The experimental therapy, DAS181, will be available for hospitalized patients with low oxygen levels and pneumonia caused by COVID-19
Credit: Ricardo Carrasco III
LOS ANGELES — Keck Medicine of USC physicians are enrolling patients as part of an international clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an antiviral drug, DAS181, as a possible treatment for hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19.
DAS181 has demonstrated to be effective in fighting respiratory viruses, and limited preliminary data has suggested the drug may be beneficial for COVID-19 patients.
“The medication is thought to stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from penetrating and attaching to the cells lining the respiratory tract, therefore reducing the impact of the virus,” says Richard Castriotta, MD, a pulmonary critical care physician with Keck Medicine. “This drug may also improve patients’ immune response to the virus. Both actions should help reduce the severity and duration of COVID-19.”
Castriotta, who is also a professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC, is leading the trial for Keck Medicine with fellow researchers Janice Liebler, MD, and Aniket Sharma, MD.
This Phase 3 clinical trial is a double-blind, randomized controlled study. Half the participants will receive DAS181 through a nebulizer that delivers a vaporized form of the medication to the lungs and half will receive a placebo. The nebulizer is fitted with a mesh device that minimizes the risk of virus spread to health care workers.
Patients will receive the treatment twice a day from between 10 to 14 days, depending on their response. “The sooner someone recovers, the sooner they can stop the course of treatment,” says Castriotta. Participants will be tracked for approximately one month after treatment.
The study is open to individuals 18 years or older with a confirmed case of COVID-19 who have pneumonia and require supplemental oxygen. Those on ventilators are excluded from the study. However, participants who require a ventilator during the course of the treatment may remain in the trial.
Participants will be enrolled at Keck Hospital of USC, which is one of more than 30 sites across the United States and in Australia, South Korea and Taiwan participating in the trial.
DAS181 is manufactured by Ansun Biopharma, Inc., which is sponsoring the study.
Learn more about the clinical trial here.
For more information about Keck Medicine of USC, please visit news.KeckMedicine.org.
Media Contact Gabriella Robison Gabriella.Robison@med.usc.edu
Nicole Sirotek is a registered nurse in Nevada with over a decade of experience working in some of the harshest conditions. When a hurricane devastated Puerto Rico, Sirotek and the organization she founded, American Frontline Nurses (AFLN), were there and gave out over 500 pounds of medical equipment and supplies.
She hasn’t hesitated to be the first in when an emergency hits and medical professionals are needed. She’s lost count of the number of times she’s woken up on a cot in the middle of nowhere, boots still strapped to her feet, and ready to go.
But in tears during an interview with The Epoch Times, she detailed her ordeal with harassment and doxing over the past year and how she’s contemplated suicide due to crippling anxiety and depression.
“It took such a toll on my mental health. I wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t eating,” Sirotek said.
To regain her mental health, she decided to step back from the group she started. But even that decision brought pain.
“I said after I left New York, I’d do everything that I can to make sure it didn’t happen again,” Sirotek said, recalling the death she witnessed when she volunteered in New York as a nurse at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I mean, for me to step back and take a break just makes me feel like I failed!”
Sirotek is the victim of ongoing harassment. She’s received pictures of her children posed in slaughterhouses and hanging from a noose, drive-by photos of her house, and letters with white powder that exploded upon opening.
The Nevada State Board of Nursing was inundated with calls for Sirotek’s professional demise and flooded with anonymous complaints.
These complaints trace back to Team Halo, a social media influencer campaign formed as part of the United Nations Verified initiative and the Vaccine Confidence Project.
In response, Sirotek filed a police report. Her lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter. The Epoch Times reviewed the documents.
The reply from the cease-and-desist letter? The client was acting within his First Amendment rights.
The Harassment Begins
In February 2022, Sirotek, as the face of AFLN, a patient advocacy network that boasts 22,000 nurses, appeared before Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and testified about the harm patients were experiencing when they sought treatment for COVID-19.
She said she didn’t witness patients dying from the novel virus when she volunteered to work the front lines in New York at the start of the pandemic.
Sirotek detailed the withholding by higher-ups of steroids and Ibuprofen and the prescribing of remdesivir. Additionally, there was zero willingness to consider possible early intervention treatments like ivermectin.
As the pandemic continued, such practices only escalated, Sirotek said.
