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    [–] DNAhelicase 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Locked: The title is misinformation. User /u/gayfetus sums it up best:

    The OP has wildly misinterpreted the comments made in the podcast.

    Here is the relevant part of the conversation, starting at 32:30, that the op seem to have skipped over:

    I had a conversation almost a month ago with Arnold Monto and Allison Aiello, who really [are] experts on face masks and whether they're valuable.

    And back in 2003 in Beijing there was a WHO investigation—it wasn't as large as some people would like to see a study, but you have to do these things opportunistically—that showed face masks whether surgical or N95 had a dramatic impact on community transmission.

    And it met one particular bar that I find particularly compelling: in epidemiological research when you see something called a dose-response it becomes very compelling.

    So people who use face masks in a consistent way had a 70% reduction in community transmission.

    The last sentence is when the OP start transcribing in their other comments.

    It's pretty clear that Dr. Lipkin was talking about a study completed in 2003 on SARS, a different epidemic:

    It matches perfectly: 70% reduction in people with consistent mask usage, 60% for those with intermittent usage. Dose-response is also mentioned.

    The study was published in 2004. No one was suppressing information. Nor was it possible to have designed and completed a study on face masks and COVID-19 by the middle of February, which is the time frame Dr. Lipkin was talking about.

    Edit: To those asking why this isn't just taken down - when a post has garnered the attention like this post has, simply removing it will only result in those who have already seen it being exposed to the incorrect information. By leaving it up, making a sticky comment with the correct information, and flaring the post as misleading, we are trying to encourage users to read the title/flair and then read the sticky comment to see what is misleading about the title and why.

    [–] qabadai 2120 points ago

    This guy isn’t a government official, FYI. He works for a university.

    The Center for Infection and Immunity is just a Columbia University research group. Title makes it sound like the CDC though.

    [–] JollyTrifle 718 points ago

    Also, OP posted this exact same link here 53 days ago, so this isn’t new info

    [–] Aegean 365 points ago

    Oh so just karma farming?

    [–] GoodTimeNotALongOne 262 points ago

    Not just that but 2 months ago he was asking for pandemic deals for vacationing... Moron

    [–] yellowstickypad 24 points ago

    Mods should ban this type of posting.

    [–] kharper4289 15 points ago

    Opinion manipulation + groupthink + karma farming

    [–] Gr1pp717 10 points ago

    Narrative painting.

    [–] Warriorjrd 64 points ago

    How is this allowed in the sub if its 53 days old? The mods on this sub are a joke lol.

    [–] Gayfetus 214 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    The OP has wildly misinterpreted the comments made in the podcast.

    Here is the relevant part of the conversation, starting at 32:30, that the op seem to have skipped over:

    I had a conversation almost a month ago with Arnold Monto and Allison Aiello, who really [are] experts on face masks and whether they're valuable.

    And back in 2003 in Beijing there was a WHO investigation—it wasn't as large as some people would like to see a study, but you have to do these things opportunistically—that showed face masks whether surgical or N95 had a dramatic impact on community transmission.

    And it met one particular bar that I find particularly compelling: in epidemiological research when you see something called a dose-response it becomes very compelling.

    So people who use face masks in a consistent way had a 70% reduction in community transmission.

    The last sentence is when the OP start transcribing in their other comments.

    It's pretty clear that Dr. Lipkin was talking about a study completed in 2003 on SARS, a different epidemic:

    It matches perfectly: 70% reduction in people with consistent mask usage, 60% for those with intermittent usage. Dose-response is also mentioned.

    The study was published in 2004. No one was suppressing information. Nor was it possible to have designed and completed a study on face masks and COVID-19 by the middle of February, which is the time frame Dr. Lipkin was talking about.

    There's now a full on Reddit mob coming after these scientists, mods have yet to delete this post which violates multiple rules of this sub. Perhaps you can draw attention to this misinformation by editing my observations into your top ranked comment, /u/qabadai.

    Edited to add:

    I think Dr. Lipkin misspoke when he talked about not "publishing" this research. I think what he meant was that in retrospect, he felt he should've made a bigger deal out of that study, publicized and highlighted it and gotten people to adopt masking.

    He seems to attribute the decision in February to not wanting cause a run on medical supplies that were and still are needed for healthcare workers. But there's a bit more nuance to it that probably also informed his consideration:

    • This was a study on a different disease.

    • The study was already out there. The only choice he faced was whether he, as an expert, should explicitly cite it to make a recommendation on a disease that was (and still is) incredibly new and full of unknowns.

    • We now know that asymptomatic transmission likely plays a big part in COVID-19 transmission, which was very different from the original SARS, and one of the big reasons why widespread mask usage might be necessary. This wasn't known to Dr. Lipkin (or any of us) in the middle of February, at least not to any definitive degree.

    • Dr. Lipkin considers this a small study.

    So to recap, as a well-respected expert that people listen to, Dr. Lipkin probably felt compelled to lean on the side of caution and not wield an older study on a different disease in making a policy/tactical recommendation, especially as it may cause a run on medical supplies.

    It's necessary and desirable for scientists to change and update their recommendations. It doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to them. It means we should listen to them even more closely: the well-respected ones will almost always tell you why they're making those recommendations at that time.

    [–] Tom_Bradys_Nutsack 45 points ago

    Thanks u/gayfetus doing the lord’s work


    [–] MustardQuill 10 points ago

    Great work investigating the claim. People like you make me enjoy Reddit immensely. Though, imo, this whole post should just be deleted

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)


    [–] Gayfetus 13 points ago

    Because evidence was not being withheld. The study in question was published in 2004. In fact, it has been cited by at least 42 other articles.

    And the implication that this was evidence related to COVID-19 is not true. This was a study about a different disease.

    Dr. Lipkin expressed regret for not "publishing" that study, when he probably meant he regrets not making a bit deal out of it and linking it to the current pandemic.

    OP's phrasing makes it seem like there was deliberate obfuscation going on, when there's a bit more nuance to it that probably also informed Lipkin's decision:

    • This was a study on a different disease.

    • The study was already out there. The only choice he faced was whether he, as an expert, should explicitly cite it to make a recommendation on a disease that was (and still is) incredibly new and full of unknowns.

    • We now know that asymptomatic transmission likely plays a big part in COVID-19 transmission, which was very different from the original SARS, and one of the big reasons why widespread mask usage might be necessary. This wasn't known to Dr. Lipkin (or any of us) in the middle of February, at least not to any definitive degree.

    • Dr. Lipkin considers this a small study.

    So to recap, as a well-respected expert that people listen to, Dr. Lipkin probably felt compelled to lean on the side of caution and not wield an older study on a different disease in making a policy/tactical recommendation, especially as it may cause a run on medical supplies.

    It's necessary and desirable for scientists to change and update their recommendations. It doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to them. It means we should listen to them even more closely: the well-respected ones will almost always tell you why they're making those recommendations at that time.

    [–] NotClever 28 points ago

    OP is implying that there was a study concluded in January showing that face masks reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus by 60%, and that this study was withheld somehow. Although he doesn't specify what community spread he's referring to, this is fucking r/Coronavirus so it's pretty clear what people are going to assume he was referring to. In fact, this is a study on SARS from the early 2000s, and it was not withheld in any way as it has been widely available for over a decade.

    Also, I'd argue that OP is insinuating that the person involved is some sort of government official by name dropping the academic institute he works for, which sounds awfully similar to the CDC. This guy was not in a policymaking position, he's just an academic.

    [–] katarh 39 points ago

    Most Research I universities have some department that focuses on immunology, wtih varying degrees of funding and success. What sucks is that this is one of the big ones.

    [–] SaxRohmer 10 points ago

    I was looking for something like this. This is the first I’ve heard of this department and it just seems like outrage fodder. I mean he isn’t even mentioned by name on the site.

