Wearing face mask or face covering has been one of the most used pandemic measures since the very first Covid-19 cases discovered in United States two years ago. Up until recently, almost every single state had mask mandate in place for students in schools and indoor settings like restaurants, gyms, cinemas and other public places.
The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus this winter set new record high numbers of cases in a single day despite the fact that America has one of the best vaccination rates so far. However, both the vaccine and natural immunity sent less people in hospital since the immunity prevented severe Covid-19 condition in most of the cases.
Although numerous studies have shown that face masks and face coverings are working in slowing down the spread of the virus, Florida’s surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo claims the opposite, relying on the results of two studies which reportedly revealed that face masks didn’t save lives during the Covid pandemic and criticized doctors who recommended or mandated wearing masks.
“What did the two randomized clinical trials that we’ve done during the pandemic, what did they show? Ask them that when they tell you that these things save lives,” Dr. Ladapo said speaking during a campaign-style event in Florida with Governor Ron DeSantis and others when he made his claims few days ago.
“One found nothing, zero benefit. The other found a small benefit, like a tiny benefit that’s a little bit methodologically shaky. And by the way, none of them found a benefit in young people. Not a single one found a benefit in young people. That’s the highest-quality evidence, that’s what it showed,” Ladapo added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted their own study on the mask effectiveness, but in the agency’s public data, they also include results from several other face mask studies which claim that masks work. This a small list of studies about masks effectiveness:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.
- Stanford University and Yale University
- University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
- British Medical Journal
- University of Central Florida
While all of the above studies were conducted by reputable agencies, medical journals and universities, Dr. Ladapo criticize that all of them are “lower quality studies” and the data from the results is not reliable to be taken into consideration by the CDC. Then Dr. Ladapo continued his speech referring to what was saving lives during the pandemic, but he didn’t mention the vaccines.
“What saves lives, frankly, is freedom to speak, freedom to find truth, what saves lives is immunity, ya know?” Ladapo said. “Early treatment saves lives. And being as healthy as you can, losing the extra pounds, eating a nutritious diet, keeping your vitamin D levels up, those things save lives.”
Dr. Ladapo speech was part of governor’s press conference in an effort to give a public push to a bill aiming to provide doctors the power of free speech, while preventing them being punished by medical licensing boards if they express their personal opinions in treatment or even on social media.
This is not the first time Dr. Ladapo showed his dislike for mask-wearing. Back in October, he was asked to leave a meeting after refusing to wear a mask at the office of a state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition. It was later revealed to be breast cancer.