Sirotek’s testimony resulted in cheers, widespread attention, and a target on her back.
“[The harassment] all started the day we got back from DC,” Sirotek said.
At first, the attacks started with the typical “you’re transphobic, you’re anti-LGBTQ. I mean, they even called me racist,” Sirotek, who is Hispanic, recalled.
And as more patients sought AFLN’s help, the attacks increased in frequency and force.
At first, Sirotek said the attacks appeared to come from random people. But as the attacks continued, the terms “Project Halo,” “Team Halo,” and “#TeamHalo” continually cropped up. Especially on TikTok and from two accounts, “@jesss2019” and “@thatsassynp.”
“[@thatsassynp] just kept on saying how I was spreading misinformation, [that] ivermectin doesn’t work,” Sirotek said. “He kept targeting the Nevada State Board of Nursing because I was on the Practice Act Committee, and he did not feel like that was acceptable.”
Craig Perry, a lawyer representing nurses, including Sirotek, before the Nevada State Board of Nursing, confirmed Sirotek’s account. The executive director of the Nevada State Board of Nursing, Cathy Dinauer, declined to provide details on complaints or investigations, stating to The Epoch Times via email that they are “confidential.”
Sirotek said the complaints overwhelmed her ability to defend her nursing license.
“Untimely, they were filing so many complaints against me that [the Nevada State Board of Nursing] had to start filtering them as to what was applicable and not applicable. And [the complaints] just buried my nursing license to the point that we couldn’t even defend it,” Sirotek said.
Attacks Transition to Threats
Whenever Sirotek, or AFLN, tried to set up a community outreach webinar, hateful comments flooded their videos.
Julia McCabe, a registered nurse and the director of advocacy services for AFLN, told The Epoch Times that initially, they tried kicking the trolls out of the outreach videos. But they couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming numbers and had to shut the videos down, usually after only 10 minutes, she said.
To address the swarms, as McCabe labeled them, AFLN started charging an entrance fee for their webinars. But, McCabe said, they’d send out an email with a free access code to all of their subscribers before the webinar started. It helped, but not enough. The swarms kept coming. And the attacks escalated.
On June 5, 2022, @thatsassynp posted a video on TikTok calling for a “serious public uprising,” because the Nevada State Board of Nursing and other regulatory agencies weren’t disciplining nurses for spreading “disinformation.”
It became one of many such videos in the ensuing days. In the comments of one, he stated, “Also, stay tuned as [@jesss2019] will be addressing this as well. We are teaming up (as per usual) to raise awareness and demand action on this issue.” @jesss2019 responded, “Yes!!!! We will get this taken care of.”
Jess and Tyler Kuhk of @thatsassynp have “teamed up” on several occasions, targeting healthcare workers who question the COVID-19 narrative. Team Halo doesn’t officially list Kuhk on its site, but Kuhk posts with the #teamhalo.
In another video, he states, “If you’re new to this series, PLEASE watch the videos in my playlist ‘Nevada board of nursing.’ This started in Feb of this year.” His video has almost 35,000 “loves.”
On June 7, 2022, @jesss2019 posted a video on TikTok accusing Sirotek of spreading misinformation. It included a link to @thatsassynp, and his complaints about Sirotek to the Nevada State Board of Nursing and calls to remove her from the Practice Act Committee. She implored TikTok to boost the message. It, too, became one of many videos attacking Sirotek.
Specifically, @jesss2019 and @thatsassynp took issue with videos and posts from Sirotek, and AFLN, advocating for ivermectin and highlighting possible issues with remdesivir and the COVID-19 vaccines.
@jess2019 removed all of the above videos after The Epoch Times sought comment. The Epoch Times retains copies.
Sirotek says she received the first death threat against herself and her children around the same time, in June 2022.
“They cut off the pictures of my children’s faces from our family photos, where we take them every year on our front porch—we’ve got 11 years of those photos—and they cut them out and put them on the bodies of those little boys that have been sexually abused. And that’s what would get sent to my house. And I gave the police that,” Sirotek said.
In response to a request for comment from The Epoch Times, Sen. Johnson defended Sirotek.
“The COVID Cartel continues to frighten and silence those who tell the truth and challenge their failed response to COVID,” Johnson said. “It is simply wrong for Ms. Sirotek to be smeared and attacked like so many others who have had the courage and compassion to successfully treat COVID patients.”
