COVID mask political theater is back in fashion at the White House in the wake of First Lady Jill Biden’s positive COVID test. President Joe Biden showed up at a ceremony honoring a Vietnam veteran with the Congressional Medal of Honor Tuesday wearing a black mask.
“The president is feeling fine,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “and we’re going to move forward.”
Biden tested positive for COVID-19 in July 2022, and Jill Biden previously tested positive in August 2022.
The Biden administration plans to encourage Americans to get an updated version of the vaccine later this month.
Worries About the Return of COVID Hysteria
The return of mask mandates in schools such as one at a Montgomery County, Md. elementary school, combined with renewed discussion of COVID, has some worried about a return to the hysteria that percolated during the pandemic. In California, officials are examining whether to bring back mask mandates to confront an increase in COVID cases.
“Everything is much more gray and hazy now because we no longer have a good sense of how many cases are occurring right now in the U.S.,” said Andrew Pekosz, a professor of immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It’s difficult to put those hospitalization and death numbers in context. Are we seeing a 10 percent increase in hospitalizations but a 100 percent increase in cases? That’s where it becomes really sort of difficult to make those population estimates.
“The numbers are much higher than we think they are,” he said.
Conservative commentators are claiming that this media talk about COVID is just organized Democratic Party politicking intended to disrupt the 2024 election.
“I don’t know about y’all but I smell something in the air here and it’s not … COVID,” commentator Tomi Lahren wrote in an Outkick column. “It’s that special ‘election variant’ that surges just around the time the Left needs to push mass mail-in voting. And big tech, they are all in, of course. YouTube has ‘updated’ its guidelines regarding ‘medical misinformation’.”
Study: Mask Wearing Made No Difference in Stopping COVID-19
At the start of the pandemic, NIAD Chief Anthony Fauci told 60 Minutes, “Right now, people should not be walking around with masks … When you are in the middle of an outbreak wearing masks might make people ‘feel’ a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet. But it is not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.”
Fauci continued, “And often there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.”
At the time Fauci argued that only those who are sick should wear masks in public and that the general wearing of masks was counterproductive. He reversed himself not that soon after.
Subsequent studies are vindicating Fauci’s initial advice.
A January meta-analysis by the Cochrane Library found that wearing masks makes little difference when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID or Influenza.
“There is uncertainty about the effects of face masks. The low to moderate certainty of evidence means our confidence in the effect estimate is limited, and that the true effect may be different from the observed estimate of the effect. The pooled results of RCTs did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks. There were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection. Hand hygiene is likely to modestly reduce the burden of respiratory illness,” the Cochrane Library analysis said.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.