Aletho News


Do face masks make you more attractive?

By James Townsend | January 18, 2022

Cardiff University published a news story on their website about a new scientific study suggesting “protective face masks make wearers look more attractive”. It was framed around experts finding a “surprising new reason to mask up”.

At the time of writing this, the study had been covered in media in six different countries, spanning print, online, broadcast, & radio — the whole spectrum of earned media. Sky News framed their coverage most positively and put forward that people previously reluctant to wear one “may change their minds” thanks to this academic discovery.

The headlines all scream in unison: face masks make you look more attractive – ‘The Science’ says so. A resounding success for the Cardiff Uni team!

Knowing that many who wear masks do so under duress, and then accounting for the significant proportion of the population who hate the very concept of them, I immediately smelt a rat. Besides which, even if you agree with their usage from a public health point-of-view, it is surely a stretch of anyone’s imagination to claim that most people find a germ-ridden mouth blanket more attractive than being exposed to a naked face? Nonetheless, that’s what the scientists were claiming.

In this weird, post-Covid world where fiction is often pushed as fact, I decided to do what any journalist worth their salt would do, and explore the veracity of such claims.

Various articles only quoted Dr Lewis directly from the press release, and it was obvious they hadn’t spoken to him. As a journalist, this immediately set alarm bells ringing for me. If they didn’t speak to the lead scientist, did they even read the study? If they didn’t read the study, how can they be sure what they are reporting is correct? What if they missed some crucial context?

Call me old fashioned but I then did what the journalists should have done, and I read the actual study.

Before even clicking onto the study, I already knew from the initial press release that only 43 participants had taken part. Had the group of 43 included women from all walks of life and parts of society, perhaps the small number would have stood up to scrutiny more robustly. So, it was genuinely bemusing to then read that every single participant was a psychology student from the same course being run by the report authors. On top of that, they were 93% white and all aged 18 to 24. No diversity in a small sample to start with, is bad news.

Beautiful Cardiff is the capital city of Mark Drakeford’s Labour-run Wales – a country which has seen and, in many cases, embraced some of the most draconian reactions to this pandemic we have seen; including wearing masks with pride, introducing scientifically illiterate vaccine passports, and even banning people from buying books from supermarkets during the 2020 lockdowns. With this in mind, it’s not beyond the realms of sensible possibility to think that psychology students logging onto their laptops – who, by the way, received “course credits as compensation” for their participation – already knew what the ‘right’ answer was before rating their first masked and unmasked face.

This feeling was confirmed pretty swiftly when I stumbled across what I would describe as the key nugget of information:

It’s little wonder they hid this line at the end of the paper, given it confirms the vast majority of the participants were essentially pro-maskers talking favourably about men in masks.

It is an indictment of the sad state of journalism today that the enthusiastic coverage of this woeful study has not excavated this nugget. One of the reasons I left the newsroom, was the slow transition from journalist to churnalist – churning out other organisations’ press releases rather than discovering your own stories. So, in many respects, I haven’t been surprised to witness what I have since March 2020.

Of course, declining journalistic standards are nothing new and have been apparent for some years. The pandemic has merely shone a light on how dangerously out of control it is, and what a devastating impact it can have on the relationship of trust that should exist between citizens and the people who are employed to disseminate news and information to serve the public interest.

The uncomfortable truth is that agenda-driven scientists sometimes try to prove a pre-determined outcome. Misinformation based on flawed data create headlines around the world. And another ugly truth? Masks don’t make you more attractive.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 2 Comments

Fauci reports back to Davos that the US has a Covid “disinformation” problem

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | January 18, 2022

The annual “globalization ball” in Davos is upon us once again and this year the virtual event has brought together figures such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, among others.

Xi opened the World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering with his address, while Fauci spoke later to focus on what he sees as “entirely destructive” Covid misinformation raging in the US.

A comprehensive public health endeavor is made impossible by this kind of misinformation, Fauci said. He should feel right at home at the Davos summit given his previous remarks about the need for radical changes in rebuilding the infrastructure of human existence – something reports see as close to the thinking of WEF’s own Klaus Schwab and his controversial musings found in the “Great Reset” initiative presented last year.

Fauci made those comments in 2020, in a paper he co-authored, titled, “Emerging Pandemic Diseases: How We Got to COVID-19,” calling for changes in human behavior and “other radical changes” in order to live “in greater harmony with nature,” which he appears to believe would stand in the way of future pandemics such as the never-ending one we are experiencing now.

He at the time proposed focusing on “a transformation” that will change human behavior by reducing crowding at home, work, and in public places, among other things.

But just as Fauci now once again insists that a dangerous online misinformation campaign is hampering efforts to combat the pandemic, more and more scientists and health officials are reversing course on policies, like lockdowns, vaccination, masking, and coronavirus origin. Until recently, skepticism of those would have been immediately branded as misinformation or worse still, a conspiracy theory.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Florida: Highest Rates of Infection Occurring in Counties with Highest Vaccination Rates

By Bill Rice | Uncover DC | January 17, 2022

The COVID infection rate for residents of Dade County, Florida Dec. 31 – Jan. 6 was 3,796 new “cases per 100,000 population”—a rate far higher than any other county in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Public Health. This is an eye-opening statistic as 94 percent of Dade County residents age five and over have now received at least one dose of the vaccine—a vaccination rate among the highest in the country and by far the highest rate in Florida.