As the threats continued and escalated, Sirotek also asked Perry to send a cease-and-desist letter to Tyler Kuhk on Aug. 1, 2022.
Kuhk, a nurse practitioner, is the person posting on TikTok under the pseudonym @thatsassynp.
The letter sent to Kuhk alleges that on at least 10 different occasions, @thatsassynp encouraged a “public uprising” against Sirotek. It also details that his videos attacking Sirotek garnered over 400,000 views.
In response, McLetchie Law, a “boutique law firm serving prominent and emerging … media entities” responded to Perry by stating in a letter dated Aug. 16, 2022, “Both Nevada law and the First Amendment provide robust protections for our client’s (and others’) rights to criticize Ms. Sirotek’s dangerous views and practices—and to advocate for her removal from the Nursing Practice Advisory Committee of the Nevada State Board of Nursing.”
It also warned that any attempt to deter Kuhk from his chosen path would “backfire” and could result in a “negative financial impact.” Neither Kuhk nor McLetchie Law responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
Unable to confirm the real name behind the TikTok account @jesss2019, and thus, unable to send her a legal letter, Sirotek posted some of the threats she’d received on Facebook, pleading for @jesss2019 to cease targeting her, and recognize the possible real-world harm.
In desperation, Sirotek asked Perry to file a legal name change, which he did on Sep. 15, 2022, hoping that would thwart people’s ability to look up Sirotek’s information. Perry told The Epoch Times, “Usually, when you do a name change, it’s a public record. But under extenuating circumstances, you can have that sealed.”
In Sirotek’s case, the court recognized the threat to her and her family’s safety, waived the publication requirement, granted the change, and sealed her record on Oct. 4, 2022.
Sirotek, at the behest of Perry, filed a police report detailing the harassment on Oct. 17, 2022.
In December 2022, @jesss2019 posted a video to TikTok doxing Sirotek by revealing her name change. The Epoch Times sought comment from @jesss2019 but has not received a response. After the request for comment, the user removed the video.
Team Halo and Social Media
On Dec. 17, 2020, Theo Bertram, a director at TikTok; Iain Bundred, the head of public policy at YouTube; and Rebecca Stimson, the UK head of public policy for Facebook, appeared before the UK’s House of Commons to explain what their social media sites were doing to combat “anti-vaccination disinformation.”
All three stated their companies employed a “two-pronged approach.” Specifically, “tackle disinformation and promote trusted content.”
Bundred stated that from the beginning of the year to November 2020, YouTube had removed 750,000 videos that promoted “Covid disinformation.”
Stimson stated that between March and October 2020, “12 million pieces of content were removed from [Facebook],” and it had labeled 167 million pieces with a warning.
Bertram stated that for the first six months of 2020, TikTok removed 1,500 accounts for “Covid violation” and had recently increased that activity. “In the last two months, we took action against 1,380 accounts, so you can see the level of action is increasing,” Bertram said.
“In October, we began work with Team Halo,” Bertram added. “I do not know if you are familiar with Team Halo. It is run by the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is about getting reliable, trusted scientists and doctors on to social media to spread trusted information.”
Team Halo’s Origins
On Sep. 20, 2022, Melissa Fleming, the under-secretary-general for global communications at the United Nations, appeared at the World Economic Forum to discuss how the United Nations was “Tackling Disinformation” regarding “health guidance” as well as the “safety and efficacy of the vaccine” for COVID-19.
“A key strategy that we had was to deploy influencers,” Fleming stated. “Influencers who were really keen, who had huge followings, but really keen to help carry messages that were going to serve their communities.”
Fleming also explained that the United Nations knew its messaging wouldn’t resonate as well as influencers, so they developed Team Halo.
“We had another trusted messenger project, which was called Team Halo, where we trained scientists around the world, and some doctors, on TikTok. We had TikTok working with us,” Fleming said. “It was a layered deployment of ideas and tactics.”
Letter to the Stanford Daily: Why Is There a COVID Vaccine Mandate for Students?
“Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse.”
I can’t figure out why Stanford is mandating the COVID vaccine for students.
Is it to protect students from the virus, hospitalization, or death?
Is it to protect them from other students?
Is it to protect the Stanford community members from the students?
If it’s to protect the students from catching COVID, that doesn’t make sense because the CDC says it “no longer differentiate[s] based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur.”
The CDC also acknowledges natural immunity, noting that “persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.”
