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Horowitz: The danger of the momentum behind N95 respirators

Op-ed
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Were the cloth masks just for psychological training purposes to get us to the main course of obsequious servitude to the gods of Fauci?

It took nearly two years, but the “public health experts” are finally admitting what industrial hygienists knew from day one: Masks do not work against airborne viruses. Yet rather than immediately remove these draconian restrictions – including masking 2-year-olds on airplanes and schoolchildren for hours on end in many states – they are seamlessly gliding into the new position of promoting N95 respirators. Following the inveterate patterns of the past two years, they use the failure of their first position to their advantage to further panic people into blindly following their next recommendation ... until that becomes a mandate as well.

On Jan. 2, former FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb, the media’s go-to “expert” on all things pandemic, admitted what we all knew since 2020 but that got us banned from social media for saying so. “Cloth masks aren't going to provide a lot of protection, that's the bottom line,” said Gottlieb on Meet the Press. “This is an airborne illness. We now understand that, and a cloth mask is not going to protect you from a virus that spreads through airborne transmission.”

Well, some of us knew that early on in the pandemic.

Two days later, the New York Times ran an article telling people where to get N95s, states began mailing out N95 variations, and the CDC put out a new message, which between the lines, gives the impression that if you are not wearing an N95, you don’t really have protection. The Biden administration plans to distribute millions of them to local pharmacies. But is there really any evidence that the same people who were wrong about masks are now suddenly connected to God’s word when it comes to respirators? And who says it is safe for people to wear something like that for long periods of time, which until now required rigorous testing, medical exams, and training?

Yes, N95s, unlike masks, actually meet the standard for PPE in hazardous environments. But for which sort of hazard? Not an airborne respiratory virus. Stephen Petty, a certified industrial hygienist and hazardous exposure expert, sent me a copy of an N95 usage label made by 3M that he enlarged into an infographic. It turns out the company's own disclosure blows up the myth of using an N95 for viral protection.

The label confirms what everyone understood prior to the mask mania of COVID: Neither masks nor N95 respirators can stop aerosols, certainly not viral ones, which are much smaller than bacteria. What's truly revealing is that the label recommends against relying on them for source protection even against asbestos particles, which are on average 5 microns – 50 times larger than SARS-CoV-2 virions.

A large randomized controlled trial published just months before the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 — before masking became a political and social control tool — showed no benefit to N95s over surgical masks in terms of protection against the flu. "Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza," concluded the authors of the large trial, published in JAMA on Sept. 3, 2019.

Also, remember, that most people are not wearing sealed N95s. They wear the respirators loosely on their faces as they do surgical masks. Also, many of them are the Chinese version KN95s. Even the CDC admits, “About 60% of KN95 respirators NIOSH evaluated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 did not meet the requirements that they intended to meet.”

The same study (Shah et.al.) that found just 10% and 12% reduction in aerosols for cloth and blue surgical masks respectively, actually found that KN95s worn improperly with 3mm gaps between the face and the respirator, as most people wear them, only offer 3.4% filtration efficiency – less than the cloth masks.

And remember, these studies are all conducted in labs, not in the real world, where no study has shown a statistically significant benefit to masks, and the basic epidemiological data has disproven the efficacy for two years.

Take Austria, for example, where they have been mandating N95 respirators in stores. Can you spot the efficacy?

The notion that children can properly wear a form-fitted N95 that effectively seals is both absurd and dangerous. And anything else will absolutely not work. There’s clearly an inverse relationship between safety and efficacy. The only thing that might possibly work will cause danger, which is why the federal government has long mandated very specific criteria for wearing respirators.