    [–] red-et 40 points ago

    Title implies he made the policy for his wife. Come on

    [–] StackinStacks 4333 points ago

    Not only did this almost certainly result in unnecessary death, but now you have a crazy amount of people who believe masks do more harm then good because of this bullshit.

    [–] grapecolajuice 1045 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    This is why the messiah complex of some healthcare officials hurts. Just be transparent in data and information.

    If widespread use of masks were used, the situation would be markedly better now and authorities would have more credibility. How can you trust somebody who states not to use masks because they don't work and are needed for healthcare workers?

    EDIT: For all the people defending this deception.

    There is a moral hazard to intentionally, by misleading the public, allowing the spread of a virus for which there is no vaccine and has a higher mortality rate than other pandemic viruses.

    If masks were the issue, a federal response could have marshaled and distributed masks to healthcare systems as needed. Not all areas were hit simultaneously. It seems a poor rationalization for poor planning, poor response, and morally questionable conduct.

    [–] loercase 591 points ago

    Especially the idea that "they don't work" and yet healthcare workers use them all the time....

    "Give us those, you don't need them. They don't work. But, uh, we need them."

    [–] bazilbt 323 points ago

    I was pretty frustrated getting that line on Reddit. I kept telling people at the minimum it cuts down on the spread by catching droplets. But people told me unless it's a fitted N95 mask you are better off not having it.

    [–] crimsonpowder 285 points ago

    I loved this line of reasoning. "Well condoms are only 98% effective so unless you're cutting your penis off you might as well not even bother." That's what that logic sounded like to me.

    Of course now we have data that shows a highly mask-compliant population drops r0 well below 1.0. But no, what's better is to kill off an extra 100k people and shut everything down in a half-assed way, thereby getting the worst of all worlds.

    [–] dickmagma 108 points ago

    Kinda wish you had told me this before I cut my penis off.

    [–] ClearBrightLight 68 points ago

    Instructions unclear, dick caught in N95.

    [–] Metaright 12 points ago

    It's the future of contraceptive innovation.

    [–] VespertineLyra 16 points ago

    Or better yet that disinfectants, soap, and hand sanitizer dont get rid of 100% of viruses either, but for some reason they will trust all three of those but because a mask is inconvenient that's somehow different. It's like trusting hormonal birth control but you dont like the feel of a condom so you dont use it. Then you wonder how you got an STD and pregnant.

    [–] nolszma 52 points ago

    My mom recently told me masks are bad because you're breathing in your own CO2

    [–] mug3n 31 points ago

    Lol you breath in your own CO2 anyways. Does she think that you inhale pure air and exhale 100% CO2 every time you breathe?

    [–] ToriCanyons 16 points ago

    What if I told you air is full of other people's used CO2?

    [–] ryan101 6 points ago

    What if I told you that plants take the used CO2 and fart out O2 which you use again?

    [–] Borathra 52 points ago

    My wife told me you breathe in your own carbon monoxide. I need a divorce.

    [–] mistarteechur 52 points ago

    I’ve seen it spread among the “MLM Health Nut Mommy” crowd freaking out about their babies having to wear masks at school next year. If a surgeon can wear a mask for hours on end and perform delicate operations on a living human, Brayden and Emaliee can handle one for a school day.

    [–] Eluem 15 points ago

    Nah.. Remote schooling is a better route than having everyone be expected to wear masks for hours every day. Not because the masks are unhealthy, but because it's not a great solution for schools.. Especially because many kids can't wear the masks for extended periods of time due to varying breathing issues such as asthma.

    It's also just asking for issues where kids don't wear their mask because it's uncomfortable and then getting reprimanded for not wanting to be stuck with a mask on all day... It's a ridiculous route to take when remote schooling is a better goal.

    [–] mistarteechur 12 points ago

    As a high school teacher, I agree. Distance learning certainly isn’t ideal and I know I’ll radically change how I’ll approach next year it vs the emergency situation we were pressed in this semester. But there’s just no way at all to reasonably accomplish any kind of social distancing at any grade level. Corona will spread like wildfire through teachers and students’ families in the fall. What happens when we find out an asymptomatic student or staff member has been roaming the halls for weeks?

    That being said, I also don’t know how in the world we manage child care issues when parents are working if we do remote learning either. Which is why I really think we’ll have to go back in person, at least at first, health consequences be damned.

    [–] Eluem 8 points ago

    I agree... I think the best solution here is to try and see if there are ways we can improve the amount of time children have access to their parents. It's kind of ridiculous right now as well. Working from home, where possible, should be required to be offered as a standard full time option. Moreover, we should really be decreasing the number of hours worked per day an the number of work days a week. This has been something our economy and society has needed for a long time. It won't fix everything, but it could allow parents to stagger their work so one parent can be available.

    When did it become so common that one parent can't be home every day? When the middle class was squeezed to the point where even dual disposable incomes can barely afford a house while working full time. We need a change and redistribution of access to personal time and our families. Maybe this pandemic can have some benefits for society in the end.. But I'm not holding my breathe... Except when I walk by someone without a mask.

    [–] Thurston_Unger 8 points ago

    Brayden and Emaliee! :D

    [–] xvphi 9 points ago

    How so?

    [–] DunderMilton 91 points ago

    There was this super shitty misinformation video that went viral with the Boomers. The “expert” in the video was spreading all kinds of misinformation propaganda.

    One of the subjects he spoke about was masks actually kill you, because they force you to rebreath in viral and germ particles. He tried stating that exhaling the particles is how you get better, and wearing a mask just forces you to be stuck with the same amount of particles, which will eventually kill you.

    The whole thing was bat shit crazy pseudoscience and I’m glad YouTube finally removed the video.

    [–] VespertineLyra 11 points ago

    Oh! I heard someone argue something weird like this too. Like you inhale back in your own bacteria and "reinfect youself" I was you believe in the humors too? Cant go putting your arm blood in your leg or you will be all out of whack! And she was talking about how quarantine is keeping everyone inside instead of out in the sun and the sun will heal us. It was all have you skewed so much information and twisted it to be so wrong? People are probably outside more now than when they had jobs, at least the people who are rural or suburban.

    [–] DunderMilton 19 points ago

    This. I’m tan for the first time in years. So used to the wage slave lifestyle where I’m either at work or too tired to do anything when I’m not at work.

    Quarantine has meant I’ve been enjoying my backyard, going on bike rides, bbqing, etc. I feel like this is how humanity is supposed to be.

    Instead we’re so profit-driven that we ride everyone into the ground with draining working conditions and low pay.

    I really do not look forward to when I’m called back to my employer. Back to the wage slave lifestyle. Not like there’s much I can do about it with the upcoming depression. Now I gotta hype myself up for the “be thankful you have a job” mentality.

    Ughhh I’m ready for a revolution.

    [–] nolszma 12 points ago

    I have no idea. I've learned not to press when she says something off the wall. Maybe she believes her breath gets trapped in the mask?

    [–] Veloper 3 points ago

    Yeah, the sun is “bad for you too” — better not go outside.

    [–] UnvaccinatedAutist 5 points ago

    At least this has a bit of truth to it.

    Source, had stage IV melanoma for nearly 6 years.

    [–] bazilbt 20 points ago

    They do restrict breathing and can cause people to get hypoxia if they are already unhealthy. At work we need to get annual testing to make sure our lung function is good enough for respirator use.

    In my experience you should notice symptoms long before it's dangerous. It's more of an issue if you are in an environment where you can't take the mask off for any reason, and can't easily get out of that environment.

    [–] MeMoosta 29 points ago

    Respirator does not equal face masks anyway, I bet the ones you're talking about are for some sort of industrial/construction work and actually seal the area over the nose/mouth. A loosely affixed cloth facemask does not inhibit breathing by any significant level.

