Coronavirus

The Evidence Supporting Mask Mandates in Schools Is Weaker Than Biden Pretends

The studies cited by the CDC do not show that preventing COVID-19 outbreaks requires forcing students to cover their faces.

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Wading into the bitter debate about face mask mandates in schools, President Joe Biden is threatening civil rights lawsuits against states that ban such requirements. "Some politicians are trying to turn public safety measures…into political disputes for their own political gain," Biden complained last week, saying his administration won't "sit by as governors try to block and intimidate educators protecting our children."

Biden's framing implies that school officials are indisputably "protecting our children" by forcing them to cover their faces all day and that anyone who suggests otherwise is motivated only by crass partisan motives. Yet the evidence that the public health benefits of "universal masking" in K-12 schools outweigh its costs is far less impressive than the president suggests.

Other governments seem to recognize that fact. As David Zweig notes in New York magazine, "many of America's peer nations around the world—including the U.K., Ireland, all of Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy—have exempted kids, with varying age cutoffs, from wearing masks in classrooms" without experiencing more school-related COVID-19 outbreaks than the U.S. has seen.

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by contrast, recommends that everyone, regardless of age or vaccination status, wear face masks in K‒12 schools. But the studies the CDC cites to justify that stance generally were not designed to test the effectiveness of mask mandates.

One problem with those studies is that the schools they examined typically implemented several COVID-19 safeguards simultaneously, so there was no way of knowing whether any perceived benefits could be attributed specifically to masking. Another problem: Almost none of the studies compared schools with mask mandates to otherwise similar schools without them, again making causal inferences impossible.

One exception was a CDC study of Georgia schools published in May, which found that COVID-19 infection was 37 percent less common in schools that required teachers and other staff members to wear masks, similar to the difference associated with "improved ventilation." But the same study found that requiring students to wear masks was not associated with a statistically significant reduction in case rates.

In Florida, the CDC found that school districts without mask mandates had higher infection rates. But the researchers noted that smaller districts were less likely to require masks, and they also "had a higher proportion of students attending in-person instruction," which likewise was "positively correlated with the student case rate."

The CDC says "most studies that have shown success in limiting transmission in schools" involved "prevention strategies" that included requiring "staff only or staff and students" to wear masks. The implication, of course, is that some schools had "success in limiting transmission" even without mask mandates or with mandates that did not apply to students.

In Florida, where many districts did not require masks, the CDC found that less than 1 percent of students were infected in schools during the first semester after they reopened in August 2020. During the same period, school-related COVID-19 outbreaks were likewise a minor problem in England, where students were not required to wear masks.

These studies were conducted before vaccines were available. Now that 71 percent of Americans 12 or older are at least partly vaccinated, school infection rates should be similarly low, even taking into account the prevalence of the especially contagious delta variant.

Assuming that mask mandates in schools do make a difference, the benefits are likely to be small. Adults and older students can more effectively protect themselves by getting vaccinated, and life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms are extremely rare in children and teenagers: The CDC's "current best estimate" of the infection fatality rate among people younger than 18 is 0.002 percent.

The costs of requiring masks in schools, meanwhile, include daylong discomfort and stress, obstructed breathing and vision (thanks to fogged eyeglasses), and interference with communication, learning, and social interaction. To justify those burdens requires more evidence than mandate enthusiasts have been able to muster.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Oregon Will Require People To Wear Masks Outdoors Even if They're Vaccinated

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  1. Dear God:

    Hi… you know what would be nice? To have an argument with a anti-vaxxer who isn’t a fucking moron or a head case. I haven’t had one of those yet. Can Jesus provide?

    1. Pay your mortgage first.

      /God

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    2. Hey AmSoc/KAR.

      Since you’re Mr. Science, you must know that mRNA vaccines are different from all other vaccines in history. Can you tell us why, and how this isn’t just human experimentation on a planet-wide scale?
      Can you tell us how long functioning mRNA vaccine technology has been around for? 100 years? 10 years? or maybe just 2 and a half years?
      Can you tell us why the processes’ inventor is cautioning people about taking them?
      There’s a considerable body of evidence from virologists at Oxford and Harvard, that every single person who gets the mRNA vaccines are experiencing some level of unprecedented inflammation. Sometimes leading to inflamed heart tissue and even clots and heart attacks. Remind us why are these scientists ignorant hillbillies again?

