Face Masks Are Ineffective and Do Not Work, They Have Never Worked

The case rate curves for two Californian counties – Alameda County, with an indoor mask mandate, and Contra Costa County, with no indoor mask mandate – are near-identical. Dr. Paul Alexander highlighted the comparison of data from the two Bay Area counties that clearly shows the measure imposed on populations is ineffective and does not work. “Covid [face] masks never ever worked and harmed populations,” he wrote.

Dr. Paul Alexander has expertise in teaching epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and research methodology. He is a former Assistant Professor at McMaster University in evidence-based medicine, a former Covid Pandemic evidence-synthesis advisor to WHO-PAHO and a former Senior Advisor to Covid Pandemic policy in the US government, Health and Human Services.  In 2008 he worked at WHO as a Regional Specialist/Epidemiologist in Europe’s Regional Office in Denmark.

In early June, during an uptick in covid cases, Alameda County was the only Bay Area county to bring back an indoor mask mandate “to limit the impact of a prolonged wave,” according to county Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss.  But regional case data provides no discernible evidence that the rule, which was lifted on 25 June, succeeded at that goal.

By Dr. Paul Alexander

The case rate curves for Alameda and Contra Costa counties are near-identical. Because the neighbouring counties are similar in so many respects, if masking policy had an impact on pandemic outcomes, one would expect to see some sort of discrepancy in the graph.

Do mask mandates work? Bay Area Covid data from June says no, SFGATE, 29 June 2022

Comparing Covid-19 cases rates in Alameda County, which instituted an indoor mask mandate, and neighbouring Contra Costa County, which did not mandate masks indoors. Case rates are identical. No difference. In fact, Contra Costa appears lower.

This matches the many papers I have written showing that Covid masks are ineffective and even harmful (More than 150 Comparative Studies and Articles on Mask Ineffectiveness and Harms).

The graphs below compare Alameda County’s seven-day average case rate from the past two months to rates in neighbouring Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties. Contra Costa and Santa Clara, in particular, are natural comparisons to Alameda, because they have similar vaccination rates and demographic data. San Francisco, on the other side of the bay, provides an additional point of reference. All data comes from the California Department of Public Health.

San Francisco and Santa Clara had higher case rates than Alameda County throughout the current surge, including pre-mask mandate. Once the mandate was introduced, the three counties all followed the same trend line, casting doubt on whether the mask mandate did anything to curb transmission at the community level.

“Mask mandates may create a false sense of reassurance to those who truly need the extra protection,” Noble said in April. “The severely immunocompromised person … should be using an N95 in crowded spaces when viral prevalence is high. They should not opt for a cloth or surgical mask because other people around them are masked and therefore assume it is ‘safe enough’ to avoid the tight-fitting and uncomfortable N95.” 

Do mask mandates work? Bay Area Covid data from June says no, SFGATE, 29 June 2022

Face Masks Are Ineffective and Do Not Work, They Have Never Worked

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