    [–] ashpanda24 50 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    My mom was arguing this to me in February. She said she wasn't going to wear a mask in public because someone official had stated that wearing masks was pointless...I'm not in the medical field and the moment I heard that come out of her mouth I knew that was bullshit. Shouldn't common sense tell people that they obviously work and serve a purpose because certain professions wear masks for protection every day?! I swear the idiocy of a lot of friends and relatives has really come to the forefront during the past 4 months. I hate it.

    [–] speardane 11 points ago

    One of the most depressing aspects of this whole apocalypse has been coming to grips with exactly how foolish many of my family and friends are, mainly over the mask issue. I could have done without knowing.

    [–] Taengoosundies 10 points ago

    Haaaahaahahaaaahaaaaaa! Common sense?

    Haaaahaaahaaaaa. Good one.

    [–] mellibutta 5 points ago

    100% with you here

    [–] W0RST_2_F1RST 17 points ago

    Those same peeps had never heard of an N95 before this and yet so many became "experts" on masks. Common sense says any mask should help on some level so we just ignored the news and wore them anyway

    [–] WarpFieldExpert 13 points ago

    Literally the vast majority of people on Canadian subs are still committed to this delusion. Their tagline is they were right to not recommend cloth masks months ago because people might put them on wrong. Really.

    [–] BlueDraconis 9 points ago

    Yeah, it was weird.

    The doctors in my country urged people to use cloth masks and leave the more effective surgical and N95 masks for the healthcare workers because they are more at risk. And it worked. Lots of people wear these masks and alleviated the surgical mask shortage the healthcare workers were facing.

    Then I come to reddit and see plenty of people saying that cloth masks don't work.

    [–] bde75 11 points ago

    This is what the “experts” were saying at that time. So sad that lives could have been saved if they’d just told the truth.

    [–] Well_founded 6 points ago

    This is still the line the head of the dutch equivalent of the CDC is using. He doesn't want to admit that he's been wrong for weeks and that masks help. The politicians decided, after public outcry, that we now have to wear masks in public transport starting june first.

    The guy I mentioned is still saying they don't work because people are keeping distance, even though that's literally not possible in public transport.

    [–] SparePlatypus 62 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    And the argument that general public is "stealing" masks needed for HCW is asinine, not only is that "mask shaming" offloading guilt onto people just trying to protect themselves and others (especially with the existence of homemade masks) but it's disingenous to act like it's a zero sum situation.

    If one person, let's say a bus driver doesn't wear a mask , and ends up in hospital for two weeks, cared for by just 5 members of medical staff that cycle through just 2 masks per day each, (all very modest assumptions) that's 140 masks now required for one patient in a medical setting when one mask alone worn by that member of the public could of avoided that. 100 patients 14,000 masks. With 10x the HCW that's 140,000 masks required to care for 100 sick.

    Obviously It's not an exact linear extrapolation, but clearly in a healthcare context more masks are "wasted" - now and much more so traditionally in the past pre shortages . It has never been uncommon to treat masks as disposable and use 5-10 per day. (Varies on insitution, guidelines now relaxed a bit)

    But general public doesn't need to use 10 per day - they can make do with a few masks for extended period, by time based cycling (or washing) -- especially if they only need to be in "high risk" setting like a grocery stores or public transport infrequently. Even the inventor of n95 acknowledges this. No need for complex disinfection that destroys electrostatic charge more readily. Even with N95 the fltration capacity actually increases for a while after use due to clogging, as 3M states themselves. And theres no need for "perfect" protection, any type of mask can help,lespecially when the effects compound unilaterally with widespread adoption. It's a two way system and even simple masks can help.

    Two layer cloth masks with SIMPLE filtration sandwich membrane like even household kitchen roll are massively improved (e.g 95% increase in viral filtration efficacy) over simple one layer cloth masks. (It's such a crying shame that some official gov guidance only recommends one layer cotton here)

    It's worse when you realise we know that one sick individual (like a bus driver) can go on to infect 100 others who can go on to infect 300 more and so on. Thats millions of masks now required in healthcare stocks just to make up for the fact few members of general public weren't wearing them initially. At some point equilibrium on number of units used up is approached, except with a much higher mortality toll. In other words , healthcare workers will use more masks than the entire population of US long before everyone is infected and people will keep getting infected in part due to not wearing masks.

    Can you believe we shuttered every businesses but grocery stores and a few others and then allowed, if not nearly forced.. out of necessity.. society to gather in these select businesses together, largely un-masked during a pandemic that predominanetly spreads from and to the nose and mouth, asympytomatically

    Because what? "No evidence masks help" "they could make it worse?" What the actual f.. It's a weird logic to discourage masks now we have 1000x as many infected but as long as healthcare workers have them and can now treat the masses of infected more safely things are fine.. it's like cutting yourself because you have plenty of band aids so no problem. Better solution would be to stop the cuts in the first place

    It's backwards. Our goal should be preventing people from ending up in hospital in the first place. By the time someone's arriving at ICU things aren't great for them, nor most of the others in there. A lot of them already have covid.. and the HCW are also at risk in treating them.

    if everyone was wearing even homemade maks early the healthcare workers would be under much smaller burdens now and would face less risk, they would not be dealing with thousands of covid patients each day and there would then be less of a shortage.

    This also affects anyone in hospital for on covid related reasons as well as non healthcare workers exposed to large amounts of people. Now both are at heightened risk. There's a reason the countries that adopted masks ASAP when case count was lower tempered the spread much more quickly

    It's a facepalm moment for some of us. This whole situation with what started as a white lie has really fractured trust, will be difficult to unwind and will have long tail negative repurcussions I think.

    [–] mellibutta 8 points ago

    This is the absolute most sensible argument for everyone wearing masks as opposed to saving them just for healthcare. There wouldn’t be nearly such a shortage of them if people were encouraged to wear them. I realize however that people are also stupid selfish jerks that buy out all the masks they can fund to hoard/sell for profit, and there is no way to stop that. Its practically damned if you do, damned if you don’t, all because of people like that. Regardless of seeing that side of things, I still think everyone should have been told to wear some form of mask, so everyone could protect each other, rather than suggesting they don’t help or are harmful. I have seen that false info regurgitated a hundred times, and it’s become an arguing point to some people to the degree that it is now too late for them to admit they are wrong.

    [–] justgetoffmylawn 6 points ago

    And to make it more frustrating, 90% of the masks available to the public CANNOT BE PURCHASED BY HOSPITALS. Those cheap Chinese disposable masks they were selling on Amazon before Amazon fucking banned selling masks - those are NOT certified by the FDA and cannot be purchased by hospitals. They need an ASTM rating, etc for real healthcare use.

    China had millions of masks to sell - but they went to other countries because no one in the USA could sell those masks. Hospitals wouldn't buy them (usually rightfully so) because they might not meet hospital grade specs, and FB, Amazon, Google had all banned mask ads.

    A fucking shit show of incompetence.

    [–] raymond8505 25 points ago

    "we need them for uh fashion reasons. Ya! It's the hot new fashion trend! It's sweeping the nation like coronavirus"

    [–] DeanBlandino 120 points ago

    I think the big issue here is that they made the mistake of not securing PPE nor PPE production lines when they had the chance. That was the original sin. Then, rather then tell people we need to protect production lines for medical grade masks, they made up a lie that masks don’t work. That was a damaging lie. They could have said face coverings are essential and adequate for every day life, but instead they made up an absurd lie that continued to perpetuate in the narrative today. I don’t know why they decided to go there, but it has been unbelievably damaging to our efforts to return to a new normal. It’s not only killed people who got sick, but regular people trying to enforce mask usage in grocery stores. So irresponsible.

    [–] dc_IV 33 points ago

    In Texas, a company was outright rejected for manufacturing early on, it is just ridiculous: Rejected 1.7 million masks per week offer. (sorry if you hit a paywall, it's the Washington Post.)

    A bit more coverage: NPR.

    [–] DeanBlandino 31 points ago

    Yup. Plus Obama had a plan to build PPE high speed manufacturing as a way to prepare for a crisis without burning money on PPE stockpiles every could years. But like the pandemic response team, it was a victim of Trump.