      Can’t wait to see you put that great, big, sarcasmic-caliber brain to work and answer all those questions.

      1. Jesus didn’t provide. Sad.

        Hey AmSoc/KAR.

        Since you’re Mr. Science, you must know that mRNA vaccines are different from all other vaccines in history.

        Yeah, they’re a lot more effective than usual. A vaccine giving 95% protection against a disease is remarkable.
        Can you tell us why, and how this isn’t just human experimentation on a planet-wide scale?

        The drug went through phase 1/2 and then a phase 3 trial with 30,000 people so it was vetted to the same degree that basically every other medication on the fucking planet was put through. To date, it’s been injected into 5 billion people— thus making it probably the most studied drug on the planet maybe short of aspirin and Viagra.
        Can you tell us how long functioning mRNA vaccine technology has been around for? 100 years? 10 years? or maybe just 2 and a half years?

        It’s been around for 20 years— about the same length (pardon the expression) of time as dick pills.

        Can you tell us why the processes’ inventor is cautioning people about taking them?

        That’s an easy one. Because he’s a fucking quack. And he’s hardly the inventor.

        There’s a considerable body of evidence from virologists at Oxford and Harvard, that every single person who gets the mRNA vaccines are experiencing some level of unprecedented inflammation.

        What evidence is that? Every person?!? Bullshit. How about 1 in 3000 of the youngest people that get the vaccine?

        Thanks for playing though.

        1. Fucked the tags up. I can’t get by the fucking stupidity of the vaccination crowd. You are quite literally dying on the stupidest hill in fucking human existence. There’s a 1 in fucking 100 million chance I’ll die of this vaccine and a 1 in a thousand or 1-in-500 chance I’ll die of Covid. Which Avenue am I going to explore. Math is so hard.

          1. Are you old because those aren’t the odds for healthy people. It does look like “the math” is hard for you.

          2. What happened to “pro-choice” my body my choice?

          3. Vaccination aside… you think there’s a 1/500 to 1/1000 chance you will die of Covid? Where did you get those odds? Best I can tell, someone my age has a 200 out of 1 million chance of dying IF INFECTED. That’s about 1/5000. But I was already infected and I didn’t die. I have at least some natural immunity. So the odds of me catching it are really small, and even smaller that I will die. Plus, I am not morbidly obese, nor do I have other comorbidities, so unless shit really goes wrong, there is almost NO chance I am dying from Covid, statistically speaking. Finally, I am eight times more likely of dying from something else. So I should probably worry more about those things.

            Where did you get your 1/500?

          4. The anti-vaxx clingers are unbelievable at this point.

            1. Can’t tell if serious.

              1. Unfortunately it is. The righteous complaining against getting a vaccine is just pure comedy at this point. We live in a very privileged society when people are able to get righteously angry over the ability to take a life saving drug.

                1. So get the vaccine. Just keep your nose out of everyone else’s business.

                  1. I did. And I will fight against any mandate attempted to be imposed. But I will also still laugh at people like you who are scared of vaccines.

                    1. And I will tell assholes like you to mind your own business, asshole.
                      BTW, did I mention that you’re an asshole, asshole.
                      Perhaps not: You’re an asshole, asshole.

                    2. I guess you don’t realize being wary of an mRNA vaccine (non sterilizing at that) is not the same as being scared of vaccines. And sure as fuck isn’t anti-vaxx. Easy mistake, I’m sure.

          5. No, you’re fucked up.

        2. Isn’t 1 in 3000 too high, you’ve made it clear with covid any risk is bad. If there’s risk then this is bad and should be stopped by your covid logic.

          1. It’s a much higher risk than children face from the virus, for sure.

            1. No, dummy, it isn’t. JFC!

              1. 1/3000 is huge compared to 0.002%. In decimal it’s 0.00033 vs 0.00002. That’s a pretty sizeable difference.

                1. This is a guy who couldn’t pay his mortgage even with his shoes off! It was over 20.

              2. Just picking my own state, 1400 kids (<18) have been hospitalized with COVID compared with 118k confirmed cases, or 1.2%. The CDC estimates that only 1/4 infections are caught; grossing up that denominator gets us to… 0.3%, or roughly 1 in 3,000.

