turned out to be wrong. Because his career would be over, and it will be too late to pick up a new board certification.

    For every person who thinks doctors today are over-educated idiots, who lack the common sense of rural doctors who made house calls, there is the hypochondriac who follows doctor’s orders to the letter. For the politician who will say that doctors over-react, he will have hypichondriacs trying to throw him out of office.

    1. “No kidding. My wife and I had that figured out, before we left home for the ER.”

      Based on what may I ask.

  23. Have zero confidence in government/law enforcement/judiciary at ANY level now. They all did their best to fuck Americans out of their Constitutional rights throughout this Chinese flu thing. Not vaccinated. Not getting vaccinated. They can take their masks and “vaccines” and stick them up their asses.

  24. The amount of false assumptions and misinformation by public health agencies really eroded the trust of the public, which is a shame. Then many people wouldn’t believe anything that they had to say, even the few accurate pieces of information, and now we have the polarized, politicized mess that we do now.

  25. When Trump was president, I paid little attention to his tweets.
    During the COVID epidemic, I paid little attention to CDC pronouncements and advice. I even doubt their numbers. Greatly.
    I would doubt anyone else’s numbers, too, because such numbers are irredeemably based on … all kinds of distorting influences – mostly upward.


    MIT researchers ‘infiltrated’ a Covid skeptics community a few months ago and found that skeptics place a high premium on data analysis and empiricism.

    “Most fundamentally, the groups we studied believe that science is a process, and not an institution.”

    “Indeed, anti-maskers often reveal themselves to be more sophisticated in their understanding of how scientific knowledge is socially constructed than their ideological adversaries, who espouse naïve realism about the “objective” truth of public health data.”

    “In other words, anti-maskers value unmediated access to information and privilege personal research and direct reading over “expert” interpretations.”

    “Its members value individual initiative and ingenuity, trusting scientific analysis only insofar as they can replicate it themselves by accessing and manipulating the data firsthand.”

    “They are highly reflexive about the inherently biased nature of any analysis, and resent what they view as the arrogant self-righteousness of scientific elites.”

    “Many of the users believe that the most important metrics are missing from government-released data.”

    “One user wrote: ‘Coding data is a big deal—and those definitions should be offered transparently by every state. Without a national guideline—we are left with this mess’.”

    “The lack of transparency within these data collection systems—which many of these users infer as a lack of honesty—erodes these users’ trust within both government institutions and the datasets they release.”

    “In fact, there are multiple threads every week where users debate how representative the data are of the population given the increased rate of testing across many states.”

    “These groups argue that the conflation of asymptomatic and symptomatic cases therefore makes it difficult for anyone to actually determine the severity of the pandemic.”

    “For these anti-mask users, their approach to the pandemic is grounded in more scientific rigor, not less.”

    “These individuals as a whole are extremely willing to help others who have trouble interpreting graphs with multiple forms of clarification: by helping people find the original sources so that they can replicate the analysis themselves, by referencing other reputable studies…
    that come to the same conclusions, by reminding others to remain vigilant about the limitations of the data, and by answering questions about the implications of a specific graph.”

    “While these groups highly value scientific expertise, they also see collective analysis of data as a way to bring communities together within a time of crisis, and being able to transparently and dispassionately analyze the data is crucial for democratic governance.”

    “In fact, the explicit motivation for many of these followers is to find information so that they can make the best decisions for their families—and by extension, for the communities around them.”

    “The message that runs through these threads is unequivocal: that data is the only way to set fear-bound politicians straight, and using better data is a surefire way towards creating a safer community.”

    “Data literacy is a quintessential criterion for membership within the community they have created.”

    “Arguing anti-maskers need more scientific literacy is to characterize their approach as uninformed & inexplicably extreme. This study shows the opposite: they are deeply invested in forms of critique & knowledge production they recognize as markers of scientific expertise”

    “We argue that anti-maskers’ deep story draws from similar wells of resentment, but adds a particular emphasis on the usurpation of scientific knowledge by a paternalistic, condescending elite that expects intellectual subservience rather than critical thinking from the public.”

    And yet in the conclusion they lament “the skeptical impulse that the ‘science simply isn’t settled,’ prompting people to simply ‘think for themselves” to horrifying ends.”

    They then compare it to the January 6 Capitol riot.

    Bizarre and fascinating document.

    1. Don’t do twitter; got a direct link, please?

    2. That document was crazy.

      Their basic conclusion “these skeptics are adhering to the scientific method with a rational empirical approach…but meh racists.”

  27. BTW, regarding the image at the top; anyone care to tell me why the taxpayers pay for such elegant digs?
    Fuck ’em; put ’em in the basement somewhere.

  28. A good article, which is what I expect from Mr. Bailey, but I think there’s a decimal error in it: 9,250 infections divided by 95 million vaccinations is just under 1 in 10,000, not 1 in 100,000.

    It’s important that be corrected, as someone wishing to discredit the conclusions can do so by seizing on that simple error (more a math typo than anything).

  29. A good article, which is what I expect from Mr. Bailey, but by my calculations it looks like there’s a decimal error in it: ~9,250 infections divided by ~95 million vaccinations is just under 1 in 10,000, not 1 in 100,000.

    It’s important that be corrected, as someone wishing to discredit the conclusions can do so by seizing on that simple error (more a math typo than anything).

  30. It’s VERY difficult for people to give up power. Her problem is that because of the vaccines and incoming hot weather, she and her agency have become irrelevant.

    But that is the way it’s supposed to be.

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
    Retired surgeon

  31. “The scientific evidence points to a conclusion that is much simpler than the C.D.C.’s message: Masks make a huge difference indoors”

    And what scientific evidence is that? The link goes to a dreamed up “model” that says “supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.”

  32. There is a math error in the article. Approximating with 9,000/90,000,000 gives .0001 = .01 % or 1 in 10,000.

    1. I also believe it is very tempting to misread this “breakthrough rate” statistic as if it were a probability suggesting extremely low risk of infection given vaccination. Well in one sense it is that — it gives the probability that a randomly chosen vaccinated American was known infected during a particular finite time period. But if we assume 90% effectiveness — a handy estimate, since it means probability of infection gets reduced to 1/10 of whatever it otherwise would be — this means that a comparable NON-vaccinated group should expect to have a baseline infection rate of only .001 = .1 % or one in 1,000. So a comparable group of 90 million Americans would see 90,000 infections rather than 9,000.

      The point is: don’t assume are walking around with a .01% chance of infection no matter what you do. Assume your risk is 1/10 of what it otherwise would be. That is very good, but if you are indoors among a crowd of uncertain vaccination status in an area with high prevalence, that may not feel safe enough.

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