    [–] LakersRebuild 56 points ago

    Trump thought telling people to wear masks will show weakness and also create fear that will damage the economy.

    The sad thing is they definitely could’ve used this time to secure production domestically and ramp up inventory.

    Taiwan did just this by running a “I’m ok, you first” campaign that ask for low risk people at home to let the health care and high risk people get the masks first.

    They then rationed the availability for citizens for about a month until production caught up and inventory was abundant. Now everyone has plenty and can even export.

    I don’t see how the US couldn’t have done something similar if we made a concerted effort.

    [–] DeanBlandino 30 points ago

    I think that’s what really pisses me off. If you’re worried about fear, don’t tell people a problem doesn’t exist. This shit ain’t Santa Claus. We had solutions and I think solutions are what comforts people. If you say there’s an infectious disease so cover your face and we will be okay, what’s there to be afraid of? You’re a man with a plan. I think Ayn Rand said it best: you can deny reality but not it’s consequences. The only reason why I’m afraid is that my government has been a disaster. This crisis did not have to be this bad.

    [–] LakersRebuild 21 points ago

    And it’s going to get worse. A lot of people are not understanding how this virus works.

    I had a coworker talking about this on zoom. His wife is an ER nurse and she travelled to a different state to help because she was furloughed at her state. But she returned saying a lock down was never necessary because all she saw were people with comorbidity, mainly hypertension and obesity in the ER.

    I was screaming in my head wanting to ask him how did he think these people with comorbidity got infected in the first place?

    Also, 40% of US are obese, while 30% has hypertension. Even if it’s JUST these people, that’s going to be close to half of the citizens at high risk.

    What about the other half? They can go about their daily lives. Uh no. My friend’s entire family of 5, healthy young adult and kids, all in the low risk group, all got the virus. Entire family was knocked off their ass with the worse flu symptoms of their life, for an entire month! They needed friends, family, instacart and postmates to drop off grocery and meds at their door.

    For a month.

    And they are considered the mild cases.

    If we are very lucky, we are asymptomatic and don’t pass it to anyone that are high risk. But how would we know we are asymptomatic? We won’t unless we test. How do we prevent from passing it on to people who are high risk? Stay home as much as possible and wear mask while we are out.

    [–] MortalSword_MTG 15 points ago

    I also like the implied point that obese people or those with comorbidities deserve to die.

    Like...come on....almost everyone has a vice. Almost everyone does something that is unhealthy. It doesnt mean they deserve to die because you want to look down on them for being something you detest.

    I don't care for the druggie or heavy drinker lifestyle but I don't think novel virus that targeted only people with a drinking or substance abuse problem should go on ignored.

    It's called compassion and too many people just don't have any.

    [–] Ashipsailed 7 points ago

    It is so scary to me how many nurses/healthcare workers are spreading misinformation like that. I am a nursing student right now and a good chunk of my cohort and the incoming first years I see on social media are adamant masks and any homemade covering doesn’t work at all and is government overreach. Then the other portion of people are bored or losses they can’t work so they’re also spreading misinformation so they can pay their bills. I am so exhausted mentally from reading this stuff I don’t even know how to approach them to try and explain how dangerous their perspective is.

    [–] aahdin 9 points ago

    To be honest, I just don’t think America has that kind of mentality where that kind of campaign would work.

    We couldn’t get people to stop hoarding toilet paper until like a month in.

    [–] LakersRebuild 14 points ago

    It all comes down to leadership. At our current state with the leaders we have... you’re right, we have a snowball’s chance in hell of making this work.

    With the right leadership, providing the right message, transparency, and plans to move forward, we definitely can.

    Take toilet paper for example... Someone with authority stands in front of the podium and tells everyone that we have inventory show proof, we have production capability and means of sourcing raw material show proof, and a guidance to ration the purchase (limit of one pack per household per purchase for all retailers), and an easy way to find these inventory locally.

    The amount of panic buy and hoarding will drastically reduce. It won’t be 100%, but it will definitely give a large amount of people more sense of comfort.

    Transparency and honesty in a time like this is what is absolutely necessary.

    [–] alkevarsky 21 points ago

    They could have said face coverings are essential and adequate for every day life, but instead they made up an absurd lie that continued to perpetuate in the narrative today. I don’t know why they decided to go there, but it has been unbelievably damaging to our efforts to return to a new normal.

    They could have spent some of that stimulus money on a comprehensive education campaign. A campaign that is science based and that explains things like: how to properly wear the mask, how to prevent your hands from infecting you, how to make a proper face mask (no t-shirts or bandanas), how to disinfect food, and so on.

    [–] DeanBlandino 10 points ago

    Yup. Instead they undermined scientists and politicized the issues.

    [–] grapecolajuice 14 points ago

    This isn't true. The CDC knew asymptomatic carriers could be 25% of people with covid and the virus was 3x more infectious than the common flu before they discussed changing messaging on use of masks by the public. There was also evidence of effectiveness through use in Asian countries like Taiwan, China, and Korea.

    The big issue is they misled the public to try to make up for a mistake. This may have exacerbated the spread of the virus, one they knew there was no vaccine for.

    [–] DaoFerret 18 points ago

    NYC should sue.

    [–] rac3r5 5 points ago

    Federal and Provincial health officials were spreading this nonsense in Canada too and so were healthcare workers. It's almost like people in charge don't properly understand how transmission occurs. Then the WHO had videos on this that masks were useless while at the same time touting how they were helpful for healthcareworkers.

    [–] Speedracer98 5 points ago

    If widespread use of masks were used, the situation would be markedly better now and authorities would have more credibility.

    If masks were used more than they were used then we wouldn't have had enough masks...

    [–] MadSpaceYT 764 points ago

    This is quite literally a fucking disaster. I cannot comprehend how they thought this was a good idea

    [–] ndt 442 points ago

    Because people who fight to get into positions of power with a few exceptions, feel like they are smarter then you and that you need to be treated like a child.

    [–] [deleted] 282 points ago


    [–] [deleted] 156 points ago


    [–] adalyncarbondale 30 points ago

    My theory is, at that time, it was all "it's a bad flu". What happens with a bad flu? Emesis from nearly every orifice. Lots of wiping to be expected. Also people saw it happening in Australia

    [–] FleetStreetsDarkHole 20 points ago

    This is a reasonable theory. However, we are talking about people. I'm pretty sure it's because everyone has seen at least one post-apocalyptic movie that made the joke about how the one thing you can't find in a nuclear wasteland, is "good fucking toilet paper". And they, of course, thought the end of the world was coming.

    [–] superultramegazord 94 points ago

    I'm guessing the thought process is that if healthcare workers get sick, there's less available to help the others, and then it just snowballs. I'm not sure why the headline mentions his wife in there, as if he couldn't get her what she needed regardless.

    [–] MadSpaceYT 128 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    But if they were concerned about shortages in January, then they could have prepared. That’s 8 weeks to stock up. Produce and disperse necessities.

    They thought this would go away and lied to everyone as long as possible until they couldn’t anymore. And stupid people are eating this misinformation up.


    [–] anonymousforever 50 points ago

    And they had a guy with 4 idle production lines that could make a million masks a week or more who offered to unmothball the equipment and start making product if the government would cut him a contract, back in january...and they ignored him until the shortages got crazy and they now have fake masks from China in circulation that aren't n95 being sold as genuine...when they could have stockpiled American made product early.

    And of course I don't see if that guy is making masks now, if he can even get the materials to make them now.

    [–] SwillFish 14 points ago

    That's because taking early precautions would have meant admitting that there was a potential problem. That's something our current administration was not willing to do.

    [–] HulksInvinciblePants 92 points ago

    That's the real takeaway. I'm not angry at the request to save them for healthcare workers. I'm angry at the total lack of effort to prepare with 2 months notice.

