No child should need an exemption to breath freely and there are ample resources which prove face masks harm children. Yet the Department for Education (“DfE”) claims it has evidence to prove children should wear face masks at school to protect them.
The DfE is relying on two pieces of evidence: a UK Health Security Agency (“UKHSA”) review, dated in November 2021; and, a study of 123 schools run over three weeks in October 2021.
The UKHSA review very clearly says face masks are “low quality observational evidence. They’re mixed results, some studies show an effect, some don’t,” Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said. The UKHSA review does not provide substantive evidence for the use of masks.
Turning to the October study in schools, Prof. Heneghan said there are a number of problems with this study. Firstly, the claim is that because Omicron is more infectious that makes the case for wearing masks. But in October, when the study was done, there was no Omicron circulating. Secondly, the study uses statistical methods that would not pass peer review.
The claim is that 6 per thousand children would not miss school if masks were worn over a three-week period, not a significant effect. But when you get to the end of the paper and look at the control group, children who did not wear masks, they had lower absenteeism. In other words, the study showed the opposite to what is being claimed as evidence for masking children in school.
Prof. Heneghan said the study is “not fit for purpose” and actually shows evidence for NOT wearing masks.