The latest of clashes between Sen. Rand Paul (I-KY) and National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci came Tuesday during a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee hearing. During the hearing, Paul pressed Fauci on the origins of the coronavirus.
Paul brought up the controversial “gain of function” branch of research, which studies how to improve virus pathogens in animals in order to cause disease in humans. The Kentucky senator referred to it as “juicing them up.”
“Government scientists like yourself who favor gain of function research,” Paul began his questioning.
“I don’t favor gain of function research in China,” Fauci interrupted “You are saying things that are not correct.”
Paul went on as if he hadn’t been interrupted: “[Those who favor gain of function] say that COVID-19 mutations were random and not designed by man.”
But, Paul mentioned that even the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology scoured her own lab for evidence that the virus was created there. “The director of the gain of function research in Wuhan couldn’t sleep because she was terrified that it might be in her lab!” Paul said. The director was reportedly relieved when she found no evidence.
“I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done,” Fauci responded. He agreed with Paul and said he is in favor of further investigation. But he wanted to make it clear that his organization was not involved in its origins. “We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said. “No matter how many times you say it, it didn’t happen.”
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Prestigious Science Journals Confirm Censored Views: Masks at Best Don’t Reduce COVID Infection
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.
That’s now two major reviews in top journals (Cochrane and BMJ) revealing no benefit to public masking. At this point any mask mandate is essentially political, unscientific, and yes–cruel.
— Artur Adib (@r2r) December 4, 2023
“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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