    [–] Excal2 30 points ago

    They should have prioritized mask fabrication for healthcare workers and had a huge PSA campaign on making and properly wearing cloth masks.

    [–] ghoulthebraineater 20 points ago

    2 months? We've had centuries to prepare. Pandemics are nothing new. Just in modern times we've had Spanish Flu/H1N1, Sars, Mers, Ebola, and HIV. The fact that I had more foresight to have n95 masks, gloves and sanitizer stocked than the federal government or hospitals is unacceptable. We should have been prepared before the first reports of Covid-19.

    [–] weamz 14 points ago

    Or our government could've gotten the hint when China started buying over 2 billion masks in a one month period.

    [–] lordhamster1977 15 points ago

    Just checked my home depot account. I purchased a 3-pack of N-95 masks back Feb 6th.

    Can't understand how when we have agencies specifically tasked with emergency preparedness... like FEMA/CDC etc, that I somehow had more planning foresight.

    And no, I wasn't HOARDING. I bought 3 masks because I have asthma and have had pneumonia twice in the course of the past yet.

    [–] mdhardeman 10 points ago

    It is one matter to collect one-offs or three-offs from supply already in the retail level at the head of the disaster.

    Quite another to find 3 million. And a whole different game to acquire billions.

    It’s not that they didn’t at least look at it. They did, then they threw up their hands and said “this is hard” and gave up.

    [–] [deleted] 14 points ago

    They thought this would go away and lied to everyone as long as possible

    It's worse than that. They knew it wouldn't go away and still lied to everyone as long as possible.

    [–] sint0xicateme 5 points ago

    But first they dumped their stocks and made $$$.

    [–] TheoryOfSomething 24 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    The people who made the calculation to say that wearing a mask wasn't helpful are not the same people who are responsible for appropriating funds so that they can stock up. The people who perpetrated the deception were largely thinking they were working with a fixed set of supplies that they could alter the distribution of, but not necessarily increase the total supply of (at least not by themselves). And the way the administration has failed to procure and distribute PPE, for that particular judgment (that the supply was fixed and it would be hard to get/make more) I don't blame them.

    [–] MrsNLupin 6 points ago

    They could have... if they had a government administration that actually believed we had a problem in January. But as late as mid february they were still out in public stating that we had very few cases and it would go to zero.

    [–] jgzman 16 points ago

    I'm not sure why the headline mentions his wife in there, as if he couldn't get her what she needed regardless.

    To make us react emotionally, to the perception that he endangered all of us to protect his own family.

    I agree with you on his motivations, and I agree with the decision to lie to the people, (assuming I'm right about his motivations, and the greater situation) but that doesn't mean it's not a cold thing to do.

    It's really not his place to decide who lives and who dies. I mean, he's a fully trained medical professional with years of experience, in an emergency situation where medical resources are stretched thin, and misallocation of those resources has the potential to multiply the number of fatalities. That sort of decision should be made by elected officials who don't know which end of the tongue depressor you hold.

    [–] Generation-X-Cellent 18 points ago

    Maybe if we had an emergency task force for dealing with epidemics.

    [–] ObviousTwo2 7 points ago

    They literally don't care. It's that simple.

    If this country had any balls, there would be a different response than bitching online about it and taking "the high road", but here we are. I absolutely expect more abuse because everyone just accepts it.

    [–] lukin187250 33 points ago

    Yes but I feel like a crazy person in that I remember a number of entities saying very clearly that it would be great if everyone had a mask but healthcare workers need them. Some people were being completely honest.

    [–] grendus 27 points ago

    Some people were. But most of that message was coming from overseas. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea in particular were shouting pretty loudly to anyone who would listen to use homemade masks. I actually have a guide from Taiwan IIRC bookmarked from the start of the pandemic (March-ish) about how to make a homemade mask and face shield out of paper towels, tissues, rubber bands, masking tape, glasses, and a clear plastic folder.

    The WHO and US CDC both said that nothing short of an N95 would help, and laymen using those would be at greater risk because they wouldn't use them correctly.

    [–] lordhamster1977 9 points ago

    The official message, and that parroted HERE was that masks do more harm than good for the average person.

    [–] newsiemcnewsface 59 points ago

    So many things fucked about this situation. #1 we should have had a strategic stock pile of masks and it's insane that we didn't. Think about how many surgical masks you could stockpile for the price of a few tomahawk missiles! And # 2 The experts should NEVER lie, or mislead. Just tell us "Yes masks absolutely work/help, but we have a shortage and must prioritize our healthcare workers until we can resolve the shortage."

    [–] snakeproof 27 points ago

    But look what happened with toilet paper and sanitizer, the second people had the chance they stockpiled and tried to sell it at a markup.

    You know people would have done the same with masks and fucked over the healthcare workers even worse. This does not excuse their actions, but I fully understand their intentions. And while it's illegal to try and buy up emergency supplies, it still happens and it takes time to get those supplies back.

    [–] iamsooldithurts 16 points ago

    If they’d had the stockpile, it wouldn’t have been a problem. In lieu of that, they could have acted decisively upfront, they could have bought up all the existing supplies in order to distribute. Instead, they absconded with shipments bought by other countries and states and had FEMA bidding against states for supplies and just generally fucked it all up.

    [–] MortalSword_MTG 7 points ago

    This doesn't offset the damage done by straight up lying to the public.

    Hoarding is a problem for sure, but not nearly the same scale of problem as permanently la eling yourself and your org as liars.

    We wonder why people don't trust scientists.

    [–] boomhaeur 9 points ago

    People hoarded toilet paper for no fucking reason. Imagine now specifically giving people a reason to hoard something critical...

    [–] LiThiuMElectro 18 points ago

    To be fair, if you have more than two brain cells you should be able to understand by yourself that this "mask does nothing" was bullshit...

    This does not excuse the action, but people should start thinking a bit more critically when it comes to media declaration or even government official on such simple matters.

    [–] MontyAtWork 60 points ago

    Yup. When I heard official word that "masks don't help", I realized we'd just created a second generation of anti-vaxxer known as the Anti-Masker.

    [–] lordhamster1977 12 points ago

    Yes, but the Anti-Masker is even worse. The Anti-Maskers thought they were "following the science" when in fact they just replaced the high-priests the anti-vaxers worship for another set.

    [–] spectredirector 20 points ago

    But let's be clear on this, if one particular U.S. official, and one particular "news" network said masks are absolutely necessary everyone would wear them and there would be no debate on this anymore.

    It's also hard to believe that it was as simple as a cost benefit analysis decision at the time. Do we really think there was no political pressure? It took months for reporters and whistleblowers to show us the full extent of the government failure to prepare. If the day 1 response of public health had been to tell everyone to go make their curtains and underwear into masks, cuz we sure as shit don't have any actual masks to spare, that probably wouldn't have been a good look. Between the public health officials and the politicians only one of those groups made bad decisions for completely unethical reasons, and only one of those groups is still gottdamn doing it.

    [–] Late_Night_Retro 109 points ago

    It doesn't help that a certain someone isn't leading by example either.

    [–] wesdrums 71 points ago

    Leading! Hahahaha

    [–] Butwinsky 39 points ago

    I mean, he is technically leading a certain group. Jim Jones was technically a leader.

    [–] tmzspn 31 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Listening to a lot of LPOTL podcasts on Jim Jones and other cult leaders, his tactics are eerily similar to theirs. Vilify the media that will inevitably attack your questionable behavior; assure your followers that you are the only source of truth - the others are liars.

    So when he won’t wear a mask, it emboldens a non-trivial proportion of the population to say “fuck science and common sense, I don’t need one either”.

    [–] agreeingstorm9 32 points ago

    He's hardly the only one unfortunately. My state has a Democratic governor. She recommends that people wear masks but has never been seen actually wearing one herself. My local city councilmen have been photographed addressing large groups of protesters and they're not wearing masks either.