                Since (if?) the vaccine risk is roughly equivalent to the post-infection virus risk then why would you consciously give it to your children? And that doesn't even account for the of/with reporting discrepancy in the numerator.

        3. https://medium.com/grab-a-slice/pfizer-and-moderna-vaccines-95-efficacy-are-opinions-which-fail-the-federal-standards-for-d271e2f2a3b0

          A lot more effective lol. 95% is an old number dude. Oxfard is claiming like 45% now (for both original strain and Delta). Real world studies are not showing 95% effective, and the theory has always said that mRNA vaccines are less effective than whole pathogen methods – but faster to deliver to market. The reason they are less effective is because the vaccine only produces select proteins to train the immune system (in this case just a single modified spike protein), rather than training on the entire pathogen. Because of the way that this method elicits immune response, we see the response heavily focused on training B-cells (antibodies) (and to a limited extent phagocytes, which do not produce memory cells but do demonstrate some epigenetic response to pathogens which can function to increase their future effectiveness for a given pathogen). “The Science” tells us that mRNA produces select antibodies, which thusfar have shown to be short lived and have a higher potential for escape.

          All of this is also interesting because coronavirus primarily infects the respiratory system, where antibody concentrations are lower. It was found early on that ~85% of people have some natural immunity, and that immunity is thought to be conferred by effective T-cell response to the pathogen. T-cells are a slow mechanism, so this is thought to be why many people pick up some initial infection but do not exhibit symptoms and are highly unlikely to be infectious.

          1. When you say “anti-vaxx,” you are referring to an entire line of scientific inquiry that includes some of the biggest names in medicine and physics. Yes, there are some charlatans…but the fact that you cannot differentiate and have not found any compelling arguments almost certainly means that you have blinders on and/or you have low scientific literacy.

            1. Yes. They use the term “anti-vaxxer” as a slur. When you resort to name-calling rather than address legitimate arguments (like why someone with natural immunity, statistically proven to be superior to vaccine induced immunity, should be forced to get a vaccine), you are pretty much admitting that you have no rational response to such arguments.

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        5. If the vaccine provides 95% protection. Why does Israel have the same spike in cases as last time this year, even though 72% of their adult population has been vaccinated?

        6. He attempted to straighten your stupid commie ass out. Which is better than you deserve. Now thank him and beg his forgiveness.

        7. Nope. MRNA vaccines only recognize one or two spike proteins. Regular vaccines sensitize for many more viral proteins. Moreover, mRNA vaccines don’t replicate the proteins they are sensitizing the immune system as effectively as do the normal type of vaccines, that utilize weakened or deactivated versions of the virus. Which is part of why we are seeing so many breakthrough cases.

      2. It’s great to see some concern for safety and efficacy. Maybe the GOP will now start advocating for more regulation in industries that produce consumable goods and have externalities that affect public health. Oh wait…

        1. Maybe commie shits like you can fuck off and die.

      3. Be humble. Listen to the Pediatricians. They are smart folks who devoted their lives to helping children stay healthy.

        There is an overwhelming consensus among these children’s doctors that masks in school are a reasonable and necessary precaution.

        Delta variant is deadlier.

        Childrens’ hospitals are filling up to capacity.

        Kids can run, play, talk, socialize even while wearing masks.

        Kids doctors know that kids can handle this.

        Calm down. Listen to the people who treat children and their diseases.

        Do the right thing, or the very least, stay quiet for the sake of the kids.

        Semper Fi.

        1. Delta is not deadlier – but rather probably a bit less deadly. What it is, is much more infectious (R0 maybe double ). If Delta were more deadly, it’s greatly creased R0 would be causing a huge increase in deaths nationwide. We haven’t seen that – but rather a significant flattening in comparison to the increased case count.

          The studies I have seen show masks to be very unhealthy for kids. They cause a significant amount of CO2 buildup which kids are more sensitive to and significant numbers of other infectious, with their masks acting like Petri dishes.

          As noted, no, kids cannot play with masks as vigorously, because of the CO2 buildup. They cannot socialize as well either, not able to read facial expressions.

