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Prestigious Science Journals Confirm Censored Views: Masks at Best Don’t Reduce COVID Infection

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Just The News reports that a prestigious science journal has confirmed what was highly censored among social media regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic: “the best-case scenario for one of the most common COVID-19 interventions may be that it has no measurable effect on infection.”

A systematic review of studies of mask mandates for children, published Saturday in the British Medical Journal‘s Archives of Disease in Childhood, found “no association” with infection or transmission in 16 of the 22 observational studies and “critical” or “serious” risk of bias in the six countervailing studies. It got the attention of Elon Musk, owner of X, formerly Twitter.

Emails turned over under public records requests show that National Institutes of Health officials were privately questioning the effectiveness of cloth masks and forthcoming vaccines just a month after then-NIH Director Francis Collins appeared to plot with colleagues to organize a “quick and devastating take down” of the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration.

Self-reported SARS-CoV-2 infection was higher the more often people said they wore masks, according to a Norwegian study accepted for publication Nov. 13 in the Cambridge University Press journal Epidemiology and Infection.

An analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Nov. 20 suggests that “scientific censorship is often driven by scientists” and not just “authoritarian officials with dark motives, such as dogmatism and intolerance,” as popularly believed.

The paper, co-authored by dozens of scholars known for challenging orthodoxies in their fields, cited “self-protection, benevolence toward peer scholars, and prosocial concerns for the well-being of human social groups” as motives for censorious scientists.

Heterodox COVID scholarship may suffer hard-to-prove “camouflaged censorship” by way of “double standards” applied to such research, the paper states.

The findings cast further doubt on the practice of not only public health authorities but scientists themselves in demonizing science-based skepticism of the effectiveness of COVID interventions, particularly in relation to their potential medical, mental and social harms.

“Masking recommendations appear to be entirely based on mechanistic and observational data,” they wrote, noting that a much broader systematic review of mask RCTs by the research collaborative Cochrane concluded masks make “little to no difference” against flu or COVID.

(Cochrane unilaterally reinterpreted the study to downplay its findings, over the authors’ objections, after facing media scrutiny.)

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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