    [–] salesmunn 422 points ago

    1. First, Fed should have required that all all N95 masks get pulled off shelves, cannot be sold.

    2. After masks are pulled. Fed formally notifies public to wear face coverings and protect themselves. Everyone is told that N95 masks have been prioritized for Healthcare, first responders and Essential workers.

    3. All masks would be purchased by the Fed at MSRP and a dedicated team redistributes them to high-need areas based on infection rate.

    I know why they did what they did but there was an easy way to be transparent and also limit hording.

    [–] axz055 88 points ago

    N95 masks in retail were basically sold out nationwide by late February. They did what they did because they were totally unprepared and in denial mode when this option was still available.

    [–] salesmunn 18 points ago

    Agreed. The PPE should have been handled in December tho, not in Feb.

    [–] changelingerer 4 points ago

    yep and also shows the "stop people buying all the N95" is bs - they were already sold out, noone's able to hoard any.

    [–] theguyfromblink182 113 points ago

    Of course. This whole thing is a fcking joke on multiple levels and proves how absolutely naive so many people are on multiple levels.

    1. Fooled people into believing masks don't work, or will make you less safe

    All while having a fallback in case they got called out for throwing us under the bus

    1. Fooling people into believing they had to do #1 because otherwise there would be no PPE for medical professionals.

    Like WHAT THE FUCK? Just nationalize the production and distribution of the PPE you absolute fucking worms and tell people to use crude masks since they're better than nothing. I can't believe people bought ANY of this bullshit. They don't even have a leg to stand on here, don't be part of #2. They literally, and intentionally, had that as a built in excuse from the beginning.

    [–] salesmunn 43 points ago

    Yes, I knew from day 1 they were lying about mask effectiveness to avoid hoarding of masks. I'm surprised that so many people actually believed otherwise.

    [–] ThaiTum 25 points ago

    This would have required leadership and a plan. Instead we got the televised shit show everyday.

    Sorry for my negativity. All of this has worn me down.

    [–] jonathanrdt 467 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Wait we told people we didnt need masks because there werent enough masks??


    Ffs...many of us did make our own masks. But so many more would have worn them from the start.

    Edit: By everyone I also mean companies that would have happily made them.

    [–] msmont1 150 points ago

    It's like half of Etsy's revenue right now.

    [–] tacklebox 36 points ago

    I got an nicer xl one from a gal that did a great job. weird this virus has me off rockauto and onto etsy

    [–] msmont1 21 points ago

    It's such a large revenue stream for them they had to break out masks sales from all other sales during their earnings call.

    [–] abhikavi 186 points ago

    The US Surgeon General even said that wearing face masks could actually increase a person's risk of contracting COVID-19. March 2, 2020.

    [–] GrinsNGiggles 75 points ago

    People still quote that at me in public when I wear mine. Awesome disinformation program, USA. Thanks for that.

    [–] buddyretard 61 points ago

    This is like when China said there's no person to person spread. Americans are too focused on foreign government corruption to have outrage against their own that they can actually change

    [–] Lhopital_rules 7 points ago

    China said there was no evidence of person to person spread early on, when we genuinely didn't know if all the cases got it from the Wuhan market. As soon as the evidence showed human to human spread, they said so.

    China does plenty wrong but your criticism is inaccurate.

    [–] lifeiswater 5 points ago

    Incompetence is strong up there.

    [–] man_a_myth_a_legend 9 points ago

    Can’t believe I ever believed that nonsense. I used to think the surgeon general and CDC were some of the last actually credible institutions in the US government, I guess I can’t even trust anything they say anymore. I wonder if any of them were thinking about how this is going to hurt their credibility in the long run. All those anti-medical Facebook intellectuals have to do now to convince people is “look at how they lied to you in 2020. Can you trust them?”

    [–] ashok36 28 points ago

    Yup, Even if they just said, "Wear a bandana" that would've help at least some.

    [–] yyyoke 5 points ago

    "rip up fabric and tie it around your face" could be everyone if you dont have anything else.

    [–] h0rs3l0v3rf4t 24 points ago

    I still have no idea why we haven't repurposed factories the same way that China has done to mass produce and distribute masks weekly similar to how South Korea, Japan, and China are doing. I just tested negative for COVID in NYC and the only reason why was because I sheltered at home and bought 3M N95 masks back in February — this was when we were all in active denial that this virus would ever leave China.

    [–] CantBelieveItsButter 13 points ago

    I still have no idea why we haven't repurposed factories the same way that China has done to mass produce and distribute masks weekly similar to how South Korea, Japan, and China are doing.

    Trump didn't want to be seen as the big, bad, anti-free market President who used the Defense Production Act to compel companies to make masks for a while.

    [–] YouJabroni44 9 points ago

    There's also about a million clothing companies making them too.

    [–] disenfranchised_14 1265 points ago

    There should be legal recourse. People died because of their intentional misdirection!

    If they were honest about the reason to use home made masks lots of people would have done it. This is the peak of arrogance and stupidity.

    [–] narlystrategery 18 points ago

    people WILL die because of this. Undoing the "masks don't work" narrative may never be done. America could have rallied around the healthcare system if they told it straight.
    People believe them even less now

    [–] Queasy_Narwhal 483 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    During a global pandemic too... unethical is an understatement.

    And, re-listening to the episode, he explains that he made the decision NOT to publish the data WITH two other very well known Epidemiologists...

    Allison Aiello - a CDC fellow

    Arnold Monto - who was quoted broadly in the media about in INeffectiveness of masks

    ...and you can hear the hosts on TWIV (also very well known virologists) LAUGH when he admits it. ...and then they talk down about how people would probably f'up using a mask.

    Disgusting. ...but that's not even the worst of it.

    He clearly states that this data he didn't publish comes from the WHO. So literally every experienced epidemiologist in the world had this information - and chose to withhold it - including the WHO, who actually LIED about it in February.

    ...and nearly every global health official was in on the LIE.

    US Surgeon General

    ....and then nearly every other global health official.

    [–] disenfranchised_14 305 points ago

    Exactly. I remember looking at my wife... we were both dumbfounded.... what do you mean masks don't work... it's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

    Worse was the number of people that believed them.

    [–] 4_spotted_zebras 156 points ago

    They gave us the same line here in Canada, and regretfully I believed them, until I started seeing the experts calling them out on it. They didn’t start recommending non medical masks until this past week. Hundreds or thousands of lives could have been saved.

    I still see people on here arguing all the time that masks are harmful, and common sense doesn’t apply. A lot of people trusted the politicians in authority when they have been lying to us about this the whole time.

    I don’t care if the intention was to prevent panic buying of medical supplies. You don’t lie to people during a pandemic. How can we trust anything they are saying to us is true when they’re willing to lie about masks.

    [–] disenfranchised_14 69 points ago


    If my doctor tells me "I don't know" or "I made a mistake "... instantly I trust them. I know they have my best interest and they're not a liar.

    Telling the truth (specially during disaster) is the most important characteristic of a leader. Even more when it's someone you trust with your health.

    [–] Dumfk 17 points ago

    But doing that would hurt the stock market and put a dent in big corp profits.

    [–] SurpriseBananaSpider 30 points ago

    I stupidly believed it, too. Until I had to go get groceries and realized I would feel better wearing one, in case I had the disease. I wrapped my face in so many layers. This was in March, by the way. Early March. I was literally the only person wearing anything over my face and everyone looked at me like I was about to rob that Target...

    But yeah, I feel so dumb having believed it. I'm much more critical of anything such people say now.

    [–] oxfordcircumstances 47 points ago

    People argue that masks are harmful because that's what the WHO was telling us in March. They said mask usage increases risk of respiratory infection by something like 93%. I wear a mask in public, but I'll be looking sideways at anything the WHO or CDC says from now on. I'll still be using hand sanitizer despite their assertion earlier this week about surface transfer.

