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New Study Debunks Widely Cited CDC Study Justifying School Mask Mandates

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been called out for its misleading justification of school mask mandates before. Rarely has it come from one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals, such as “The Lancet.”

Two scientific researchers soft-peddle criticism of the CDC’s mask mandate claims in a new article entitled, “Revisiting Pediatric COVID-19 Cases in Counties With and Without School Mask Requirements—United States, July 1—October 20 2021.” But the results are devastating for the CDC’s support of school mask mandates.

“There has been considerable debate around mask requirements in schools in the United States and other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the authors state in the abstract. “To date, there have been no randomized controlled trials of mask requirements in children. All analyses of the effectiveness of school mask mandates have relied on observational studies. The Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. have released multiple observational studies suggesting that school mask mandates significantly reduce case rates. However, there have also been numerous additional US and international observational studies finding no significant effect of school mask mandates on pediatric cases.”

The researchers, Ambarish Chandra from the University of Toronto and Tracy Beth Høeg from the UC Cal-Davis, then point out their methodology of examining the CDC’s mask mandate claims.

“Our study replicates a highly cited CDC study showing a negative association between school mask mandates and pediatric SARS-CoV-2 cases,” the authors state. “We then extend the study using a larger sample of districts and a longer time interval, employing almost six times as much data as the original study. We examine the relationship between mask mandates and per-capita pediatric cases, using multiple regression to control for differences across school districts.”

Thus, the researchers are correcting for many of the most potent criticisms of the CDC’s research methods. The findings support what the critics have said all along.


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