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posted by martyb on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-shocked,-shocked-I-say dept.

U.S. Government Proposed Manipulating CDC Guidelines to Avoid Mask Shortages: Whistleblower:

The U.S. government proposed manipulating information about whether N95 masks worked to fight the spread of coronavirus in the general public, according to Dr. Richard Bright, a whistleblower who testified publicly for the first time on Thursday. The deception was an effort to avoid shortages and keep masks available for U.S. health care workers, but likely had a ripple effect throughout the country, leaving many people to believe that all masks are useless or even harmful during a pandemic. Bright's testimony is the first confirmation from a high-ranking official that the U.S. government actively sought to distribute incorrect information about N95 masks during the covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Bright told the House Subcommittee on Health on Thursday about his attempts to warn others in the Department of Health and Human Services about the pending shortage of masks in January and early February, just as the novel coronavirus was spreading outside of China. Bright said that officials at the meeting simply said they would change the recommendations put out by the CDC to discourage the general public from buying masks.

"I indicated we know there will be a critical shortage of these supplies. We need to do something to ramp up production," Dr. Bright, the former top vaccine specialist at HHS, said of a meeting with HHS officials on February 7.

"They indicated if we notice there is a shortage, that we will simply change the CDC guidelines to better inform people who should not be wearing those masks, so that would save those masks for our health care workers," Dr. Bright testified.

"My response was, 'I can not believe you can sit and say that with a straight face'," Bright said. "That was absurd."

[...] Dr. Bright's entire 6-hour testimony is available on YouTube, and it's quite damning.


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  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:55AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:55AM (#995254)

    I just want to emphasize that this is and was only an issue because people refuse to think for themselves. The utility (and necessity) of masks was incredibly obvious to anybody who actually took even the slightest of self initiative. In areas where the virus took a relatively smaller toll (such as Asia) masks are ubiquitous. Obviously healthcare workers are all wearing masks. And even in studies masks can (somewhat counter intuitively) do a *far* better than nil job of blocking particulate matter even when the matter is smaller than the mask's porosity.

    Governments will, first and foremost, take care of governments. Followed by that they will take care of society. And finally on the third level they will focus on individual outcomes. Yet for most living within societies our motivations in the exact opposite order - yet people continue to trust in governments.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Username on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:14PM (2 children)

    by Username (4557) on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:14PM (#995342)

    In areas where the virus took a relatively smaller toll (such as Asia) masks are ubiquitous

    There are plenty of places where the virus took a relatively small toll and masks weren't common. If masks were that effective, covid19 wouldn't have spread in, and out of, china the way it did. Everyone seems to have had a mask there.

    I'm only familiar with USA numbers, and I know people never wore masks here like in china. California has about the same infection and death rate due to covid19 as South Dakota. Those two states have nothing in common. Neither had ubiquitous mask use. Now, New York, that has a lot in common with California, has the greatest number. Which makes no sense. And it's not just old people either. Florida has the most elderly, and has similar rates to CA and SD. I dont think masks have anything to do with it. There has to be another reason why some locations are hit harder than others.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday May 17 2020, @10:22PM

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @10:22PM (#995481)

      I'm familiar with our numbers, here in New Zealand, where the government were honest and open with us, and we played ball.

      This means New Zealand’s combined total of confirmed and probable cases is 1,499, of which 1,149 are confirmed cases of COVID-19.

      We now have 1,433 people reported as having recovered from COVID-19, an increase of five on yesterday. This is 96% of all confirmed and probable cases.

      Today there are two people receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19 – one each in Auckland and Middlemore hospitals. Neither of these patients is in ICU.

      We have had 21 deaths from covid-19, which is bad enough, but compared to other places not a disaster.

      Masks have never been mandated, or even recommended but I do do see a few people wearing them. According to the health experts they are not worth bothering with.

      To be fair, we have some major advantages the rest of the world does not have, and we've made the most of our isolation.

      Try and walk to New Zealand from wherever you live, go on, I dare you.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @11:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @11:07PM (#995500)

      What? That's like saying "lead makes people dumb some places, so blows to the head can't make people dumb."

      These are multifactorial issues.

      Your analysis is deeply flawed.