          And, most importantly COVID-19 morbidity is negligible for kids. We are talking less than 1k deaths for those under 20, maybe 350 under 10, out of a population of over 20 million. Kids are more likely to die from: drowning, car wrecks, etc. even lightning strikes. We are taking maybe 1/20k kids, or .005% fatality rate.

        2. “…Do the right thing,…”
          Sarc or stupidity?

        3. That is some unadulterated horse shit.

    3. Here are the facts. Cloth masks and/or surgical masks filter particle sizes between 250nM and 400nM. Coronavirus as it’s respired is around 5nM. The efficacy of masks is no longer in dispute. They are useless. BTW in addition to lockdowns and social distancing they are the definition of insanity – “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”

    4. You continue to willfully miss the point, don’t you? Almost no one arguing against coerced vaccination is “anti-vax”.

      1. Yet that’s not true. I argue against coerced vaccination, but I am vaccinated. People here are literally arguing against getting vaccinated.

        1. A few are. But it seems like most are in the same position as you are.

          And I wouldn’t consider having doubts about one particular vaccine as being “anti-vax”.

          1. No, no it wouldn’t. The vast majority here argue against vaccines. The ones that don’t get called leftist and commies almost immediately. This distinction you’re trying to pretend exists is not shown by the actual commentariat.

            1. “No, no it wouldn’t. The vast majority here argue against vaccines. The ones that don’t get called leftist and commies almost immediately. This distinction you’re trying to pretend exists is not shown by the actual commentariat.”

              You’re full of shit. Period.
              Cite and support your bullshit or STFU, asshole

            2. I’m sure you can name all the people who have argued against vaccines in general.

        2. No, we’re not. People at significant risk should get vaccinated, but ultimately it’s up to them.

          1. Okay, who are your “people at significant risk?” And why only them? Wouldn’t a populace that is majority vaccinated also help “people at significant risk?” Or is that too much consideration for your fellow human to qualify for narcissistic libertarianism claims?

            1. Hey, lying piece of shit! You were asked to support your bullshit up-thread.
              Put up or STFU, asshole.

        3. “…People here are literally arguing against getting vaccinated…”

          And lefty steaming pile or shit is bothered by other people’s choices! Stuff it up you ass, steaming pile of shit.

        4. I’m arguing against naturally immune being vaccinated for two reasons.

          1. My natural immunity is better than mRNA induced immunity so why would I incur extra risk?

          2. Doses given to naturally immune are wasted when they could be given to somebody who has yet to be infected.

      2. Vaccines work best only when a large enough part of the population has them. If they don’t do so voluntarily, that some level of coercion is necessary. Start with making it inconvenient to entertainment. Then progress as needed until the level needed for herd immunity.
        It’s like the draft. You are not “anti-military” to oppose the draft, but sometimes you just need more bodies in the fight, so you draft, no matter what the principled opposition says (as long as its legal, which under applicable and longstanding precedent, it seems to be)

        1. Our nation runs better without Democrats. This only works when a large enough portion of the population is conservative. You just need more bodies in the fight, no matter what the principled opposition does, as long as it’s legal for a week before the Supreme Court strikes it down.

    5. “Hi… you know what would be nice?…”

      Yep! To have commie shits like you fuck off and die.

    6. This story is about useless masks.

    7. a socialist calling someone else a moron or a head case. you just can not make up this level of stupid.

    8. You’re not making any arg. Calling people morons is not arguing

  2. This isn’t even close to the dumbest thing Biden’s doing at the moment.

    1. Shitting his pants in the President’s bedroom was probably the only thing he did today. Don’t blame poor old Joe for Ron Klain and Susan Rice’s fuck-ups.

      1. WHO SHIT MY PANTS?!??!!?

      2. I’ve only shit my pants when I was forcing a fart to try to get the mask/control Karens to backup out of my personal space.

  3. Weaker… harsh words towards someone who all but admitted he wanted a police state if the politics allowed.

    Both sides!

  4. You know, I just don’t get this. Which is less harmful: Requiring tens of millions of children in school to wear a mask for eight hours; or, require maybe a million teachers and support staff to get vaccinated?

    I don’t understand why teachers are refusing to get vaccinated. I mean, this is all for the children.

    1. Yet another example of revealed preferences.

    2. I expect that you’ll see a rise in strep cases this fall caused by masks being worn all day.

    3. Public sector teachers unions haven’t cared about the children for more then 50 year.

    4. None of the above.

  5. This is just the Teacher’s Unions flexing their political muscle. Think about it. Then think about how much they own the Democrats.