“While some misrepresent N95s as masks, they are actually respirators and will require one to follow the OSHA requirements for respirators under the Respiratory Protection Standard (RPS) 29 CFR 1910.134 (e.g., written program, medical clearance, initial fit testing, annual fit testing, no facial hair, worker training),” said Petty in an interview with TheBlaze. Stephen Petty has served as an expert witness in hundreds of industrial hazardous exposure court cases and now serves as a witness for those bringing lawsuits against irresponsible mask mandates. Here is a list of OSHA requirements, per Petty’s presentation, that would have to be met for usage of N95 respirators:

There’s a good reason why these requirements were put in place by OSHA. To the extent one actually properly seals an N95 respirator to the face (which few will do), it causes significant medical concerns. Here are some findings from an extremely exhaustive qualitative and substantive evaluation of 65 mask studies by German researchers:

In nine of the 11 scientific papers (82%), we found a combined onset of N95 respiratory protection and carbon dioxide rise when wearing a mask. We found a similar result for the decrease in oxygen saturation and respiratory impairment with synchronous evidence in six of the nine relevant studies (67%). N95 masks were associated with headaches in six of the 10 studies (60%). For oxygen deprivation under N95 respiratory protectors, we found a common occurrence in eight of 11 primary studies (72%).

Thus, to the extent anyone could achieve a meaningful degree of efficacy against virus particles with a respirator – something yet to be proven – it will come at a terrible cost. Even with regular masks, before our public health officials lost their minds (and hearts), it was understood that they are not harm-free. Here is a write-up from the Missoula, Montana, city health department recommending against the use of masks during wildfire season in Montana:

Masks are uncomfortable (they are more comfortable when they are leaky – but then they do not provide protection). They increase resistance to airflow. This may make breathing more difficult and lead to physiological stress, such as increased respiratory and heart rates. Masks can also contribute to heat stress. Because of this, mask use by those with cardiac and respiratory diseases can be dangerous, and should only be done under a doctor’s supervision. Even healthy adults may find that the increased effort required for breathing makes it uncomfortable to wear a mask for more than short periods of time. Breathing resistance increases with respirator efficiency.

The Montana Department of Health emphatically writes in bolded letters that N95s that seal are the only things that might help against smoke particles (which are around 1 micron, 10 times larger than most viral virions), but warns of health risks. “Note that respirator masks should be a last resort, as they are difficult to fit correctly, decrease oxygen intake, are hot, and can easily leak when worn improperly.” They go on to add, “People who are not physically fit may experience difficulty going about daily tasks due to reduced oxygen intake. It is more important to have enough oxygen than to have clean air - if you are using a respirator and feel faint, nauseous, or have trouble breathing, take the mask off.”

On the Washington Department of Health’s website guidance for wildfires, it is made clear that “masks are not approved for children” and that “it is harder to breathe through a mask, so take breaks often if you work outside.” The Sacramento County Department of Health Services states, "N95 respirator can make it more difficult for the wearer to breathe due to carbon dioxide buildup, which reduces the intake of oxygen, increased breathing rates, and heart rates."

Just a year ago, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky swatted down the idea of wearing N95s. “They're very hard to breathe in when you wear them properly," Walensky said. "They're very hard to tolerate when you wear them for long periods of time."

Thus, whether we are talking about masks or N95s, it’s quite evident that they are either unsafe or ineffective. They can often be both unsafe and ineffective, but they can never be effective without being unsafe, unless worn by the right person with the right training in limited environments for short periods of time.

And this is just the scope of physical harm. One speech therapist in Palm Beach County is seeing a 364% increase in referrals from pediatricians for babies and toddlers with speech delays. "It's very important that kids do see your face to learn, so they're watching your mouth,” said a clinic director and speech-language pathologist at the Speech and Learning Institute in North Palm Beach.

How our governments can mandate something this immoral and illogical on our bodies indefinitely without due process, evidentiary standards, or a constitutional interest balancing test is astounding. Every state needs a constitutional amendment explicitly banning this from ever happening again. Biden promised 100 days of mask-wearing, but we are now approaching a full year without any end in sight.

Just remember, if a government can criminalize our breathing without due process, what can it not do to us without recourse?
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