“Unmasking CDC’s Latest Mask Study: How Government Gets It Wrong Again”
By Doug Badger |
Feb. 8, 2022, The Daily Signal |
Galen Senior Fellow Doug Badger has read the fine print in the latest CDC study on masking and finds it embarrassingly deficient.
The Centers for Disease Control blasted out the news from the study that purports to prove wearing a mask dramatically lowered the odds of testing positive for Covid-19.
But Badger explains in his latest piece for The Daily Signal the study was so poorly designed that the confidence intervals—the range of possible results—were large enough to render its findings meaningless.
You have to read the article to see how many ways the study is faulty. For starters:
- While the CDC’s poster has a big arrow showing that cloth masks reduced the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 by 56%, the fine print on the study itself shows that the confidence level is so wide that wearing a cloth mask could also make you 17% more likely to test positive than wearing no mask at all.
- Similarly, while the poster leads you to believe that N95/KN95 masks are more protective than surgical masks, the data shows that the comparison among mask types is inconclusive at best.
The study, conducted last year in California, uses a small sample of self-selected participants (clearly not the random sample important in scientific studies), and it did not ask about vaccination status, which Badger says “might account for more of the differences in test results than masks.”
The study is a mess, but that did not stop the CDC from saying we should “follow the science” and continue to mask up. If only it would follow its own advice and get out of our faces with its phony data.