  6. Why are there no RCTs involving COVID infection? Because willfully infecting people with COVID is unethical, apparently, despite the ~100% survival rate among young healthy people. How does that make any sense? A disease so mild that many people don’t even express symptoms is apparently unethical to use in a laboratory? It’s almost like there is a deliberate avoidance of any fact gathering that might gather the wrong facts.

  7. “Some politicians are trying to turn public safety measures…into political disputes for their own political gain”.

    Pot, meet Kettle.

  8. What about Natural Immunity? What about “my body, my choice”? What about the 10s of 1000s of people that have adverse reactions to vaccines? What about the 10s of 1000s of people who risk anaphylactic shock when their survival rate from Corona is 99.5 but their survival rate from an adverse reaction is near zero? That’s reality, but no you would force them to take on a bigger risk than they want just so you can feel good compelling people against their will. How would you feel if all women who got pregnant were forced to carry to full term, no abortions? I thought so………….

    1. I have started asking people who want to force the Bullwinkle COVID vaccine (This time for sure!) if they got the flu vaccine on a regular basis. It’s amazing how few got that vaccine even though it is far more tested than the COVID-19 version.

    2. We are in clown world when folks start claiming herd immunity doesn’t work.

      So I guess they think we would go extinct without the vaccine?

  9. I don’t know if reason staff actually reads these comments.

    But, you always talk about the low risk to children in terms of death. I generally do too. According to the CDC though, they estimate over 200,000 people under 18 have been hospitalized due to covid. Which is a slightly more alarming number. This would be well beyond the impact of the flu.

    Do you have any details, or context around these estimates? Do they not matter? Are they wrong? Or, are a lot of kids hospitalized with covid?
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html

    1. It’s not clear if that is people who were hospitalized specifically because of covid or if it’s just who tested positive while in the hospital. I suspect the latter.

      1. There’s also a self-evident issue of showing up in the hospital and consuming a bed for a disease that won’t kill you. Every asthma attack has the possibility of killing the patient. It kills around 1,000 kids every year. The total number of athma sufferers is sufficiently large that any significant number of them showing up in hospitals would similarly decimate the system’s efficacy.

    2. And less than 1k of those 200k have died. Most of those have obvious known comorbidities. <1k deaths out of more than 20 million. Less deadly to that demographic than vehicle accidents, drownings, gunshot wounds, poisonings, etc.

      That is the problem here, that risk must be stratified by age, and isn’t being so by those pushing the maSking and vaccination of kids. Old people often died if they caught COVID-19. The older they were, the higher their chances of dying from it. The age graph of the case fatality rate almost looks exponential. I got vaccinated early, so that I could visit a 99 1/2 year old friend. Moreover, the ill effects of masking appear to be inversely correlated to age, as possibly are side effects of being vaccinated. The reality is that kids almost never die from COVID-19, and that risk almost entirely disappears for those under 10 or so.

    3. What’s clear is that masks don’t do anything

  10. The evidence for anything short of K95 masks is weaker than ever.

    1. Properly worn K95 masks.

  11. There is actually no evidence whatsoever that masking is effective. In fact the science doesn’t exist.

    1. Has any mask advocate explained why they aren’t working in Asia? Or Hawaii? Or numerous other places?

  12. “The Science” and “X is a Human Right” are both rhetorical tools of the left with the sole intent and purpose of abolishing opposition, debate and ultimately, independent thinking altogether.

    1. Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?

      1. Someone with an IQ more than your room-temperature numbers. Lord of Shit.

  13. But mask are a nice virtue signal and make it easier for Big Biden to identify who complies with his directives and who needs to be “re-educated”.

    1. The studies cited in this article ALL pre-date the Delta variant, which is known to be far more contagious and deadly than previous variants. How incredibly irresponsible to write this misleading headline as millions of students, teachers and staff head back into school. Absolutely shameful!

      1. More contagious doesn’t mean more deadly. People are losing their minds about the risk of getting a bad cold.

        1. Yeah. As long as those over age 50 are staying vaccinated the risk is very manageable.

      2. More deadly? Are you high?

        1. Being a cowardly piece of lefty shit will suffice; see JFree, below.

      3. You’ve been reading the El Segundo Times and listening to CNN on loop. More deadly (especially to younger people as you claim)? Zero scientific evidence of that but facts and truth never stop a progressive from elevating emotions and ideology above science.