If vaccines are indeed “effective” at preventing infection, one might expect residents of this county to have among the LOWEST rates of infection in the nation. Instead, the infection rate in Dade County was more than twice as high as the state average of 1,807.1 cases per 100,000 residents. In data updated this week (See pages 5-7), Dade County continued to lead the state by a wide margin with 3,217 cases per 100,000 compared to the new state average of 1,958/100k.

Indeed, an analysis of the past two weeks’ data shows that residents who live in Florida’s least vaccinated counties typically have the lowest rates of COVID infection. Among Florida counties that reported the lowest infection rates two weeks ago, the average vaccination rate was 48.6 percent compared to the state average of all Florida counties of 72 percent.

In general, Florida counties with the lowest vaccination rates had the lowest infection rates. The opposite was also true. The counties with the highest vaccination rates have recently experienced the highest infection rates.

While proponents of mandatory vaccines emphasize that vaccines are “effective” at preventing “severe cases and deaths,” months after “breakthrough cases” became omnipresent, the CDC website remains replete with references stating that vaccines are effective at preventing “cases” and “infections.” For example, language at CDC sites tells us…

“ … COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections.”

“… The risk of infection remains much higher for unvaccinated than vaccinated people.”

“ … High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging.”

The following analysis presents the rates of recent COVID infection in one American state on a county-by-county basis with vaccination rates included. Readers can make their own judgments as to why the most heavily vaccinated counties are having the largest rates of outbreaks or why counties with the lowest-vaccination rates are NOT leading the state in “new cases.”

Highest Rates of Infection in Florida per County Jan. 6 – 13th

The following data shows the Florida counties that had an infection rate of 2,000 or more cases per 100,000 population in the past week. Note: State-wide, 72 percent of Floridians age five and older have been vaccinated. The “infection rate” for the entire state this past week was 1958 cases/100k population.

County (Percent Vaccinated 5+): Cases per 100,000 population

Dade (94 percent): 3,217/100k

Broward (82 percent): 2,453/100k

Alachua (69 percent): 2,392/100k

Madison (51 percent): 2,239/100k

Osceola (80 percent): 2222/100k

Monroe (82 percent): 2,154/100k

Orange: (75 percent): 2,114/100k

Polk (65 percent): 2064/100k

Hendry (58 percent): 2060/100k

Jefferson (56 percent): 2029/100k

Highest Infection Rates by County Dec. 31 – Jan. 6

The NEGATIVE correlation between vaccination rates and “cases per 100,000” was even more striking the prior week (Dec. 31 – Jan. 6 report*). Note: The “Cases per 100,000” average for the week of Dec. 31 – Jan. 6 was 1807/100k.

County (Percent vaccinated 5+): Cases per 100,000

Dade (93 percent): 3,797/100k

Broward (82 percent): 2,560/100k

Monroe (82 perent): 2,272/100k

Osceola (80 percent): 2014/100k

Palm Beach (74 percent): 1,963/100k

Orange: (74 percent): 1,917/100k

Counties Under 50 Percent Vaccination in Florida—Recent Infection Rates…

Florida has 14 counties where fewer than 50 percent of the county’s population (age 5+) is vaccinated. Here are those counties with their infection rates per 100,000 population this past week (Jan. 7 – Jan. 13).

No Florida county with a vaccination rate under 50 percent experienced “case rates” equal to or above the state average for the week (1,958 cases per 100,000 population):

County (Percent vaccinated 5+): Cases per 100,000 population

Holmes (32 percent): 1677/100k

Liberty (37 percent): 1731/100k

Calhoun (38 percent): 973/100k

Hamilton (38 percent): 1509/100k

Suwanee (40 percent): 1357/100k

Washington (40 percent): 1720/100k

Dixie (41 percent): 1081/100k

Gilchrist (43 percent): 1103/100k

Lafayette (44 percent):  966/100k

Taylor (45 percent): 1586/100k

Jackson (46 percent): 1551/100k

Hardee (47 percent): 1940/100k

Columbia (47 percent): 1647/100k

Bradford (48 percent): 1353/100k

Florida Counties with Lowest Infection Rates

Of the 18 counties with the lowest infection rates in Florida last week, 14 had lower vaccination rates than the state average of 72 percent. The average infection rate (“cases per 100,000 population”) for all Florida residents was 1,958.1/100,000 of the population.

County (Percent vaccinated 5+): Infection rate per 100,000

Glades (53 percent): 790/100k

Sumter (76 percent): 913/100k

Lafayette (44 percent):  966/100k

Calhoun (38 percent): 973/100k

Lafayette (44 percent):  966/100k

Dixie (41 percent): 1081/100k.

Charlotte (74 percent): 1101/100k

Gilchrist (43 percent): 1103/100k

Walton (58 percent): 1200/100k

Flagler (69 percent): 1259/100k

St. Johns (73 percent): 1274/100k

Nassau (63 percent): 1337/100k

Manatee (68 percent): 1337/100k

Hernando (60 percent): 1339/100k

Bradford (48 percent): 1353/100k

Suwanee (40 percent): 1357/100k

Collier (76 percent): 1369/100k

Desota (58 percent): 1384/100k

The data was even more striking the previous week (Dec. 31 – Jan. 6). The 16 counties listed below, which had the lowest infection rates in the state during this week, averaged 607 “cases per 100,000 population”—which is 66 percent lower than the state average of 1807 cases per 100,000 population.

