We’ve been told time and again to “listen to the experts” and “trust the science.” What happens when the “experts” disagree on the “science”?
While Americans are being advised by medical experts that cloth facemasks are absolutely necessary for preventing the spread of the coronavirus and Dr. Fauci says we should add goggles while Dr. Birx suggests face shields, the medical experts in the Netherlands are saying the opposite. Holland’s top scientists have said that the efficacy of face coverings isn’t conclusive and that some studies show that they can even help spread illness.
The nation’s top scientists, having examined key data and research, have declared there is no firm evidence to back the use of face coverings. Indeed, they argue that wearing the wretched things may actually hamper the fight against disease.
‘Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence,’ said Coen Berends, spokesman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. ‘There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.’
This is a bold but highly controversial stance – especially as fears grow of a second wave sweeping through Europe. Last week, Downing Street joined the global stampede to enforce face masks in public spaces such as shops, supermarkets and stations, following Scotland, Spain and France, along with Holland’s neighbouring nations of Belgium and Germany.
The Daily Mail reports that Dutch experts have evaluated and reevaluated the use of masks during the pandemic and have decided that mask mandates “detract” from the focus on the three-pronged approach of handwashing, social distancing of 1.5 meters (6 feet), and staying home if exhibiting symptoms.
Holland’s position is based on assessments by the Outbreak Management Team, a group of experts advising the government. It first ruled against masks in May and has re-evaluated the evidence several times, including again last week.
But Holland hasn’t exactly banned masks, they’re just not the focus. Masks are actually mandated for taking public transit because social distancing isn’t really possible.
The one exception outside of the medical frontline has been on public transport, where masks are mandatory on the basis it is difficult to stay apart on crowded buses, ferries and trains. ‘We have seen this approach works,’ said Christian Hoebe, a professor of infectious diseases in Maastricht and member of the advisory team. ‘Face masks should not be seen as a magic bullet that halts the spread.
‘The evidence for them is contradictory. In general, we think you must be careful with face masks because they can give a false sense of security. People think they’re immune from disease or stop social distancing. That is very negative.’
ClashDaily has reported that there are some conflicting reports on the efficacy of masks as well as other…issues.
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Despite the stance on mandatory mask use, Holland has seen a recent rise in reported cases. In a country of 17 million people, Holland has had 6,147 deaths from the CCP virus.
As in some other European countries, Holland has seen an alarming recent rise in reported infections, which have almost doubled to 1,329 cases over the past two weeks, combined with marginally higher rates of hospitalisation and fatality.
Yet the cabinet’s advisory team says this was driven by clusters of people infecting each other at family gatherings and parties, where they would not have worn masks regardless of any changes to rules about public spaces.
Another outbreak came from a bar in Hillegom, near Amsterdam, where the owners told customers they could sit close together, shake hands and hug since the virus was dormant. ‘We know what we are doing,’ they wrote on Facebook. They were quickly proved wrong, however, after 39 cases were traced to the bar. It has since been closed and the social media post removed.
Source: Daily Mail
It’s pretty clear that there is conflicting information everywhere and it’s from both sides. That is because the Chinese Communist Party, the World Health Organization, the global media, medical “experts,” and politicians of every stripe have politicized a global pandemic. Who suffers from that? We all do.