        1. Delta is LESS deadly, but much more contagious. You can tell this with the fatality rate flattening, while the case rate continues to increase (after Delta almost completely pushed out other variants over the month of July).

      4. What about Delta makes it behave differently when interacting with a mask?

  14. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Doctors practice defensive medicine. They will order unnecessary tests and such, just to head off a malpractice suit or justify a diagnosis to an insurance company or Medicare/Medicaid.

    If the government doesn’t mandate masks, whether in settings the government has authority, and someone gets Covid, there is a potential lawsuit.

    And who pays for the judgment or settlement, as well as the attorneys fees? You and I as taxpayers.

    I live in a town where a new mayor, who was a practicing lawyer, thought he could fire the Village manager for cause and save the buy-out of her contract.

    She sued, and the town paid her buy-out and her attorneys fees. Of course, the town incurred its own legal fees, and every member of the town council had to sit for a deposition.

    Of course, the idiot mayor managed to move up to the Illinois legislature. But, he had to resign after he was caught sexting

    1. so next he’ll run for governor probably

  15. One thing I want to note, do a search on Trump headlines vs Biden headlines and take a look at the difference in Tone. If this was an article about Trump doing the same thing they’d be talking about “Idiot Sleazebag Trump ignoring evidence in order to grab power: Mask Mandates Don’t Work”.

  16. The Evidence Supporting Mask Mandates in Schools Is Weaker Than Biden Pretends

    FTFY

  17. The people who don’t want mask mandates don’t care about if they work or not. If they did then they would get the vaccine.

    1. Considering the numerous times people have slapped you in the face with actual studies, I have found the appropriate response to your continued partisan schtick;

      “Fuck off, dipstick.”

      1. Masks have at best moderate effectiveness, vaccines have very high effectiveness. That is what the studies say.

        1. So stuff the masks up your ass, MG.

          1. Masks would not be needed if the dumbasses would get vaxed.

            1. Masks are needed at all; stuff every one you can find up your ass, steaming pile of lefty shit. We can hope it might be enough to be fatal for an asshole like you.

            2. They’re not needed NOW.

              Better watch out, I don’t think AmSoc will like you vying for his takeover of most stupid poster on Reason.

            3. Masks are not required anymore. Everyone vulnerable has the opportunity to get vaccinated. Those that are not are doing it at their own risk. That is fine. It’s not our job to be responsible for anti-vaxxers. The few that can’t get vaccinated will need to take precautions, but the world can’t stop for them.

              1. Then you would support making anti-vaxxers be 100% responsible for their hospitalizations and giving them last priority for hospital beds?

        2. Then why worry if someone is not vaccinated?

  18. As usual, Sullum gets it wrong. Outbreaks at school are not a major cause for concern. It’s outbreaks of disease in children that caught it in school and then spread it to others that is the problem. Children are germ factories and schools are the breeding place of most types of communicable diseases.

    1. The COVID risk is minor if teachers and parents are vaccinated. Teachers are basically all vaccinated, but it could spread to anti-vaxxer parents. You can blame the FDA and CDC for awful messaging, but some people just make bad life decisions.

      I think the medical community still don’t know the increased risk posed by getting both the flu and COVID at the same time. It has been speculated it could be an issue.

      1. I agree 100% with your first paragraph. As to the second, I suspect flu case numbers last year were down due to greater evil syndrome, i.e. people that tested positive for Covid were likely not tested for concurrent flu because focus was on the more serious disease.

  19. the CDC found that less than 1 percent of students were infected in schools during the first semester after they reopened in August 2020.

    JFC Sullum. You are such a fucking tool. Orange County School district in Florida has a covid 19 dashboard. So far, 1% of students have tested positive in the first two WEEKS of school starting with roughly the same number of isolations (exposed to a positive but not positive yet).

    The CDC’s “current best estimate” of the infection fatality rate among people younger than 18 is 0.002 percent.