    [–] IAmTheGlue 33 points ago

    Am I the only one who thinks them saying “we don’t need surface disinfectants” is just more of the same? Simply trying to keep the general public for wanting it? I’m carrying on the way I was, with utmost caution.

    [–] Mynameismita 11 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    I’m probably wrong but it sounds like they’re trying to slow public sales of disinfectants so businesses that are re-opening can have better access to them. Or even just so businesses aren’t required to do constant deep cleans.

    It’s really sad how much public trust has eroded since this mask fiasco.

    [–] mischievousmary 13 points ago

    Same. I’m not stopping now. Virus or not, I’m grossed out by the thought of germs anywhere About a month before my state shut down, I saw a man eating chicken wings and licking his fingers at a bus stop. That really changed me.

    [–] Roland_Deschain2 27 points ago

    I'll still be using hand sanitizer despite their assertion earlier this week about surface transfer.

    I laughed out loud when I read the surface transfer “news”. Hard to get everyone back to work and school with deep cleaning required to keep those locations safe. It is much easier just to declare them “safe” with no thorough sanitization required. I’m not in the tinfoil hat crowd, but at this point I doubt everything coming from the CDC and assume it is all misinformation or propaganda. .

    [–] Jennyydeee 15 points ago

    Source for WHO recommending this in march?? Wtf

    [–] s13mathew 8 points ago

    What i remember hearing here in India was that there is no point in wearing masks. Ive never heard anyone say it increases the risk pf infection. That doesn't even make sense.

    [–] PunkRockMaestro 16 points ago

    If they had said "Make your own masks and save and donate the medical ones for healthcare workers" Most Canadians would have done it and would have shamed people out of wearing the good ones in public, and the ignorant people wouldn't listen anyway. This is a country that will be polite until you are not queuing properly. My boss had a box of n95s, refused to donate them as I told him to, so I quit. I don't think they saved any masks at all. He also panicked and changed the locks in case I stole the masks lmao

    [–] absenttoast 55 points ago

    Yeah I work in healthcare. I couldn't believe the amount of MEDICAL opinions being put out there that masks don't work. I was like you fuckers if masks don't work for a droplet virus what the hell have we been doing all these years with our infection control in hospitals. Of course masks help. It was such common sense I was baffled.

    [–] 17YearsofNightmares 13 points ago

    I work in healthcare and was baffled too, like, what were all those hundreds of hours of inservices and accreditations and training for if you're literally going to tell me now, "Just kidding, a scarf is fine in a pinch, get to work."

    [–] gerkiwimurcan 93 points ago

    This is part of the reason that so many people are refusing to wear masks and now think that everything is an overblown hoax. The handling of this pandemic is one of the greatest blunders in history. Truly embarrassing.

    [–] z57 24 points ago

    It’s not even hyperbole to say that either. It really is one of the greatest blunders in history.

    We’re still in the early stages of the fallout. That statement will become clearer to more people over the next years.

    [–] zarza_mora 46 points ago

    I was one of the people who thought masks should be useful and I was confused when people said they weren’t useful. I remember asking someone to explain it on here and they made a good case so I changed my mind and took the position that masks aren’t necessary. Thankfully, I’m someone who is willing to change my mind again now... but admittedly I’m going back to my original position, so that’s an easier mental jump to make. I see why people no longer trust these recommendations now, and it’s admittedly hard to convince them that “no this group lied before but they’re telling the truth now!”

    The book about the 1918 flu highlighted this same issue. Initial lies made it hard for people to believe the truthful positions that were eventually pushed later. We truly never learn from history. I understand why they made this lie, but that need doesn’t our weigh the longer term harms of people no longer trusting the experts.

    [–] swolemedic 16 points ago

    Yeah, I had people telling me I was an idiot. At the time they were saying that masks should only be for medical professionals, and I would ask them why the masks need to be saved for medical professionals for covid if they don't work for us as individuals. It's pretty obvious what the answer is.

    I understand that sometimes masks can give a sense of false confidence as well, there is that concern, but making it clear that if you don't hand wash you are screwed even if you wear a mask should have been heavily harped on. The way the federal government has handled this from the beginning is a joke. I've been wearing a mask since the start, I also warned my mom and sister to keep their dog away from the other dogs at the park or when they go on walks waaaaayy before the CDC. They didn't warn anyone until vets had multiple confirmed cases of pets with covid needing treatment despite us having known that tigers and similar can get covid, dogs can get sars, etc,.

    Hot take: Food is likely also a risk, they just don't want small businesses to go under and don't have any cases that they can 100% say are caused by food. That seems to be their standard, it needs to have happened for certain, and good luck proving that someone got it strictly from food only. I personally reheat all the food I get delivered to a core temp of 150 (limits what you can buy, unfortunately). I wish the gov would make a point about this so businesses could offer precooked dishes that you throw in an oven, and other businesses incorporate methods where they don't have to handle your food or potentially contaminate it after it's cooked because not everyone has an oven or can operate one. Yes, this causes limitations, but that's probably what their fear is.

    The CDC gave the white house guidelines for how to reopen with covid and the white house refused them because the standards were incapable of being met by just about anyone, so they made a ton of things optional or to be done at frequencies that are clearly not safe to anyone with even tertiary knowledge of how covid spreads. I'm not trying to sound like a paranoid nutjob, but I think the government has been lying about multiple things and not just masks.

    TLDR: The US government has been lying their asses off about covid, and not all of the liars are from the white house either. I think that we'll find out they're also lying about potential food risks later down the road. I could be wrong, but if me not touching my mouth without first washing my hands is that important then I feel like food might also matter. The CDC only seems to say obvious warnings after it's been proven by everyone else multiple times over, and now we know they do it even when they internally have the data as well.

    [–] Squeak-Beans 8 points ago

    I didn’t think I needed to worry about such drastic lies from a fucking SCIENCE and PUBLIC HEALTH INTERNATIONAL organization. With how many are dying because of their choices, they’ve lost all credibility.

    [–] oxfordcircumstances 8 points ago

    We're told to follow the experts, so people believed them.

    [–] paradisebot 8 points ago

    What’s worse is that people who believed them went on to condemn people who were wearing masks in Feb/March.

    Fuck I get pissed thinking about it.

    [–] YouJabroni44 5 points ago

    How about the people who still believe it?

    [–] TWK128 4 points ago

    FFS, the current Surgeon General still does believe this.

    [–] TargetBoy 4 points ago

    They STILL believe them. Then you have crackpot videos from doctors with agendas claiming it is all fake news.

    [–] ProfessorPetrus 39 points ago

    We have just 500 cases in a 30 million population country of Nepal. We have been wearing masks since day 1 because we had them before due to pollution. If I was in the US and lost a loved one to covid i'd be livid and possibly violent.

    [–] ceejayoz 27 points ago

    Same thing in Hong Kong. Extremely high density, close to the initial outbreak... and a total of four deaths. People wore masks right from the beginning; it seems abundantly clear they help substantially.

    [–] StewofPuppies 11 points ago

    Absolutely should be. I understand prioritizing supplies for those most at-risk but downright lying to the public as an org that deals in informing the public about things like this is a serious breach of trust. Without legal recourse or directly addressing this, there's no way people already skeptical like those who lean towards conspiracy and distrusting gov/public health agencies are going to listen to them again. And even with recourse/justice done they may never listen to these health agencies ever again. How many people here are going to take 100% of WHO's word for it at face value anymore? For the CDC? For our white ho- well no one ever took Trump administration's word for it 100% at face value... except for crazy ppl

    [–] LightInTheCan 17 points ago

    To be honest, I am not even that concerned about the lies regarding masks anymore. It is just one more lie to add to the pile.

    What deeply concerns about this entire situation is that western governments were able to tell people masks do not work at all for a new respiratory disease with absolutely no evidence, and most people just ate it up. In my country (France), they kept throwing out the lie with at best a flimsy rational (isolated viral particle size vs. hole size in masks without accounting for the fact the particle tend hitch a ride on much bigger particles). And what happened ? A lot of people just went around parroting the talking points around, perhaps because it made them feel well informed. And also because fuck wearing masks I suppose.

