- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health experts with Johns Hopkins just came forward and agreed with Anthony Fauci that double masking — piling a mask on top of a mask over face and nose — is “helpful” in the fight against the coronavirus.

“Helpful.” There’s a scientific finding for ya. Does that mean if one face mask is good, two better, then three would be even better?

Subtitle this: The Death of Critical Thinking.

Discussing the CDC’s recently released new guidance, Caitlin Rivers with Johns Hopkins said, “[A]dding a second layer can be helpful for filtration. And making sure the mask is snug around your mouth or improving the fit is really helpful.”

That, after Fauci in January made the eyeball-rolling claim that double masking “likely does” help to protect against mutating strains of the coronavirus.

“It just makes common sense that it would be more effective,” Fauci said.

What. Is. Happening.

The term “helpful” is hardly scientific. Neither the word “likely.” Not when it comes to taking the recommendations that come with these non-scientific words and treating them as rational, logical, reasonable and fact-based — and then using them to shape political agendas or federal and White House policy. Forming medical-based recommendations on notions of “helpful” is akin to flipping a coin. Heads for one face mask; tails for two. Next up: Heads for eye goggles; tails for face shields.

For shame.

Fauci, officials with the CDC, experts at Johns Hopkins — these are all actors on the current pandemic stage who are supposed to provide sound, scientific, fact-based findings on the progression of the coronavirus, and to provide sound, scientific, fact-based recommendations on the best way for individuals to protect themselves from infection.

Instead, these actors have been slinging out personal opinions which very often conflict with the very same personal opinions they slung out weeks prior. Then they stand back and watch as the media sells the hype. Then they stand back and bask in their own imagined glories as they see how the people obey the very recommendations they must know — they have to know — are utter absurdities. One can almost hear their giggles.

“It makes me feel more secure when I go to the grocery store, and I don’t find it any more difficult to breath,” said one man to CBS in Los Angeles, explaining his adherence to the two-mask suggestion.

Great. But a feeling is not the same as a fact. And, the fact is, if wearing masks were oh-so-guaranteed to protect, why is half of America still shut down? 

“Wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask could be as effective as an N95. Worn together, they can block more than 92% of particles,” CBS wrote.

By Fauci‘s “common sense” standard, that leaves 8% of particles out there.

That leaves possibly, likely, maybe and perhaps 8% of coronavirus particles floating about, un-contained and unrestrained, seeking out a vulnerable face to settle upon and infect. “Common sense” speaking, of course. Right? 

For that — wait for it, wait for it — a third face mask will soon be suggested as “helpful;” a fourth, perhaps, “very helpful.” As Fauci and his friends at the CDC will quickly assure: It’s “only common sense.”

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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