The average vaccination rate for these 16 counties is 48.6 percent—23.4 percent lower than the state average of 72 percent. Nine of the 16 counties below have vaccination rates below 50 percent. Three counties have vaccination rates below 40 percent.

The Florida Department of Health data from Dec. 31 – Jan. 6 also shows the “new case positivity’ rates per county. Of the 16 counties below, the average “new case positivity’ percentage was 23.95 percent. The state average for all Florida residents for this same week was 31.2 percent.

Lowest Infection Rates per County Dec. 31 – Jan. 6, 2022

County (Percent vaccinated 5+): Cases per 100,000 population

Lafayette (44 percent):  295.5/100k

Dixie (41 percent): 489.9/100k

Glades (52 percent): 534.2/100k

Putnam (49 percent): 540.9/100k

Gilchrist (43 percent): 543.4/100k

Sumter (76 percent): 599.3/100k

Liberty (37 percent): 633.7/100k

Union (54 percent): 644.7/100k

Levy (53 percent): 649.8/100k

Holmes (31 percent): 653.1/100k

Desoto (57 percent): 680.1/100k

Washington (39 percent): 708.7/100k

Franklin (53 percent): 715.7/100k

Taylor (45 percent): 720.5/100k

Walton (58 percent): 768.5/100k

Columbia (46 percent): 778.5/100k

*Numbers for Dec. 31 – Jan. 6 have now been replaced with more recent data. The author believes the information he presents above is accurate as of the date it was published.

Bill Rice, Jr. is a freelance journalist in Troy, Alabama. He can be reached by email at

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Opposing Booster Shot Mandates and the Rest of the Coronavirus Crackdown at Universities

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | January 18, 2022

Across America in 2020, draconian restrictions were imposed in the name of countering coronavirus at just about every university, even though most college students, being relatively young and healthy, have been at very little risk of serious sickness or death from coronavirus.

Some people said “no thanks” to paying universities to harass and demean them with such restrictions, choosing, instead, to withdraw from or not enter college. Indeed, college enrollment in America is down over six percent — a loss of nearly a million students — since the Fall of 2019 semester that preceded the coronavirus scare. Other people grudgingly put up with the situation and tried to take advantage of opportunities they could find to experience some of the freedom universities were working hard to deny.

In the spring of 2021, many universities began announcing their plans to mandate students take experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shots. Some people hoped that the shots mandates would come with the permanent lifting of restrictions. But, at many universities it turned out to be just another requirement added on the pile.

Those shots mandates implemented by the fall of 2021 semester have been followed up at some of these universities with new mandates that the students take booster shots as well — booster shots that even European Union regulators and the World Health Organization are now advising against. The initial shots have proven ineffective and dangerous contrary to the insistence of politicians, big money media, and college administrators. The case for boosters of more of the same has become ludicrous.

Even if the shots were the miracle drug that was promised, in a free society the choice to take or not take this or other medical treatments would be left to individuals, not mandated. Over the last nearly two years of coronavirus crackdown, however, America has transitioned substantially farther from that free society ideal. Fortunately, some state and local governments have resisted this movement, and others that went along with it early on have reversed course, at least in part. This has led to the lifting of many restrictions, and the blocking of others including shots mandates, at some government-controlled universities. But, for many college students the coronavirus crackdown remains intense and threatens to grow with the addition of new mandates such as the mandate to take booster shots of the experimental coronavirus vaccines.

Students, as well as professors and other employees, at universities across America who want to challenge one of the latest additions to the coronavirus crackdown in higher education would do well to consider the strong arguments presented in a January 11 editorial by the editorial board of Chicago Thinker. The editorial presents a case against the University of Chicago’s recently announced mandate that students and employees, already required to have taken the initial coronavirus shots, take booster shots as well. The editorial board, comprised of University of Chicago students, presents in the editorial many well-reasoned arguments against the new mandate.

The editorial begins with the following statement before proceeding into detailed argument against the new mandate:

Per the University of Chicago’s newly announced booster mandate, all students and employees must obtain a booster shot by January 24. Those who do not comply will be barred from campus and restricted from attending in-person classes, among other activities.

This booster mandate is demonstrably unsafe, ineffective, unnecessary, inconsistent, and unethical. We’ve struggled beneath UChicago’s draconian COVID decrees for years, but the university’s booster mandate reaches a new height of absurdity.

UChicago Demands We Submit to Experimental Shots

UChicago claims to rely upon “expert” opinion in structuring its COVID regime. Yet, even advisory committees at the FDA and CDC initially declined to recommend the COVID booster for those under the age of 65.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee made an official recommendation to approve Pfizer’s application for boosters only for those 65 and older and certain high-risk populations after rejecting, in a 16-2 vote, Pfizer’s application for broader approval for the general population. The committee cited a lack of data on potential adverse effects, particularly the risks of developing myocarditis and pericarditis.

