CDC Relied on Flawed Transmission Study

The New York Times reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relied on a flawed study by stating a 10 percent chance of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors. After using “miscalculation” to support outdoor mask mandates for more than 300 million Americans, the CDC now says it’s more like one percent. It is amazing that such a key and controversial component of our Covid policies was not only based on miscalculation, but was never actively questioned or re-examined to discover the error.

Leonhardt of The Times noted ‘There is not a single Covid infection documented anywhere in the world for occasional outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.’

Outdoor hazard has been a major source of disagreement with many disputed mandatory mask rules for those who walk, work, or recreate outdoors. It turns out that, according to the Times, the benchmark rate of 10% is based “in part on a misclassification” of the transmission of the virus in Singapore at various construction sites. Those sites were incorrectly described as outdoors, but now appear to have taken place indoors. Singapore also classified environments that were a combination of indoors and outdoors as outdoors, including construction sites.

The actual risk is one percent or less. However, cities like Chicago closed entire parks, magnifying the isolation and depression of citizens. Several cities such as New York closed the playgrounds despite being outdoors and being used by the population with the lowest risk for Covid. States closed parks and trails that could have been key release areas for people during the closed closures. When Washington, DC, issued its mandatory outdoor mask in July 2020, the city emphasized:

Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the World Health Organization, and the District of Columbia Department of Health agree that wearing the masks when social distancing is impossible to maintain can dramatically reduce the spread of the disease.

We spent billions on this pandemic and the subject of masks and the reduction of external movements was continually in the news. However, it appears that little time or money has been spent building on this key component of the mandatory policies endorsed by the CDC and required by many states.

I can understand the confidence in an article from the prestigious Journal of Infectious Diseases. I cannot understand that you have not closely examined its base, as it appears to have been the main base of politics. Hundreds of millions of Americans were affected as was the economy. However, the CDC is only now noticing that the article appears to have had fundamental flaws in its underlying assumptions and calculations.


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