Tom Jefferson, an Oxford epidemiologist, and 11 colleagues conducted the study for Cochrane, a British nonprofit that is widely considered the gold standard for its reviews of healthcare data.
The Cochrane Study, as it’s now known, conclusions were based on 78 randomized controlled trials, six of them during the Covid pandemic, with a total of 610,872 participants in multiple countries.
The conclusions, which were summed up by Jefferson in The New York Times as part of an op-ed written by Bret Stephens is that mask mandates did nothing.
The Los Angeles Times refuses to accept the results of the study, however.
In a nutshell, the author of an LA Times op-ed, Michael Hiltzik, neglects to mention the actual conclusion of the Oxford epidemiologist and bitterly clings to limited studies in his defense of mask mandates.
Among them are a study of an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, where sailors lived and worked in close quarters, which found that masks produced a 70% reduced risk of infection.
Another study of 33,000 pupils in eight school districts in Massachusetts found an infection rate of 11.7% for unmasked and 1.7% for masked children.
During the 2021 outbreak of the Delta strain of COVID, outbreaks were 3½ times more likely in schools without masking rules compared with those with the mandates.
As an added bonus, Hilzik complains about “right-wingers” and “covid deniers” in a spectacularly elitist screed.