However, the FDA chose to cast aside this concern and granted “approval” anyways. ​​But even this “approval” is itself questionable. The FDA only granted approval to Comirnaty, a legally distinct version of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine that isn’t actually available in the United States. The version of the vaccine currently available in the US remains under Emergency Use Authorization, not formal approval.

Similarly, the CDC’s initial recommendation that Americans under the age of 65 receive boosters was made against the counsel of its own Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which voted to recommend boosters only for those over the age of 65 or who have underlying conditions. Director Rochelle Walensky overruled this vote in an unusual departure from agency protocol. The committee later reversed course, recommending a booster for 12-17 year olds. But the calculus behind its sudden 180-degree turn remains unclear, given that the initial concerns regarding myocarditis and pericarditis remain unresolved.

You can continue reading the Chicago Thinker editorial here.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

UK government hires ad agency to convince the public they don’t need privacy

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | January 17, 2022

The UK is stepping up its “war on encryption,” reports are saying, and like in any good old war, propaganda comes first to “prepare the ground.” And a new campaign is expected to launch as early as this month.

In this case, they call it publicity, with the Home Office being behind the effort whose goal is to sway public opinion in favor of undermining the privacy of the very members of that public – using their own money from public funds, to the tune of over half a million pounds.

Meanwhile the “hired gun” is ad agency M&C Saatchi. The Rolling Stone said it had a chance to review documents thanks to a Freedom of Information request, and that what it discovered were “some shockingly manipulative tactics.”

The main target seems to be Facebook’s Messenger app, specifically, the giant company’s move to better encrypt communications of its users. The government’s narrative is old – “think of the children” – the way many politicians try to push through policies of deeper and broader restrictions that eventually end up hurting everybody.

But the UK government appears to want to wrap that “classic” message in some new advertising glitz – as it launches what the Rolling Stone calls “a publicity blitz” to undermine privacy of people’s chats.

“We have engaged M&C Saatchi to bring together the many organizations who share our concerns about the impact end-to-end encryption would have on our ability to keep children safe,” said a statement from the Home Office.

The advertising agency has reportedly gone with visualizing end-to-end encryption – which safeguards people’s security and privacy online and keeps bad actors out – as something sinister and dark. The report says that this is done by putting two actors, an adult and a child, both appearing to be on their phones, in a glass box installed in a public space, which gradually becomes black.

The idea here is that allowing law enforcement near unfettered access to people’s communications would represent the clear glass, while encryption dims it until the goings on inside the box become invisible.

The documents, a presentation to get non-profits on side, also contains a slide saying that since “most of the public” is ignorant about end-to-end encryption they can be easily swayed, while the recommendation is not to allow the campaign to turn into “a privacy vs safety debate.”

But that’s exactly what it is, advocates suggest.

“The Home Office’s scaremongering campaign is as disingenuous as it is dangerous. Without strong encryption, children are more vulnerable online than ever. Encryption protects personal safety and national security… what the government is proposing puts everyone at risk,” said Robin Wilton, a director with the Internet Society.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

In a minority of one, the maskless would-be martyr

By Liz Hodgkinson | TCW Defending Freedom | January 17, 2022

As Nicola Sturgeon announces that the Scots may have to wear facemasks ‘for years to come’, all I can say is how glad I am that I don’t live in Scotland.

Since the new mask-wearing rules were introduced on November 30, I have refused to wear one and touch wood, fingers crossed, have got away with it.

In that time, I have been on buses, coaches, the London Underground, stayed in a hotel for three days over Christmas, been to the cinema and to the hairdresser, the beauty salon, nail bar and in many shops and supermarkets, blessedly mask-free. I have taken taxis all over the place. Only once have I been apprehended, and that was in Sainsbury’s, where a member of staff came up to me and asked: ‘Where is your mask, madam?’  I told him that I was medically exempt, and he nodded and went away.

In the hotel where I was staying, there were signs everywhere saying that masks were compulsory, and that anybody not wearing one may be reported to the authorities. Yet I did not wear one, nobody said anything and nor was I reported to the authorities.

I have also got away with not wearing a mask in a clinic where I went for hearing tests. I told the audiologist there that I didn’t believe in masks and he accepted it, although both he and the receptionist were wearing them, as were the other patients in the waiting room.

It is true that on buses I have been on the receiving end of some nasty stares, or as nasty as they can be when most of the faces and thus the expressions, of the other passengers, are hidden. It is also true that some people edge away from me as though I have got a deadly plague. My next-door neighbours, masked up to the eyeballs even when walking down the street, asked why I was not wearing a mask and I gave them the same response: ‘I am medically exempt.’  That, so far, has precluded further questioning although the truth is that I have exempted myself. I have no actual doctor’s exemption although if challenged, I have an exemption card in my wallet which I downloaded from a government site and which I can produce if demanded. So far, nobody has asked to see it.

The government website says quite plainly that if wearing a mask causes undue distress, you can exempt yourself from wearing one. In order to drive home the obvious fact that I am not wearing a mask, I make sure I am wearing bright red lipstick every time I leave the house. That way, I am making a clear statement that I am defying the rules and showing in no uncertain way that am proud to be mask-free.

