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Horowitz: From Fort Benning to Japan and Hawaii, face masks are not working
By: Daniel Horowitz · Conservative Review – August 3, 2020
One will not find a greater degree of compliance to a mask mandate than with one placed on military trainees by drill sergeants. That’s why, if masks are really the viral placebo their devoted cult worshipers make them out to be, one would expect mask mandates to work wonders in these environments. Except, they didn’t work – just like they didn’t work in Japan, Hawaii, Israel, California, Miami, or any other place where they’ve shown near universal compliance for months, yet the virus spread rapidly.
In the military, they don’t just virtue signal and wear masks as a symbol. If they are led to believe mask-wearing will work to stop the spread, they will wear them seriously with the boot of the drill sergeant behind them. Yet, despite universal mask wearing, the super social distance rituals, and all precautions imaginable, it failed to stop an outbreak at Fort Benning in Georgia in May.
Here’s how the outbreak unfolded, according to Elizabeth Howe of Connecting Vets. About 640 recruits from the 30th AG Battalion and 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment arrived at Fort Benning in May for training and were immediately tested for COVID-19. Four recruits tested positive and were removed from the group while the remaining soldiers were placed in isolation for 14 days without any training exercises. After the 14-day quarantine, they were all retested and every single one was negative.
Only then did the training commence – with the full panoply of obsessive social distancing measures, including mask wearing. You can imagine that there will never be greater compliance to these rules than during military training. Yet, just eight days later, after one recruit exhibited symptoms, 142 of the trainees tested positive. That is 22% of the entire group isolated and quarantined together. As they were young, none of them were hospitalized and most were asymptomatic.
The case of Fort Benning should have served as a harbinger of what was to come in June with the surge of cases throughout the country, and now, the entire world. You cannot run or hide from God’s respiratory viruses that spread as ubiquitously as the flu. However, at the same time, we see God’s mercy – that the majority of cases are asymptomatic and there are very few serious cases outside of those who are immunocompromised.
Another important observation from this Fort Benning outbreak is in order. Notice how the masks did not help and the virus spread far and wide, but stopped at the 22% threshold? This is another great example of what Nobel laureate Michael Levitt, Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford professor John Ioannidis predicted early on based on the natural case study of the Diamond Princess cruise ship outbreak – that the virus hits a brick wall in most places around the 15%-20% marker. Seventeen percent of passengers on the Diamond Princess tested positive. The working theory is that most people have some degree of cross-immunity from other coronavirus colds and that the virus does not transmit homogeneously from every infected individual.
While there will be places where the virus hits up to 40% of the people, albeit with most not exhibiting symptoms, most states and countries seem to get a respite from the disease once they reach 15%-20% seroprevalence in the population, or even less. We are beginning to see this in the southern states that have already peaked and are seeing plummeting rates of new hospitalizations.
Clear sign that epidemic in sunbelt is slowing, however spread in midwest is rising and could offset gains achieved in South. Some models put level of total infection in South high – around 20% of Arizona and Florida population; which may be one factor in slowing rate of transfer pic.twitter.com/tKQZpGNtRS
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) August 2, 2020
Thus, we see God’s judgment and mercy mixed together. On the one hand, nothing seems to prevent a spread in the population, but on the other hand, a de facto herd immunity threshold is hit around 20%. The quicker we achieve this through the younger population, the more we will see results like we’ve witnessed in the military.
There is no greater petri dish and natural case study of a confined universe than on an aircraft carrier. During the spring, there was an outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt whereby 24% of the sailors tested positive. Yet, there was only one fatality.
Hence, it’s not like the mask mandate at Fort Benning worked even a little bit. They seemed to have suffered roughly the same infection rate as those places caught by surprise, such as the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
How much more evidence do we need before this mask cult takes its Jonestown mentality and seeks mental health treatment?
What we saw at Fort Benning is now playing out throughout the world.
Japan is a country where people have been wearing masks for months with a degree of discipline we would expect in our military. Yet, cases are soaring, despite the fact that they are not testing nearly as much as we are:
LYING WITH GRAPHS: SUNDAY EDITION
what addled & irresponsible state could this be w/ cases breaking out to new highs?
haven't they heard of masks/social distancing?
shouldn't we be scolding them?
over twice the rate of april!!!
who can this miscreant be? pic.twitter.com/3aEKuoTkuT
— el gato malo (@boriquagato) August 2, 2020
One key rule in public health is never to blame the population. Anyway, the spread of #COVID19 is not just down to the population following 'the rules'. Japan with ~100% face mask adherence, and 'culturally ingrained social distancing' is on the cusp of a serious outbreak … https://t.co/DJCUR69R3r pic.twitter.com/QAzckJCG2R
— Prof Francois Balloux (@BallouxFrancois) August 2, 2020
They are now panicking in Hong Kong with cases surging despite a universal mask mandate in place for months.
Countries like Japan and Hong Kong are as disciplined and as clean as they come. But you can’t stop a pandemic flu. Thankfully, there really is no reason to panic because the rate of serious cases is even less in Asia thanks to their inherent partial immunity.
We are seeing the same pattern here in America. Hawaii has had the most severe lockdown of anywhere and it’s enforced very zealously. They also have had near universal compliance to their long-standing mask mandate in place since April. They are also an island country. Yet, it has experienced a 700% increase in cases over the past 30 days!
A 700% increase in cases over the last 30 days. Is this some hedonistic reckless state that doesn't care about covid?
No, it's Hawaii. 2300 miles from a neighbor.
A State that has been destroying its economy for almost 5 months isolating itself from the rest of the world. pic.twitter.com/bQz9ECzOvx
— Yinon Weiss (@yinonw) August 3, 2020
The same holds true for a state like California, which had the earliest stay-at-home order in March and has never exited a modified phase one reopening. We all know how that has turned out. The same holds true for Israel and Australia. In fact, in the ultimate irony, the only countries that seem to remain flat are the Nordic countries, which have aggressively resisted the idea of public masking.
Hawaii, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia pic.twitter.com/o9iHZxlD3g
— Kyle Lamb (@kylamb8) August 3, 2020
Again, a lot of this stems from immutable laws of nature. The northern countries got the virus earlier, then it migrated south to places like America’s southern states, Hawaii, Israel, and Australia. Also, any country that has not achieved at least 15% seroprevalence will always remain vulnerable until they do so. Which is why Sweden is riding high with herd immunity, relatively few deaths, and a society and economy intact.
What we are seeing over and over again is that in areas where the virus already spread, the lockdowns don’t work at all. In areas where there was a low rate of seroprevalence at the time of the lockdown, they successfully delay the spread temporarily. But because those policies are unsustainable until eradication, which could take years, they are actually forestalling herd immunity, keeping vulnerable people at risk longer, crushing their society and economies, and ensuring that so many seniors die of isolation and atrophy.
The virus eventually catches up to them, which is what we have witnessed in places like California, Hawaii, Israel, and Australia, which thought they dodged the bullet by destroying their economies. Now, they are left with nothing but a sea of cross-contaminated cloth masks.
For those of you who wondered why no other generation was ‘smart’ enough to think of these policies to “mitigate” a respiratory virus, the feebleness of our actions have now been unmasked.