The pre-print study posted on May 25 replicated a "highly-cited" study by the public health agency associating mandatory face coverings with a reduction in COVID-19 cases among students. The authors then extended the study using a larger sample of districts and a longer time interval, "empl0ying almost six times as much data as the original study."
"Replicating the CDC study shows similar results. However, incorporating a larger sample and longer period showed no significant relationship between mask mandates and case rates," wrote study authors Ambarish Chandra of the University of Toronto and Dr. Tracy Beth Hoeg of the University of California, Davis.
"School districts that choose to mandate masks are likely to be systematically different from those that do not in multiple, often unobserved, ways."
Chandra and Hoeg mentioned three reasons why school districts who opt to make face masks compulsory are different from those opting for health freedom.
"First, the former are likely to invest in other measures to mitigate transmission and may differ by testing rates and practices.
"Second, the choices made by school districts reflect the attitudes and behavior of their community. Communities that are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 are also likely to implement other measures, even outside of schools, that may eventually result in lower spread within schools.
"Finally, the timing of public health interventions is likely to be correlated with that of private behavioral changes. Public health measures are introduced when case counts are high, which is precisely when community members are likely to react to media coverage and change their own behavior."
The authors concluded by saying that they were unable to find "the same evidence that school mask mandates are associated with a reduction in county pediatric COVID-19 cases," adding that "observational studies can be misleading when used to guide public health policy." (Related: Researchers unable to replicate heavily-cited CDC study used to support mask mandates in school.)
The study by Chandra and Hoeg expounded on the earlier findings of a paper posted on Sept. 25, 2021 by the CDC. The study, penned by Samantha Budzyn of the CDC's COVID-19 Response Team and her colleagues, rationalized the need for schoolchildren to mask up. They looked at different counties' COVID-19 data from July 1 until Sept. 4 of that year.
"Counties without school mask requirements experienced larger increases in pediatric COVID-19 case rates after the start of school, compared with counties that had school mask requirements," said the CDC study. "The results of this analysis indicate that increases in pediatric COVID-19 case rates during the start of the 2021-22 school year were smaller in U.S. counties with school mask requirements than in those without school mask requirements."
Budzyn and her colleagues reiterated in their paper that "school mask requirements, in combination with other prevention strategies, are critical to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools."
At least two doctors took to social media to decry the September 2021 CDC study that rationalized mask mandates in schools.
Texas-based cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough tweeted: "[The study by] Chandra and Hoeg [published in] Lancet [shows] no benefit of school public masking in ecological analysis. No difference in pediatric cases which are characteristically mild and easily managed, even in high risk cases or those with rare severe symptoms."
Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) lauded the paper by Chandra and Hoeg as a "brilliant re-analysis of the data the CDC used [to] justify school masking." The British-American surgeon, who teaches at both JHU's medicine and public health arms, used stronger words in his denouncement of the CDC study.
"This study demonstrates how the CDC was cherry-picking data to support their school mask dogma. The article states that [the] CDC rejected publishing this re-analysis, most likely because it exposed the CDC's salami-slicing of data and use of science as political propaganda."
True enough, Chandra and Hoeg acknowledged the CDC's rejection in their paper. They wrote: "Our expanded version of the original Budzyn et al publication was not accepted for publication by MMWR despite using the same methods, but with an expanded population and time frame. This bias can lead to the published 'science' being a self-fulfilling prophecy rather than an unbiased pursuit of truth."
Watch this April 2021 video of a concerned parent calling on officials to drop the mask mandates for school children below.
This video is from the TruthAndFreedom1 channel on Brighteon.com.