We were warned that we could face on-the-spot fines of £200 if we refused to wear a mask on the London Underground. Since the end of November, I have taken the Tube many times, always maskless, and have never been confronted or asked to see proof of exemption. I decided that if I was fined, I would refuse to pay it and go to prison for my principles if it came to that. I would be a martyr for the cause! But none of the Underground staff has said a word and nor have any of the passengers. True, there are signs all over the place saying that masks are compulsory, both on trains and in stations, but I have just taken no notice.

The sad thing is that I seem to be in a minority of one. Everywhere I go, I am the only person, child or adult, who is not muzzled. It is monstrous that all secondary school pupils and children over the age of 11 have been told to wear masks in public indoor venues and on public transport. My neighbour, employed by Oxford University, says that she is required to wear a mask for work, even though most days she is the only person in the office. She also has to keep taking tests.

Actually, I am going further than not wearing a mask. I have never had a PCR or lateral flow test, not had the booster and am not going to have it, either in spite of Sir Chris Whitty telling me in the cinema that I must have it to protect myself and others. There are huge posters at bus stops and ads in every newspaper bullying me to get jabbed, but I ignore them all. And guess what? I have remained completely well, never had so much as a sniffle throughout all this so-called pandemic, while just about everybody I know who had had the jabs, the boosters, the tests and who never dares to venture out without a muzzle round their face, has had Covid or what passes for it. Most of my refusenik friends, the few I have left who are defying all the strictures, say the same.

The mask mandates in England at least are due to be reviewed on January 26 but if they are relaxed, as I expect them to be, I will place a bet here and now that the majority of people will continue to wear them and tell you that it is their choice. Such is the state of fear that governments don’t need to impose rules or threaten us with fines and imprisonment. We have become so cowed and terrified that we are imposing them on ourselves.

I just wonder how many people will be brave enough to defy the First Minister in Scotland, if she carries out her threat to make her compatriots wear masks for ever more?

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Rogue street art appears overnight in D.C., mocks Biden & Fauci’s COVID regime

“Mandate! Segregate! Subjugate!”

By Jordan Schachtel | The Dossier | January 15, 2022

I wanted to turn your attention to a handful of premier art masterpieces that have appeared overnight in Washington, D.C.

The artwork is a brilliant Soviet-style mockery of Joe Biden and Anthony Fauci COVID Mania regime. And seeing it appear in downtown Washington, D.C., the home of America’s ruling class and unquestioning COVID compliance, is the perfect setting for these absolute gems.

The first piece showcases an angry Joe Biden holding an OSHA-labeled mallet surrounded by the word “comply.” The second illustration, labeled, “good kids are compliant kids,” shows a handful of children in red masks looking up to an injection needle-surrounded Joe Biden. The third shows a sitting Joe Biden holding the coronavirus in his hand, with the caption, “Mandate! Segregate! Subjugate!” The last piece of artwork, “Trust The Scientism,” shows Anthony Fauci, dressed in clergy attire, possessing a giant hypodermic needle.

I particularly enjoy the Soviet propaganda style.

Here are the four posters lined up together, courtesy of Leigh Wolf’s Twitter page:

A DC Karen noticed the artwork and started to rip down the posters.

She was filmed desecrating the artwork by Leigh Wolf, a comms and production professional who happens to be a former colleague of mine at CRTV/Blaze Media Wolf spotted the artwork and took photos of it before it was ripped down.

I reached out to Leigh and asked if he had any inside info about how the artwork ended up in Washington D.C. Wolf told me he has no idea who put them up. I’ll post an update if I can find the artist behind these magnificent creations.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

How Confident is the Government in its ‘Evidence’ on Masks

It turns out — not certain at all!

Health Advisory and Recovery Team | January 15, 2022

Dr Val Fraser, retired Lecturer in Teacher Education, Subject Expert for Ofqual and former OFSTED School Inspector, puts the last UK Government’s mask missive under the linguistic microscope:

What is the “material evidence” Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary speaks of (TalkRadio Monday 3rd January 2022) for recommending face coverings to be worn in secondary school classrooms and, more importantly, how convincing is it? The government document entitled Evidence Summary: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the use of face coverings in education settings needs an understanding of ‘modality’ to help evaluate how robust this evidence is.

Modality is a term used in the study of grammar and linguistics to signal certainty.  Verbs qualified with modal verbs suggest whether an event or a claim is possible, probable, likely or certain.  The principal auxiliary modal verbs when placed on a continuum from possible to certain show this range: can, could, may, might, should, would, shall, must and will.

“Manchester United can win the league” is a hedging statement suggesting some caveats to be considered.  However, “Manchester United will win the league” is a definite statement of certainty and expectation. Advertisements make heavy use of modal verbs to sell their products without making claims that leave them open to legal difficulties. ‘Wrinkles can be reduced by up to 50%’ is a possibility of smoother skin that sells the product without over-promising.

Modality may also be conveyed by the use of adverbs. The famous example of “Probably the best lager in the world” steers Carlsberg away from litigation, whilst selling its product as a high quality one – “the best” is what resonates. Other adverbs making clear possibility, obligation and emphasis are: generally, maybe, perhaps, possibly, probably, promisingly, obviously, certainly, clearly and definitely. Again the range from least to most certain shows a continuum of expectation.

A document that is succinctly entitled Evidence Summary is a bold statement: the reader would expect to see certainty of claims, anchored in a secure evidence base and/or data providing concluding proof. However, an examination of the use of language in this particular document reveals a distinct hedging when it comes to the claims being made, in this case an attempt to underpin the government’s policy decision to recommend face coverings for secondary school classrooms.