    Yet more blind stupidity from Sullum. There is a huge difference between a fatality rate where hospitals are able to handle everything v hospitals are already so full that that same county has:
    a)asked people to ration water because they can no longer use oxygen to treat the water because it is being used for covid patients and
    b)crematories have bodies stacked up to the ceilings and are asking for refrigeration units there beyond the refrigerated mobile morgues (preparatory to autopsy) that are already there.

    1. The cowardly piece of lefty shit JFree is here to unfurl his PANIC flag again, hoping it’ll get more than the laugh it deserves.
      Hey, cowardly piece of lefty shit, jam the flag up your ass, stick first.

    2. BTW, a search for the same subject yielded two (2, count ’em 2) stories; this and another one.
      How much is cherry-picking paying these days, asshole?

    3. Yeah, the lack of beds problem is mostly BS. Hospitals want near full capacity. The actual problem is lack of staffing. Because these same hospitals let staff go. And the ones that stayed are burnt out.

      And the bodies stacked to the ceiling problem is also a lack of staff or people willing to process the bodies because we have over reacted. Not evidence for the “so many people are dying of covid the rivers are choked with the dead” narrative.

      1. And the bodies stacked to the ceiling problem is also a lack of staff or people willing to process the bodies because we have over reacted.

        Well that makes sense. Wonder if the coroners are gonna be able to put ‘Died of over reaction and not enough staffing because Florida is a commie central planning place that doesn’t allow free markets to deal with change’ on the death certificate?

        1. Wonder if they’ll put “Asshole JFree claimed this a result of his assholery” on the death certificate, asshole JFree.

        2. Florida is not politically homogeneous. Nor is it immune to the nationwide incentives and disincentives wracking the medical industry. And the free money spout was ultimately federal.

      2. As for how many excess deaths (all causes) there are in Florida. It takes a month or so for the data to be compiled – and the deaths won’t actually peak for a month or more – well it doesn’t look good. The current excess death peak is week ending Aug 7 (most data in but not all) – and deaths (all causes) are 42% – 49% above ‘normal’.

        1. Pick them cherries, asshole. Oh, and stuff your PANIC flag up your ass, stick first; the world really needs cowardly pieces of lefty shit like you to be DEAD.
          Your family will be proud, if any of them has an IQ above yours or your dogs.

        2. Death numbers high in A state full of retirees who are getting less access to medical treatment than they would have now that everyone’s freaking the fuck out about covid? Sounds likely. Also Heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer still way more prevalent cause of death. And “Covid deaths” still way more likely to actually be a result of co-morbidities.

  20. Slowly, slowly, slowly, Reason is coming around to realizing that the cloth and surgical masks offer minimal protection.

    Jacob, here is a study that compares cloth masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks:

    https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0057100

    Bottom line: Mask work. But anything short of a properly fitted and tested N95 mask is not useful in reducing real-world transmission of virus spread through aerosol transmission like SARS-Cov-2.

    1. In short, >99% of the masks you see in stores and other businesses are essentially worthless (because they aren’t N/K95 or higher, and aren’t used properly), except as a virtue signaling tool.

    2. The study is flawed. It only examined single end mask use, i.e., a mask on the exhaler. It fails to consider the effect of double end mask use, i.e. masks on both the exhaler and inhaler. It monitored aerosol buildup for 10 hours, which is far more time than anyone other than healthcare workers would spend in a contaminated environment. And it didn’t consider the process of vapor collection on the emitter — the fog on glasses of mask wearers isn’t created from a time-space warp; much of the exhaled aerosol collects on the face and clothing of the emitter. The virus load received by a mask-wearing person 6 feet away from another mask-wearing person (don’t forget gravity and air currents) is minuscule or nonexistent during the typical amount of time two strangers spend in proximity with each other.

  21. Let me see if I have their “logic” right:

    they want me to get the poke because they claim that will keep me from getting “the dread disease”, right?

    NOW they ALSO want me to wear the mug nappie even if I DID get the shot.

    But I thuoght they cliaim the shot will protect me? If it DOES< they WHY on earth should I ALSO wear the mug nappie?

    These guys would fail a fourth grade logic class. WH believes them other than lemmings and/or sheeple? Or, alternatively , HOW STUPID do they really think I am?

    No I am not "vaccine hesitant". I am poured deeply into concrete with seven tonnes of rebar OPPOSED to that thing. And the longer I wait, the more I read, the more I learn, the more STUCK in my present position I am. Guess again, suckers. Even of most of the alledged fear-factor memes are wrong, I STILL don't want the thing. I've NEVER taken ANY of the seasonal flu shots, nor for shingles, aids, hepatitis, or any of the other "lethal" diseases-du-jour. And guess what? I've never GOTTEN any of those disseases, either. WHY I have educated myself in what my body needs to do its work of "keeping me saafe" without any of those poke-in-the0-arm thingies..
    I also watched my Father slowly waste away and die FROM Parkinson's…. a cenetral nervous system degenerative disease with a VERY STRONG link to the adjuvants used in nearly all of the above mentioned vaccines. Dad had been a good boy, trusted the medical community, and gotten all the shots every year. three or four every year. With that hhuge a load of mercury over those yars, it \would have been a big surprise to NOT see him get this sort of disease. Talk about a set–up…… I have learned from HIS in-ignorance mistake. He trusted the white coat industry and got his life cut short because of it.

  22. Oh, and:
    JFuckup,
    Please square the circle here; tell us how the thousands arriving from Afghanistan are somehow not subject to any sort of wu-flu issues.

  23. I get paid more than $160 to $170 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $16k from this without having online working skills.

    This is what I do….www.jobcash9.com

  24. The research on the mask is becoming prevalent, the mask have more drawbacks than good, kids are not faring well and they are more of a inhibitor to breathing and social intercourse, they do not keep virus bacteria out of your breathing to any great degree and are more of a contaminate carrier than a help…..Rebreathing your own CO2 over long periods of time will eventually create problems for your lungs, stands to reason, it’s not a breathing apparatus, it’s a breathing inhibitor…..Even though I have got the 2 shots, i am still waiting to hear about more problems concerning this COVID inhibitor down the road, to much politic and to many lies and threats from the leadership….to many variables in the mix….

    1. Geez, you’re dumb. “virus bacteria” Those are 2 different organisms, doofus. And your lack of logic is appalling. How can a mask stop CO2 molecules but not stop Covid-19 when Covid is 3,000 times LARGER than C02? You must have been awarded a high school diploma out of pity, because you sure didn’t earn it.

  25. Excellent coverage!! It is why I always like to read from reason news because of it’s authenticity and pure genuine content.

    1. Reason is pretty much the only news source with a reasonable interpretation on vaccines, masks, mandates, etc. That includes other Libertarian publications. Comments section is a little crazy, but these issues can be tricky since it is necessary to compromise one Libertarian value to fulfill another one. There is no really clean way to apply vaccines and mandates to all Libertarian principles. Although not discussed in this article, I strongly feel that property rights is the right level to apply mandates as suggested by Reason editors. I don’t regret my subscription here.

  26. Everything about Biden is pretend. When asked by a reporter about American citizens being left in Afghanistan he laughed and told the reporter he would call him when he heard something. His people cut the mike, the won’t let the cognitively disabled fool talk. When is Reason going to admit the guy they backed is an unmitigated disaster? When will Reason call for his resignation, removal under the 25th amendment or impeachment?

  27. I get paid more than $160 to $170 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $16k from this without having online working skills.

    This is what I do…. rb.gy/pva64w

  28. This is a dangerous and disingenuous column. Of course there is no proof that mask mandates work but there is proof that masks work. The virus is transmitted by particles emitted by mouths. Covering the mouths will stop the spread.

    1. Hahahahahahahahahahaha

  29. biden isn’t pretending anything…the addled old fool thinks the 14 cent masks are science. lot’s of folks think they work. lots of folks read their horoscope too. lots of folks think a light year is a time period. lots of folks think a pound of gold falls faster than a pound of paper. lots of folks buy lottery tickets

    lot’s of folks take flu shots

    lots’ of folks are simpletons

  30. This—”The costs of requiring masks in schools, meanwhile, include daylong discomfort and stress, obstructed breathing and vision (thanks to fogged eyeglasses), and interference with communication, learning, and social interaction. To justify those burdens requires more evidence than mandate enthusiasts have been able to muster.”—is the best you guys have for this absolutely endless anti-mask hysteria? As if that outweighs saving even one life, which you don’t deny it’s very possible mask mandates do. Pathetic.

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