CDC Director Caught Lying To The House Committee on Appropriations About Face Masks & COVID Transmission?
Walensky seems set on defending the CDC's still evidenceless position on masks.
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On April 19th CDC director Rochelle Walensky provided witness testimony to the House Appropriations Committee. She faced a series of questions regarding all things COVID as the committee was considering the budget requests for the CDC, the NIH, and the ASPR.
During the hearing, Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) asked Walensky about the popular Cochrane mask review that was published by a highly respected Oxford research team. This review emphasized that there’s no evidence showing masks are effective during a pandemic or that wearing face masks in the community prevents viral transmission.
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“I think it’s notable, that the Editor-in-Chief of Cochrane, actually said that the summary of the review was…(stumble)…she retracted the summary of that review and said it was inaccurate.”
But this isn’t true, the summary was never retracted and nothing about it has been changed at all or deemed as inaccurate.
In response to Walensky’s comments, Tom Jefferson, lead author of the Cochrane study said, “Walensky is plain wrong. There has been no retraction of anything.”
He went on to state:
“It’s worth reiterating that we are the copyright holders of the review, so we decide what goes in or out of the review and we will not change our review on the basis of what the media wants or what Walensky says,”
Adding Some Context
Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor-in-Chief of the Cochrane Library, released a statement on behalf of Cochrane on March 10, 2023, stating the following:
“Many commentators have claimed that a recently-updated Cochrane Review shows that 'masks don't work', which is an inaccurate and misleading interpretation.
It would be accurate to say that the review examined whether interventions to promote mask wearing help to slow the spread of respiratory viruses, and that the results were inconclusive. Given the limitations in the primary evidence, the review is not able to address the question of whether mask-wearing itself reduces people's risk of contracting or spreading respiratory viruses.“
Perhaps this is the statement/summary that Walensky was referring to, and she just stumbled with her words. But why would a scholar and a doctor use the word “retracted” when talking about a specific publication and not refer to a statement as a statement? Clearly, she knows and knew what the word “retracted” implies. The fact that she said that any part of the review was retracted was completely inaccurate, and as pointed out above, many academics and experts in the field felt she was knowingly lying.
That being said, it’s noteworthy to re-iterate that the authors of the review stated that mask wearing “probably makes little to no difference” when it comes to stopping the transmission of the virus. Many academics have referred to the statement above as completely incorrect.
At the end of the day, it’s quit clear that there there is no evidence masks work, yet officials kept saying they were “following the science.” Yet Walensky still tried to protect their unscientific view by claiming the summary of the review was retracted.
Leaders of federal health agencies like the CDC are supposed to provide accurate and truthful information, but for years it seems that they’ve been doing the complete opposite.
Even prior to this hearing when asked about the review, Walensky downplayed it, arguing that it was flawed because it focused on randomized controlled studies. This was also confusing because this was the greatest strength of the review! Randomized studies are considered the gold standard of medical evidence.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weaponized research itself by putting out its own flawed studies in its own non-peer-reviewed medical journal, MMWR. In the final analysis, public health officials actively propagated misinformation that ruined lives and forever damaged public trust in the medical profession.”
- Dr. Marty Makary. surgeon and public policy researcher at Johns Hopkins University.
Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) also asked Walensky if her March 2021 public statement on MSNBC, in which she unequivocally said that “vaccinated people do not carry the virus, they do not get sick” was accurate.
“At the time it was [accurate]” Walensky replied, and then explained that “We’ve had an evolution of the science and an evolution of the virus” and that “all the data at the time suggested that vaccinated people, even if they got sick, could not transmit the virus.”
This was another lie. It’s been quite clear that COVID vaccines do not stop transmission.
Despite the broad recognition that vaccination does not reduce transmission, the mandates persisted, and still do to this day.
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