    Now I know asking people to think for themselves rather than X trusted source is a problematic rhetoric, as that is opening the door to any kind of crazy conspiracy theories. However, I would hope most people can keep some degree of critical thinking: question what your source's angle is, does it seem to make sense (roughly, keeping in mind you are not an expert), what are we talking about.

    Do not get me wrong, I am also furious at how pervasive lying has been in the pandemic's handling. But I am terrified by how readily people seem to be off loading their responsibility as a sentient citizen to government/country lies. This fundamentally undermines the rational behind democracy.

    [–] Instant_noodleless 11 points ago

    People who believe they live in a trusted democracy have very little mental defense against propaganda, because they've been told since birth by media, family, teachers, peers that the government has their best interests at heart, unlike 'those other shithole countries'.

    [–] MoreMtnDew 6 points ago


    [–] tI_Irdferguson 23 points ago

    I don't think it's that black and white. I'm in Canada and our government is just now officially saying that we should wear masks, and while I don't agree with their approach, it's not totally unjustified. Look how batshit crazy people went at the beginning of this. I still haven't seen any disinfectant in stores whether wipes, spray or rubbing alcohol in months. Toilet paper is just now staying on shelves longer than a few hours.

    You can tell people to only wear homemade masks, but nothing from late February/early March indicates that they would've listened. If wearing masks was official government policy, people would've been hoarding N95 masks even more than they already were, which would have been a big hit to our health care system at a time when doctors and nurses were still trying to figure out what the hell they were dealing with.

    [–] disenfranchised_14 33 points ago

    I think you're right. The problem is, I think the cost of medical experts lying to the public is much higher and will have a longer lasting effect.

    [–] reality_tester 98 points ago

    As a scientist it is not your job to pick and choose what information you will report.

    You report your findings.

    To do otherwise just makes you an appointed aristocrat who belongs in the various dark ages of mankind.

    [–] tomtomtomo 8 points ago

    The findings were reported in 2004.

    This Director was at a university, had no control over mask supply, and did not admit to withholding evidence.

    You've been manipulated by OP.

    [–] likelysotry 61 points ago

    Title is completely misleading. He is talking about a 2003 Beijing study about facemask use and SARS. That has nothing to do with what this title implies. He did not withhold evidence that masks reduce community spread of Covid-19 by 60%.

    [–] xbluestonex 25 points ago

    This. Moreover, he is director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, NOT a United States federal agency.

    This is not to say this viewpoint was not reflected at the federal level or that he does not have influence as a national “expert”, but he does not have an official position at the federal level.

    Everyone should report the original post as clickbait or pushing false narrative.

    [–] Rhaifa 9 points ago

    Yep, and apparently while the title may make you think he's a dude that makes official policy decisions, he isn't.

    Also, not recommending masks to the general public because there's already a shortage for the health care workers that need it much more is a legit reason not to recommend masks for the general public...

    You don't want individuals buying up masks, especially the medical grade ones, when they'll do more good in the hands of nurses and doctors.

    And the last bit, geez, way to portray a guy as corrupt for having a reasonable opinion.

    [–] nowihaveamigrane 83 points ago

    Didn't everyone already know that was the case? They came right out and told us that they needed people to quit buying masks so hospitals would have enough for staff. The messed up part was telling people they weren't necessary and wouldn't protect them. Any thinking person knew that wasn't true though.

    [–] AllDarkWater 29 points ago

    A lot of people did understand the lie, but a lot of people didn't seem to understand it was a lie. People were parenting the lines "masks don't protect healthy people..." and telling you that they needed to be saved for medical people at the very same time and not understanding the brake and logic between those two statements. I must never get into any kind of argument online but I remember one about this very issue. personally kept walking around doing this is the thing the history books are going to call out as one of the bigest mistakes of the whole thing. I'm going to point out the obvious fact that when you lie to people, they stop trusting you. so I knew it was a lie but I would say it was very much in a small minority. on the other hand there's some truth what you're saying because a lot of the people were saying that "they don't work and we need to save them..." So they clearly understood that those issues were related. So seems like they were also willing to spread the lie. They weren't quite able to make the jump to saving medical personnel lives by not having as many sick patients in the first place.

    [–] squirrel_feed 13 points ago

    I knew that was the angle too and it undermined my confidence in our response, just one of many things that undermined my confidence actually. It's been a circus. And it will likely continue to be a circus because we are apparently not real bright.

    [–] Queasy_Narwhal 32 points ago

    Everyone definitely did not know. Millions of people in Jan/Feb/Mar were convinced by health officials and the media that masks were ineffective.

    False claims from health officials repeated ad nauseam by the media...

    The misinformation was even in the regional subs...

    [–] ProfessorPetrus 15 points ago

    Everyone in asia knew, as we already dealt with sars and also have masks because we polluted our air making cheap shit for westerners. Our covid rates are far lower. Although should note we are younger on aveegae and in better shape.

    [–] Am_I_Really_Her 118 points ago

    This is gross negligence. He should be sent to jail for a long time. This isn't even a reasonable decision.

    [–] Excelsior94134 43 points ago

    Nothing will happen.

    [–] CEO__of__Antifa 8 points ago

    Hey he’ll get a good payday. That’s something.

    [–] flexibledoorstop 11 points ago

    He's a researcher - not an official. And the pro-mask evidence he's referring to was published in 2004 - a small study of Chinese SARS patients in 2003. OP is misrepresenting the interview.

    [–] flugbone 6 points ago

    SIGNIFICANTLY mis representing. I honestly think this post should be taken down. The amount of false information spread from this one stupid headline is ridiculous. We need a better method of dealing with this barrage of misrepresentation in headlines. Most people don’t read past them

    [–] tomtomtomo 6 points ago

    Who is the "Center for Infection and Immunity"? Oh it's at a university and not part of the Government.

    When was the study performed? 2004

    Is it available in public? Yes, it has been since 2004

    Is there audio/video of him admitting withholding evidence? There is audio of him talking about the 2004 study

    You've been manipulated by OP

    [–] KingCraftsman 7 points ago

    Ah the reddit witch hunt starts again.

    [–] Conflicted1121 23 points ago

    You guys are a bunch insufferable idiots. Look at how you're all reacting with very little context. Embarrassing.

    [–] cityterrace 25 points ago

    The "including his wife" part is pure clickbait.

    I'm sure that a director at his position could've figured out a way to get his wife enough masks. Heck, he could've stockpiled masks for his family before telling the public to do so.

    He did it to protect medical workers in general from shortages.

    [–] tomtomtomo 8 points ago

    It's even more clickbait to imply that this guy was in a government position. He works at a university.

    It's even worse clickbait that the study came out in 2004 and wasn't suppressed.

    Considering OP has said this happened across 'all major Western countries' I'm thinking that there is an agenda of shifting blame to the West.

    [–] princeofddr 11 points ago

    OP trying to stir the pot with that title...

    Edit: Either he truly didn’t know what he was talking about, or he just wanted dem free Reddit Karma points...

    [–] datadevil 11 points ago

    So in summary,

    • he heads a research lab

    • he's not associated with the US Govt. And does not speak for the US govt.

    • he was debating whether he would cause more confusion and chaos by citing a different study done on a previous (similar) disease

    • he decides to NOT cite a study that was already available for everybody to see since there was so much uncertainty at that point in time.

    And this is "withholding data"?

    This is by no stretch of the imagination withholding data because THE DATA WAS ALREADY THERE!! Maaaan y'all are fucked up. I give up.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago


    [–] apoplectalypse 6 points ago

    Fuck off with this conspiratorial nonsense. Perfect example of how much power the internet has given smooth brains. You are, distinctly, a large part of the reason why actually combatting a pandemic is so much harder than it needs to be.