No child should need an exemption to breath freely and there are ample resources which prove face masks harm children. Yet the Department for Education (“DfE”) claims it has evidence to prove children should wear face masks at school to protect them.
The DfE is relying on two pieces of evidence: a UK Health Security Agency (“UKHSA”) review, dated in November 2021; and, a study of 123 schools run over three weeks in October 2021.
The UKHSA review very clearly says face masks are “low quality observational evidence. They’re mixed results, some studies show an effect, some don’t,” Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said. The UKHSA review does not provide substantive evidence for the use of masks.
Turning to the October study in schools, Prof. Heneghan said there are a number of problems with this study. Firstly, the claim is that because Omicron is more infectious that makes the case for wearing masks. But in October, when the study was done, there was no Omicron circulating. Secondly, the study uses statistical methods that would not pass peer review.
The claim is that 6 per thousand children would not miss school if masks were worn over a three-week period, not a significant effect. But when you get to the end of the paper and look at the control group, children who did not wear masks, they had lower absenteeism. In other words, the study showed the opposite to what is being claimed as evidence for masking children in school.
Prof. Heneghan said the study is “not fit for purpose” and actually shows evidence for NOT wearing masks.
Further resources: Carl Heneghan: ‘There must be high quality evidence for masks in schools’ | Julia Hartley-Brewer, 4 January 2022 (12 mins)
Mike Fairclough’s twitter thread highlights a number of curious statements in the “evidence” provided. His thread begins: “This is the DfE’s ‘Evidence Summary Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the use of face coverings in education settings‘ published on 5th January 2022, as promised to @JuliaHB1 by @nadhimzahawi”
It’s worth reading Mike Fairclough’s full thread by clicking on the date highlighted in blue below:
Catherine Mallia points out : “This is also part of Zahawi’s ‘evidence’. They admit face masks are covered in germs.”
Fernando tweeted: “Mind boggling isn’t it, how so many people just haven’t grasped that they still exhale and inhale ‘the same surrounding air as everyone else nearby’ (incl. any tiny/invisible/microscopic ‘airborne’ virus particles floating around), even with their useless masks on Man facepalming. Govt report [below].”
But it seems children are not being fooled by the DfE’s “evidence” even if government ministers are. On 5 January BBC North West tweeted: “Huge numbers of pupils at 6 NW secondary schools are refusing to do LFTs and wear masks according to @NASUWT teaching union. It says one Lancashire school has only 67 children out of 1,300 willing to follow guidance. The union is calling for testing and masks to be compulsory.”
Nadhim Zahawi was appointed Secretary of State for Education in September 2021.
Despite the apparent support by The Teachers’ Union (“NASUWT”) – which “provides unrivalled protection, benefits and support for teachers … by putting teachers [not children] first” – things are not looking good for Zahawi as even the BBC has broken ranks and reported that the government admits the evidence for using masks in schools to reduce spread of Covid is ‘not conclusive’. The ‘not conclusive’ verdict was acknowledged in a review used by ministers in England to make their decision to introduce face coverings in classrooms.
The review, as Prof. Heneghan explained to TalkRADIO, includes the results of a study in 123 schools in England. The study said the results were not statistically significant and the greater reduction in schools where masks were worn could be down to chance, BBC wrote.
The BBC also noted the review acknowledges:
- the use of face coverings could harm learning;
- a full analysis of the costs versus benefits of the policy has not been done;
- 94% of school leaders and teachers saying it made communication between teachers and pupils more difficult; and,
- 80% of pupils also said it made communication harder.
Yet, in the same article the BBC continued: “Ministers have maintained face coverings have a material impact, but will not be used for a ‘day longer than necessary’” echoing the mantra used at the end of November by Sajid Javid: “face masks will not be in place ‘a day longer than is necessary’ if Omicron is no more dangerous than Delta,” said to reassure Conservative MPs threatening to rebel over the return of mandatory face masks in shops and on public transport.
Despite reporting that “the use of face coverings could harm learning” earlier in their article BBC continued: “The Department for Education said the move was aimed at ‘reducing transmission and disruption to learning’.”
Unfortunately for politicians they cannot go back in time and pretend Professor Van-Tam never said this, as tweeted by Steve Ross: Prof. Van-Tam quotes the WHO, and is emphatic here – “…There is NO evidence that wearing of face masks…affects the spread of disease…”
By 9:05 am on 6 January 2022, #SackZahawi was trending on twitter.
Zahawi may be feeling a little bored when he takes early retirement so we have compiled a reading list for him. As you can imagine it is a long list. For his convenience we have saved it in a pdf document and attached it below, which he can printout and then tick items off the list as works his way through.
In the event Zahawi is unable to find the time to work through our list, we have found an easy-to-understand summary of the science behind face masks, see below:
Face Masks Harm Kids
“Face masks are not merely neutral to you when you wear them. Face masks are unquestionably harmful to the wearer and those around the wearer. Face masks are not safe and effective. Face masks are unsafe and ineffective.” – Allan Stevo, 5 January 2022
Stevo is an author and political contributor for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and other media sources.
In a book called ‘Face Masks Hurt Kids’ Stevo digs into the science of mandatory masking policies and their impact on children. The truth is, face masks harm everyone.
In his article ‘Not Safe, Not Effective — 376 Ways That Face Masks Are Known To Harm The Wearer’ Stevo lists 376 ways that masks may be harmful, covered in more detail in Face Masks Hurt Kids. Some issues listed are minor. Some issues listed are major.
The list is too long to repeat here but you can read it at the end of his article. The harms are categorised: risks to pregnant women and foetuses; breathing and the lungs; heart; kidneys; head; face; skin; eyes; ears; nose; mouth; communication; immunity; cancer; body; and, thinking. And range from impaired cognition to decreased IQ, from exhaustion to sudden death during exercise.
“The broad takeaway from this list for me is that there is no longer any way to say that a face mask is safe for any man, woman, or child to wear. Masks are least safe for anyone frail such as the sick, the elderly, and children to wear,” Allan Stevo wrote.
We have not read the book Face Masks Hurt Kids, but it sounds like a book worth gifting to teachers and their unions.
Further Resources: Allan Stevo articles on Lew Rockwell