It appears Stanford didn’t get the memo because Maxwell Meyer—a double-jabbed, COVID-recovered alum who was nearly prohibited from graduating for choosing not to get boosted—was informed by an administrator that the booster mandate is “not predicated on history of infection or physical location.”
Despite living 2,000 miles away from campus and not being enrolled in coursework for his final term, Maxwell was told Stanford was “uniformly enforc[ing]” the mandate “regardless of student location.” Does that sound like a rational policy?
Fortunately, a different administrator intervened and granted Maxwell an exemption, but few Stanford students are so lucky. Almost everyone else simply follows the rules without realizing they’ve volunteered for vaccine roulette.
A Cleveland Clinic study of the bivalent vaccines involving 51,011 participants found the risk of getting COVID-19 increased “with the number of vaccine doses previously received”—much to the authors’ surprise.
They were stumped as to why “those who chose not to follow the CDC’s recommendations on remaining updated with COVID-19 vaccination” had a lower risk of catching COVID than “those who received a larger number of prior vaccine doses.”
So if the vaccines don’t keep you from getting COVID, maybe they at least protect you from hospitalization?
“The rate of adverse reactions for the second booster dose was significantly higher among participants receiving the bivalent 84.6% (95% CI 70.3%–92.8%; 33/39) compared to the monovalent 51.4% (95% CI 35.9–66.6%; 19/37) vaccine (p=0.0028). Also, there was a trend towards an increased rate of inability to work and intake of PRN medication following bivalent vaccination.”
If you don’t know what that means, Dr. Syed Haider spells it out in this tweet. He explains that the shots “train your immune system to ignore the allergen by repeated exposure,” the end result being that “Your immune system is shifted to see the virus as a harmless allergen” and the “virus runs amok.”
Latest IgG4 COVID vax study
Think allergy shots. They train your immune system to ignore the allergen by repeated exposure.
That’s what repeated shots with the vax are doing.
Your immune system is shifted to see the virus as a harmless allergen.
“The people in the UK who took the vaccine have a 26% higher mortality rate. The people who are under the age of 50 who took the vaccine now have a 49% higher mortality rate.”
Obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to KBV (the association representing physicians who receive insurance in Germany), “the most important dataset of the pandemic” shows fatalities starting to spike in 2021.
Data analyst Tom Lausen assessed the ICD-10 disease codes in this dataset, and the findings are startling. His presentation includes the following chart documenting fatalities per quarter from 2016 to 2022:
This parallels the skyrocketing fatality rates seen in VAERS:
The vaccinated are more likely to contract, become hospitalized from, and die of COVID. If the vaccine fails on all of those counts, does it at least prevent its transmission to other students and community members?
The obvious answer is no since we already know it doesn’t prevent you from getting COVID, but this CDC study drives the point home, showing that during a COVID outbreak in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, “three quarters (346; 74%) of cases occurred in fully vaccinated persons.”
“Why does Stanford have a student booster shot requirement? Our booster requirement is intended to support sustained immunity against COVID-19 and is consistent with the advice of county and federal public health leaders. Booster shots enhance immunity, providing additional protection to individuals and reducing the possibility of being hospitalized for COVID. In addition, booster shots prevent infection in many individuals, thereby slowing the spread of the virus. A heavily boosted campus community reduces the possibility of widespread disruptions that could impact the student experience, especially in terms of in-person classes and activities and congregate housing.”
The claim that “booster shots enhance immunity” links to a January 2022 New York Times article. It seems Stanford has failed to keep up with the science because the very source they cite as authoritative is now reporting, “The newer variants, called BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, are spreading quickly, and boosters seem to do little to prevent infections with these viruses.”
Speaking of not keeping up, that same article says the new bivalent boosters target “the original version of the coronavirus and the Omicron variants circulating earlier this year, BA.4 and BA.5.”
It then goes on to quote Head of Beth Israel Deaconess’s Center for Virology & Vaccine Research Dan Barouch, who says, “It’s not likely that any of the vaccines or boosters, no matter how many you get, will provide substantial and sustained protection against acquisition of infection.”
In other words, Stanford’s rationale for requiring the boosters is obsolete according to the authority they cite in their justification.
If Stanford is genuinely concerned about “reduc[ing] the possibility of widespread disruptions that could impact the student experience,” then it should not only stop mandating the vaccine but advise against it.