Below are examples of how the document is using modality to avoid claiming any certainty for its evidence base:

  • ‘Face coverings can contribute to reducing transmission’. This is a general statement about the possibility (but not certainty) of masks helping to reduce viral spread.  There are two qualifiers in that clause: one is ‘can’: the author does not want to make a definite claim; the other is ‘contribute’: there are no claims that in and of itself masking is going to achieve a positive outcome.  This is an introductory comment and sets the tone for hedging, cautious claims and caveats. The same statement opens the main body of the text.
  • The reader is informed that the mode of transmission of the virus can be via droplets, aerosol particles and by contact. It is curious that, two years into the science studying the virus, that ‘can’ needed to be added.  A more definite statement such as ‘transmission occurs through’ would convey a more authoritative stance. Note again that possibility is being claimed not certainty. There are 17 uses of the modal verb ‘can’ revealing that this evidence submitted is peppered with a significant level of uncertainty and hedging of claims.
  • Could is used nine times. An example of this is, ‘Using a different maximum weighting threshold could result in slightly different results’. This is an alarming disclaimer for the validity of the claims provided as evidence.  ‘Could’ like ‘can’ distances the author from taking responsibility for a definite view or position.
  • We are further informed that masks ‘may further reduce risks of longer-range airborne transmission’. The term ‘may’ also indicates a possible but not a certain effect. There are 15 uses of the term ‘may’.
  • There is even less certainty in the document concerning how the Omicron variant is transmitted.  We are told it might show more airborne transmission (the reason for recommending masks now). When ‘might’ is used it is indicating guesswork.  The author is saying we simply don’t know and we have to signal that.

Modality and uncertainty are also conveyed through the use of adverbs as indicated above. An example is contained in this sentence: (researchers) ‘could explore expanding the time-period under study to potentially yield more precise estimates’.  Potentially is another term which pulls back from providing a more assertive claim for an outcome.  Moreover, this is only one of the three examples of the limitations of the evidence in that sentence: ‘could’ is used as prevaricator avoiding being drawn into a commitment to obtaining more concrete data (for the precise estimates – which in themselves, as estimates, are predictive not determined).

There are 42 uses of modal verbs and 18 uses of adverbs on the low certainty spectrum (as explained above). Why is the government presenting its findings in a tenuous and circumspect manner? Modality of language can be tracked in the methodology and findings of its ‘research’ but, more importantly, we can see the limitations of the research itself, which obliges the authors to also limit the claims they can present as evidence.

We learn from the research design that:

  • To evaluate the efficacy of face masks in schools they examined attendance rates, with no compelling rationale for this perceived correlation being offered.
  • The data collection period was from two separated out weeks in October 2021 which included some missing data.
  • They candidly state that it is a ‘preliminary, experimental analysis, which would benefit from robust external peer review to a longer timescale’.
  • They further cast doubt on their findings when they acknowledge that the results may not have any statistical significance as the differential is within a chance outcome.
  • They did not isolate the variables to be sure that face coverings were the determining factor in lowering absence rates. Further they state the study did not draw data for long enough time periods and different methodologies would have yielded different results.
  • The schools categorised as mask wearing ones were not a homogenous group in terms of their defined use.  Some used them only for communal areas and some for classroom use too but they were not differentiated for that within the categorisation.
  • Other variables such as Local Authority guidance and implementation and local rates of cases and infection were not considered.
  • The raw results showed that non-masking schools had a significantly lower absence rate and it was only after modelling that a positive outcome was found. The authors concede that using different assumptions for this modelling, different “weighting thresholds”, could result in different results.
  • They advise that a more robust study would go onto consider community COVID-19 case rates, regional data (LA, information on LA wider response to COVID-19, etc), other characteristics of pupils (proportion of pupils with SEND, etc) and any information on differential use of face coverings and would offer more reassurance about the validity of this evidence than they can currently provide.
  • They found that absence rates in the control group (unmasked) remain lower overall than those in the treatment group (masked). This is a surprising admission towards the end of the report.
  • The researchers consulted other studies.  This research method would normally give more validity to the findings, in terms of the triangulation of data with their own.  However, they had to acknowledge that the results from those were inconclusive, ‘mixed’ and the majority were observational studies, with only 2 RCTs, neither involving schools.
  • No data was available on Omicron: the variant of the virus for which the recommendations were being brought in to address.

The qualifications and caveats above reveal the report is at best a tentative proposal, which has not been subject to the usual quality assurance procedures before publication. The research design points to an insecure hypothesis between mask wearing and attendance rates which was neither explained, tested beforehand nor validated after. The methodologies did not keep the variables stable and therefore did not isolate the variable (masks) they were expecting to be able to analyse and base the claims upon. The results did not provide a secure evidence base to form a compelling case for recommending face coverings.

With these limitations in the research study, a reader would expect to see, as indeed is clear, a report sewn together with tenuous arguments, circumspect claims and qualified results and recommendations. The only way to compose such a report is prolific use of modal verbs and adverbs as indicated above.

