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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, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:52PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:52PM (#995357)

    Because Joe Sixpack does not want to get Corona is a pretty damn good reason to wear a mask.

    Only if the masks are nominally effective at reducing the risk of exposure. Otherwise, it's just snake oil. Trained professionals (medics) use them because they are confronted with exposure risk every day. For Joe Sixpack, the most likely mode of infection is true the hands and eyes, not the mouth. And guess what: wearing a mask induces one to touch the face more often, thereby increasing the risk of surface-to-hand-to-eye infection.

    The only good reason for Joe Sixpack to wear a mask would be to minimize exposure to others after he has already been infected. But we all know that USians couldn't care less about that.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:57PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:57PM (#995389) Journal

    I get kind of tired of the condescension spewed at the public -- most people are perfectly competent if given adequate information. Most people are not just a gaggle of proles whose only purpose is to gurgle and har-har and serve their better masters.

    The reason the CDC's messaging was ineffective was exactly because people aren't the stupid morons they think they are: "Wearing a mask won't protect you from CV19. We need to make sure medical personnel have masks."

    It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines and for people to conclude that masks are in fact good protection -- if they weren't, medical pros wouldn't need them. It's true they must be worn properly and donned and doffed properly, but the conclusion that masks are good was a logical conclusion and it certainly lead to an increase in the conduct the CDC was trying to avoid -- mask hoarding. In the best case, it lead to the false conclusion that masks are useless. (and you lot think we're the morons??)

    What the CDC should have done is respected citizen's intelligence and said "We have a shortage of masks. Frontline healtcare workers are at greatest risk. We need healthcare workers to keep people alive. Please don't hoard masks. If you have a masks please donate them. If you can make a mask, these [link] materials work best. If you wear a mask, see here [link] for how to use it safely." People are very willing to be helpful and conscientious during a crisis -- until you bury them in bullshit and leave them confused or cynical. And beyond that, how many 100s of millions of our hard earned tax dollars is it legitimate to use to lie and mislead us? Zero dollars, that's how much.

  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday May 18 2020, @03:23PM (1 child)

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:23PM (#995845) Journal

    Masks are also used because they are highly effective at preventing someone with the virus from shedding their particles in a way that someone else then readily picks up. The professional is not only concerned with him or herself but also that professional's patients. I do hope my mask protects me, but I know that it is protecting you. But it's much harder to sell that message.

    Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday May 18 2020, @03:27PM

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:27PM (#995849) Journal

      (Not N95's with relief valves, although they do force any particulates that pass into a much narrower field on exhalation. Regular obscuring masks. But then again, properly fitting and used N95 masks are actually very effective at protection from inhalation....)

      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!