“People aged under 50 are generally not at particularly higher risk of becoming severely ill from covid-19. In addition, younger people aged under 50 are well protected against becoming severely ill from covid-19, as a very large number of them have already been vaccinated and have previously been infected with covid-19, and there is consequently good immunity among this part of the population.”
“Especially the youngest should consider potential side effects against the benefits of taking this dose.”
—Ingrid Bjerring, Chief Doctor at Lier Municipality
“We did not find sufficient evidence to recommend that this part of the population [younger age bracket] should take a new dose now.… Each vaccine comes with the risk for side effects. Is it then responsible to offer this, when we know that the individual health benefit of a booster likely is low?”
—Are Stuwitz Berg, Department Director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health
A new Nordic cohort study of 8.9 million participants supports these concerns, finding a nearly nine-fold increase in myocarditis among males aged 12–39 within 28 days of receiving the Moderna COVID-19 booster over those who stopped after two doses.
This mirrors my own findings that myocarditis rates are up 10 times among the vaccinated according to a public healthcare worker survey.
The paper cites a study by Israel’s Ministry of Health that “assesses the risk of myocarditis after receiving the 2nd vaccine dose to be between 1 in 3000 to 1 in 6000 in men of age 16–24 and 1 in 120,000 in men under 30.”
A Thai study published in Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease found cardiovascular manifestations in 29.24 percent of the adolescent cohort—including myopericarditis and tachycardia.
“[W]e need to be upfront that nearly every intervention has some risk, and the coronavirus vaccine is no different. The most significant risk is myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, which is most common in young men. The CDC cites a rate of 39 myocarditis cases per 1 million second doses given in males 18 to 24. Some studies found a much higher rate; a large Canadian database reported that among men ages 18 to 29 who received the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, the rate of myocarditis was 22 for every 100,000 doses.”
YOU have the power to stop the ongoing unnecessary harm that is devastating individuals and families. @Keir_Starmer the Labour Party also lost one of its most decorated doctors @KailashChandOBE to this mRNA product. Please stop this roll out NOW https://t.co/SECbfK9joz
“With 7% having a major side effect, that means over 12 million adults in the US have experienced a self-described major side effect that they attribute to the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s over 11 times the reported COVID death numbers. And also note that anyone who may have died from the vaccine obviously can’t tell us that in the poll.”
According toBritish Medical Journal Senior Editor Dr. Peter Doshi, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s own trial data found 1 in 800 vaccinated people experienced serious adverse events:
“The Pfizer and Moderna trials are both showing a clear signal of increased risk of serious adverse events among the vaccinated.…
“The trial data are indicating that we’re seeing about an elevated risk of these serious adverse events of around 1 in 800 people vaccinated.… That is much, much more common than what you see for other vaccines, where the reported rates are in the range of 1 or 2 per million vaccinees. In these trials, we’re seeing 1 in every 800. And this is a rate that in past years has had vaccines taken off the market.…
“We’re talking about randomized trials … which are widely considered the highest-quality evidence, and we’re talking about the trials that were submitted by Pfizer and Moderna that supported the regulators’ authorization.”
Dr Peter Doshi senior editor of the BMJ wants to know why we haven't already #StoptheShots when 1 in 800 are seriously harmed, yet previous vaccines were suspended for harming 'only' 1 in 100'000.
Beats me too! pic.twitter.com/llT4JwL5WQ
One of the six most-cited scientists in the world, Ioannidis found the median IFR was 0.0003 percent for those under 20 and 0.002 percent for twenty-somethings, concluding the fatalities “are lower than pre-pandemic years when only the younger age strata are considered” and that “the IFR in non-elderly individuals was much lower than previously thought.”
What if a Stanford student dies and the coroner determines it was caused by the vaccine? That happened with George Watts Jr., a 24-year-old college student whose cause of death Chief Deputy Coroner Timothy Cahill Jr. attributed to “COVID-19 vaccine-related myocarditis.” Cahill says, “The vaccine caused the heart to go into failure.”
The timing is interesting, don’t you think? I’m sure it’s just a coincidence—even though this Clinical Research in Cardiology paper determined vaccine-induced myocardial inflammation was the cause of death in “five persons who have died unexpectedly within seven days following anti-SARS-CoV-2-vaccination.” In that analysis, the authors “establish the histological phenotype of lethal vaccination-associated myocarditis.”