Yet the harms of wearing face coverings in educational settings are openly stated in the report and couched in more definite measurable claims and certainty of language:

  • 80% of pupils reported that wearing a face covering made it difficult to communicate, and 55% felt wearing one made learning more difficult.
  • Wearing face coverings may have physical side effects and impair face identification, verbal and non-verbal communication between teacher and learner.
  • Almost all secondary leaders and teachers (94%) thought that wearing face coverings has made communication between teachers and students more difficult, with 59% saying it has made it a lot more difficult.
  • Research into the effect of mask wearing on communication has found that concealing a speaker’s lips led to lower performance, lower confidence scores, and increased perceived effort on the part of the listener.
  • Meta-cognitive monitoring was worse when listening in these conditions compared with listening to an unmasked talker.
  • A survey of impacts on communication with mask wearing …. reported that face coverings negatively impact hearing, understanding, engagement, and feelings of connection with the speaker.
  • People with hearing loss were impacted more than those without hearing loss. The inability to see facial expressions and to read lips have a major impact on speech understanding for those with hearing impairments.
  • The WHO reports that “the wearing of masks by children with hearing loss or auditory problems may present learning barriers and further challenges”.

Note the more certain arguments (some with precise percentages attached) in the above for the harms of mask wearing and especially for children. There are far fewer modal verbs used and the claims are, in the main, unambiguous: ‘were impacted’, ‘negatively impact’, ‘was worse’, ‘led to’. ‘made worse’, ‘more difficult’. The evidence for the harms of face coverings is measurable, precise, unambiguous and certain and the language used for presenting the evidence base, is equally unequivocal.

It would seem that Nadhim Zahawi’s promised ‘material’ evidence for his recommendations for face coverings in secondary classrooms is as flimsy as some of the cloth masks our teenagers will need to resort to using, as they do their best to cope with the challenges of learning in 2022.

In conclusion, perhaps we should ponder on the one piece of data expressed as a precise statistic, which might be driving this new guidance, namely: ‘71% of UNISON support staff thought face coverings in schools were an important safety measure’. If our Education Secretary has sacrificed children’s learning and social communication opportunities in schools, to appease Trade Unions, he will have to provide much more compelling evidence that schools are in any way unsafe for children or staff than he currently has. He has stiff opposition in the form of 150 comparative studies, peer reviewed with robust research, which come to the very definite and certain conclusion that, “to date, the evidence has been stable and clear that masks do not work to control the virus”. There is not a whisper of modality in that concluding statement either.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

What did they know and when did they know it?

By Neville Hodgkinson | TCW Defending Freedom | January 17, 2022

WHEN the public awakens to the great betrayal of both health and science surrounding the handling of Covid, it will be important not to let anger run riot. After all, the mistakes have taken place on a global scale, even leading a nation such as Australia, which we previously thought of as civilised and sensible, to behave like a despotic banana republic both towards its own citizens and in ill-treating unvaccinated tennis players wanting to enter the country.

But that doesn’t mean we should hold back in our efforts to understand and deal with this disastrous aberration in human consciousness, whose dire consequences have been spelled out comprehensively by public health specialist Dr Alan Mordue.

One root of the global nature of the crisis, now more and more coming to light, is the extraordinary power wielded by a tiny group of scientists to dictate World Health Organisation (WHO) policy, from which the rest of the world took its lead.

Email disclosures show not only a deliberate plot to hide the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2, making it out to have jumped naturally from bats into humans, but how a WHO inquiry was rigged to reach the same conclusion.

This issue has immense implications. If the virus really did make a random ‘jump’ across species, we could be at risk of similar future events. Pleas to provide billions in public funds for research and development of more drugs and vaccines could be justified to help prepare for such threats to global health security.

Uncertainty arising from such a freak of nature would also justifiably have been used to argue for at least temporary measures of draconian control, to protect health services until the true threat could be assessed.

If on the other hand the virus was a laboratory escapee resulting from ‘gain-of function’ research by American and Chinese scientists – now as good as proven – would governments and the public have been so ready to trust the scientists with even more money and power? Or ‘trust the science’, as the Prime Minister kept telling us?

Jeremy Farrar, boss of the UK’s Wellcome Trust, wrote to US health chiefs Francis Collins and Tony Fauci on February 5, 2020 – almost two years ago, just after WHO had declared Covid a global health emergency – to explain how the WHO inquiry would be staffed to support the animal origin theory.

A few days earlier, Farrar had emailed Fauci and Patrick Vallance, the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser, copying in six others including Paul Schreier, Wellcome’s chief operating officer, about a teleconference called to discuss the virus’s provenance. His email said: ‘Information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on next steps.’

That followed a late-night warning by immunologist Kristian Anderson of the Scripps research Institute in California that the virus had features which might make it look as if it had been genetically engineered in a laboratory. Anderson sent that email to Fauci on the evening of January 31, the day WHO announced an emergency, copying in only one other person – Jeremy Farrar.

As I reported last week, despite knowing a laboratory origin was likely, the group was anxious not to weaken confidence in science by allowing that possibility to reach the public. Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health at the time, told Farrar: ‘I share your view that a swift convening of experts in a confidence-inspiring framework is needed or the voicers of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony.’ 

So to protect the good name of science, the group chose a strategy that was the opposite of scientific, in that it suppressed rather than encouraged open investigation and rational discussion of evidence.

But did the motives run deeper than that?

