Some consultants Friday slammed public-health officers in Los Angeles County for saying the county will doubtless reinstitute a local indoor-mask mandate due to COVID.
“Three years in, there is little evidence that mask mandates have had a significant impact on [COVID] case rates,” mentioned Dr. Margery Smelkinson, an infectious-disease scientist who focuses on influenza and COVID-19, to The Post on Friday. “Considering this unimpressive track record, it is perplexing that many health officials are willing to return to mask mandates.”
At a press convention Thursday, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer introduced that the county was creeping towards “high” viral exercise with a mean of greater than 2,700 new COVID infections per day — and that residents might face an indoor-mask mandate as quickly as subsequent week.
“There is this common line of thinking that the pandemic is over and COVID is no longer of concern, but these numbers clearly demonstrate that COVID is still with us,” Ferrer warned.
But Dr. Smelkinson mentioned she continues to be frightened concerning the impression of such obligatory masking.
“Masks make it difficult for children to learn to speak properly and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to fully participate in society,” she famous.
“Most Americans have already learned to live with the virus, and pandemic fatigue will ensure low compliance and a further erosion of confidence in public health officials. I fear that this, in turn, will lead to a strong reluctance to comply in future public health emergencies,” she mentioned.
Palos Verdes-based lawyer and native faculty official Julie Hamill advised The Post that the Los Angeles Department of Public Health had “lost the public’s trust a long time ago.”
Hamill, who was lately elected to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, is representing a bunch of fogeys in a lawsuit in opposition to any county masking order. Called the Alliance of Los Angeles County Parents, the group requires “elimination of all pointless, dangerous, and unjustified restrictions in opposition to kids.
“[Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer] continues to ignore current scientific realities,” Hamill wrote.
“We know there is an extremely low mortality rate associated with COVID, especially for children. We know that there are no randomized controlled trial studies with statistically significant data to support masking as a way to prevent transmission of respiratory viruses. In fact, hundreds of years of scientific data show that masking does not prevent spread of respiratory viruses,” Hamill mentioned.
Still, there are a number of research indicating that masks are efficient at stopping respiratory sickness. One analysis doc revealed in February 2022 by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicated that constant use of a fabric face masks or N95 respirator was related to decrease odds of testing constructive for COVID-19.
Another lab study published in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology in November 2020 demonstrated that fabric masks blocked 51% of respiratory droplets from coughing, whereas N95 respirators blocked 99%.
But Dr. Marc Siegel, a scientific professor of medication at NYU Langone Health and Fox News medical analyst, shared Dr. Smelkinson’s skeptical place on mandates.
“[Masks] are political weapons, not medical tools,” he mentioned. “I’m pro-mask, but I’m anti-mandate.”
Dr. Siegel endorsed sporting “a fit-tested N95 mask” in a hospital setting however mentioned that general masks effectiveness hinged on the wearer.
“I was monitoring the streets [during mandates], and I don’t think I ever saw anyone wearing [their mask] properly,” he mentioned. “[Mask effectiveness] depends on the person knowing what they are doing.”
Mask mandates, he argued, are merely demonstrations of compliance, not public security.
“As soon as they take the mandates off, everyone takes the masks off!” he identified. “Where’s the general public well being in that? It’s only a matter of obedience.
As with Dr. Smelkinson, Dr. Siegel additionally expressed issues concerning the unseen value of pressured masking, together with “socialization problems, kids with learning.”
“[A mandate] is not going to work,” he concluded. “It’s a bad precedent, and it shouldn’t be done.”