Coincidences notwithstanding, Stanford may want to revoke the mandate before anything like that happens to one of its students … if it hasn’t already.
And if that’s not incentive enough, Stanford should consider the legal ramifications of mandating an experimental product. As this JAMA article warns:
“Mandating COVID-19 vaccines under an EUA is legally and ethically problematic. The act authorizing the FDA to issue EUAs requires the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to specify whether individuals may refuse the vaccine and the consequences for refusal. Vaccine mandates are unjustified because an EUA requires less safety and efficacy data than full Biologics License Application (BLA) approval.”
“Title IX commits the university to not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in getting an equal education.… I oversee a project in which 3,500 experts review the Pfizer documents released under court order by a lawsuit. In that document, there is catastrophic harm to women! And especially to young women! And especially to their reproductive health.… 72% of those with adverse events in the Pfizer documents are women!”
Other universities are currently facing lawsuits for mandating the COVID vaccine in violation of state laws, including one against Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University, and Miami University of Ohio.
By the same token, this evidence shows the vaccines are ASSOCIATED with:
heightened transmission levels
greater chances of catching COVID
increased hospitalization rates
higher excess mortality
disproportionate injuries to women
Why is Stanford mandating these unsafe and ineffective products, again?
If logic, peer-reviewed studies, and legal concerns such as the violation of Title IX don’t convince Stanford to rescind the mandate, then what about its stated ethical commitment to upholding its Code of Conduct?
“(1) are not based on an updated (Omicron era) stratified risk-benefit assessment for this age group; (2) may result in a net harm to healthy young adults; (3) are not proportionate: expected harms are not outweighed by public health benefits given modest and transient effectiveness of vaccines against transmission; (4) violate the reciprocity principle because serious vaccine-related harms are not reliably compensated due to gaps in vaccine injury schemes; and (5) may result in wider social harms.” (emphases mine here and below)
They calculate that:
“To prevent one COVID-19 hospitalisation over a 6-month period, we estimate that 31,207–42,836 young adults aged 18–29 years must receive a third mRNA vaccine.”
The authors conclude that:
“university COVID-19 vaccine mandates are likely to cause net expected harms to young healthy adults—for each hospitalisation averted we estimate approximately 18.5 SAEs and 1,430–4,626 disruptions of daily activities.… these severe infringements of individual liberty and human rights are ethically unjustifiable.”
In this paper, the authors contend that COVID-19 vaccine mandates “have unintended harmful consequences and may not be ethical, scientifically justified, and effective” and “may prove to be both counterproductive and damaging to public health.”
Massive Peer-Reviewed Mask Study Shows 'Little To No Difference' In Preventing COVID, Flu Infection
A massive international research collaboration that analyzed several dozen rigorous studies focusing on "physical interventions" against COVID-19 and influenza found that they provide little to no protection against infection or illness rates.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, is the strongest science to date refuting the basis for mask mandates worldwide.
Nearly 60% of South Korea's population has now tested positive for COVID despite nearly three years of consistent universal masking with overwhelming compliance
And of course, the CDC still recommends masking in areas with "high" rates of transmission (fewer than 4% of US counties, as Just the News notes), along with indoor masking in areas with "medium" rates of transmission (27%).
South Korea is still requiring masks on public transport and in medical facilities after dropping COVID mandates in most indoor settings, including gyms, Monday, Reuters reported. -Just the News
According to the Cochrane study, which included the work of researchers at institutions in the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy and Saudi Arabia, a total of 78 studies were analyzed. Most recent additions to the meta-analysis were 11 new randomized controlled trials.
As unlisted study author Carl Heneghan - who directs the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford noted on Twitter: "Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID‐19 like illness compared to not wearing masks."
Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID‐19 like illness compared to not wearing masks (risk ratio (RR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84 to 1.09; 9 trials, 276,917 participants
Bottom line, mask wearing "probably makes little to no difference," when it comes to influenza-like or COVID-like illnesses, regardless of type of mask used.
2/ LARGE Cochrane Rev (just published 1/30/23) of RCT data ALSO CONFIRMS NO BENEFIT of N95 masks vs. med/surg masks, in either community (n~8K) or HCW (n~8K) settings for prevention of flu-like illness or lab confirmed flu https://t.co/N4TkgI4uURpic.twitter.com/0DCdYAPo7x