Robert Kennedy Jr, an American lawyer and environmental activist, made the case in a recent book that a web of corruption has been polluting medical science internationally for decades, fuelled by massive misuse of public funds. As director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci dispenses more than $6billion a year in taxpayer funds for research, and Kennedy says he uses this to ruin, advance or reward the careers and institutions of thousands of doctors and scientists.

As part of what Kennedy calls a ‘vaccines cartel’, Fauci also partners Bill Gates, who uses tax-deductible dollars to fund research from which the investment arm of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gains massively – including a big stake in Pfizer.

Gates has huge influence over WHO as its second-biggest funder after the US administration. That influence also extends into the heart of the British medical and scientific establishment. It includes working closely with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British pharmaceutical giant, for which Vallance was previously a top executive.

The Gates foundation has also given more than $250million to media companies around the world, most of whom have given unquestioning support to the Covid vaccine rollout and discriminatory, fear-inducing policies aimed at encouraging its take-up, despite its experimental nature.

Media beneficiaries in the UK include the BBC, Guardian and Financial Times. Incredibly, the UK’s Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approved the Covid jabs – even for children – has also received several million pounds.

A similar strategy to Gates’s has enriched and empowered Farrar’s Wellcome Trust, which distributes £1billion annually for global health research. It has an investment portfolio of nearly £30billion, growing at about 12 per cent per annum over the past decade.

Farrar was a senior member of Sage, the UK Government’s advisory body on Covid, until last October, and is a founding member of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which gave $1billion to help Covid vaccine development.

The Wellcome Trust’s website claims to offer ‘a collection of quick and simple resources on how Covid-19 vaccines work, how we know they’re safe, and how they can be distributed to everyone around the world’.

In March last year, the British Medical Journal reported that the trust stood to gain financially from the pandemic through its investments, raising questions about transparency and accountability. A trust spokesman disputed this, saying they ‘would never make decisions or advise others about the pandemic response for a reason other than public health’.

But according to Mordue, a retired consultant in public health medicine, the public’s health has suffered immensely from the policies the UK pursued. He mourns the lack of relevant expertise among government and media spokesmen; the ‘inadequate and inaccurate’ case definition; the false ‘worst-case’ scenarios produced by modellers; the failure to protect the most vulnerable; the lack of cost-benefit analysis that would have kept society, the education system and the economy functioning while protecting the most vulnerable; and the failure to follow the principle ‘first do no harm’ in the mass rollout of an experimental vaccine. He also deplores the way a Sage sub-group deliberately sought to heighten fear and alarm as a means of driving compliance with Covid measures.

‘What has happened amounts to a betrayal of the specialty of public health and all the principles and values it used to stand for, and a betrayal of the health of the population,’ he writes.

‘What mystifies me is why my former colleagues and the UK professional body charged with developing and maintaining standards in the public health specialty, namely the Faculty of Public Health, have been so quiet through the whole of this pandemic.’

Vallance’s involvement in those crucial early decisions on how SARS-CoV-2 was to be handled, with their subsequent impact on public health decisions globally, raises questions about his fitness to continue in such a vital role as chief scientific officer for the UK.

He was revealed by the Telegraph back in in 2020 to have a £600,000 shareholding in GSK, having already cashed in more than £5million worth of shares received during his tenure at GSK as president of research and development. Claims of a conflict of interest, because of GSK’s own Covid drug and vaccine research and development, were denied by Matt Hancock, Health Secretary at the time.

Leaving aside his financial interest and affiliation to Big Pharma, it was his duty to offer rigorously objective scientific advice to the Government at a time of such crisis. Did that happen? That’s a central question that the forthcoming public inquiry into the pandemic, announced last month, will need to answer.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

Spanish Police Declare Resistance To Covid Tyranny and Corruption

State That They Are United With Police Forces Across Europe

By Celia Farber | The Truth Barrier | January 17, 2022

See the clip from Valencia, Spain here:

”We promised to protect and serve the people not the corrupt politicians. We feel very proud to be police but real police, not hit men of the government.

Our association is in direct contact with members of security forces in Italy, Portugal, France, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, and Holland.

We’re going to join together all of the police of Europe. We’re going to stop this.

The security forces and the armed forces are the key to all of this.

We have to put ourselves on the side of the people, and turn our backs on the corrupt governments!

We have denounced the Covid passport here in Valencia with our association.

We’re going to demand responsibility from Señor Marlasca for the two states of emergency, and for using the police and the guardia civil to coerce the citizens. We don’t support that.”

This seems to be a critical development, and one we will keep close tabs on.

Thanks to Pélerine for this news tip.

Incidentally, Pélerine was selected as an outstanding reviewer of Robert F. Kennedy’s The Real Anthony Fauci by The Defender, linked here.

Congratulations Pélerine!

And congratulations to all the good police men and women of Europe, keeping your oath to protect, and risking your lives and livelihoods to do so. We salute your courage, and keep you in prayer.

Translated with the help of sources in Spain who wished to remain anonymous.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | January 13, 2022

Two years into the pandemic, the tired narrative of legacy media & public health authoritarians like Fauci, has almost completely reversed from driving fear of the Covid, to ‘we must learn to live with this virus’. So why have Fauci & Co. made such an abrupt ‘about face?’

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment