Less than three months ago, the Centers for Disease Control published a mostly-ignored, large-scale study of Covid-19 transmission in US schools which concluded that while masking then-unvaccinated teachers and improving ventilation was associated with lower levels of virus transmission in schools - social distancing, classroom barriers, HEPA filters, and forcing students to wear masks did not result in a statistically significant benefit.
A few major news outlets covered its release by briefly reiterating the study’s summary: that masking then-unvaccinated teachers and improving ventilation with more fresh air were associated with a lower incidence of the virus in schools. Those are common-sense measures, and the fact that they seem to work is reassuring but not surprising. Other findings of equal importance in the study, however, were absent from the summary and not widely reported. These findings cast doubt on the impact of many of the most common mitigation measures in American schools. Distancing, hybrid models, classroom barriers, HEPA filters, and, most notably, requiring student masking were each found to not have a statistically significant benefit. In other words, these measures could not be said to be effective. -NYMag
According to the report, scientists believe that the CDC's decision to intentionally omit the findings on student masking from a summary of the study amounts to "file drawering" the findings - the practice of burying studies that don't have statistically significant results.
"That a masking requirement of students failed to show independent benefit is a finding of consequence and great interest," according to Vinay Prasad, an associate professor in University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "It should have been included in the summary."
Epidemiologist Tracy Hoeg, author of a different CDC study on Covid-19 transmission in schools said that "The summary gives the impression that only masking of staff was studied," adding "when in reality there was this additional important detection about a student-masking requirement not having a statistical impact."
As Twitchy notes, NYMag's David Zweig questioned why the US is requiring masks when other countries don't.
A 3,000 word deep dive into the evidence behind student mask mandates— David Zweig (@davidzweig) August 20, 2021
Many countries around the world - with vax rates, case rates, and mortality above and below the US - do not require masks on students. Why does the US?
My latest for @NYMag https://t.co/r2nYIHVPNj
David was joined by others pointing out similar facts:
"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." https://t.co/kYoEkjq1FE— Matt Welch (@MattWelch) August 20, 2021
More via Twitchy:
But it’s not just this CDC study. There are no studies that Zwieg — or anyone — can find that “show conclusively that kids wearing masks in schools has any effect on their own morbidity or mortality or on hospitalization or death rate in the community around them”:
“I’m not aware of any studies that show conclusively that kids wearing masks in schools has any effect on their own morbidity or mortality or on the hospitalization or death rate in the community around them.”— Jennifer Sey (@JenniferSey) August 20, 2021
Meanwhile, as we've noted a few times in the past week, there are plenty of studies which conclude that masks provide minimal to no protection.
So why are we making American kids wear oat bags every day?