TRANSCRIPT ANTI-MASKERS – RIGHT OR SELFISH | Denis Rancourt Ph.D. and Dell Bigtree
As Americans turn against each other over mask mandates, many scientists are speaking out including former professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Denis Rancourt, PhD, who just released a paper compiling seven studies on the science surrounding the effectiveness of masks.
DELL BIGTREE: Denis put out a brilliant article recently ‘Masks don’t work’ subtitle ‘A view of science relevant to COVID19 Social Policy’ He goes through all the studies and lays it out. Denis you have done a thorough dive on this. We live in a time where people and governments whether it’s Canada, America, France, you name it, are terrified of this disease. Mask is being touted as the way we can really slow the spread. What inspired you to go against that sort of river of understanding coming from our leading health departments, and decide to write an article that challenges the notion that maybe masks don’t work?
00:59 mins DENIS RANCOURT: It’s not a river of understanding it’s a river of talk, a river of posturing, a river of policy statements, etc. I don’t see any understanding in what these politicians say. If you look at literature you have to look at randomized control trials but with verified outcomes where you’ve actually measured whether the person was infected or not rather than ask if a week ago they had the sniffles.
You have to measure it. If you select only those reliable trials done in a proper scientific way to avoid bias because that’s the whole idea of this kind of lab design is to avoid bias in the observation. If you look at those, and there have been dozens of them, or at least many of them over the last decade, none of them show a statistically significant advantage to wearing a mask compared to not wearing a mask. That’s the scientific result, and what that means is if there was any kind of a significant advantage in terms of limiting your risk to being infected by a viral respiratory disease using a mask, it would have shown up in one of these very reliable trials. I reviewed them all. There have been one or two that have come out since and they also agree in the same direction.
I am a researcher with the Ontario Civil Liberties Association, and this caused us to write to the World Health Organization, the director-general, and say what the heck are you doing? Why are you now recommending masks? Forever you have been not recommending masks for use in the general public because you admitted there are dangers associated with that.
Masks collect and gather all kinds of pathogen laden materials near your face and eyes and nose, and then you touch the mask and you touch the rest of your body. So, it was thought there was danger associated with that concentration of pathogens and that’s why the main World Health Organization’s did not recommend mask use in a general population, which is not a controlled clinical environment where clinicians properly remove their masks, immediately wash their hands, and dispose the masks in the proper way.
03:16 mins To just throw the idea of masks out in the general population, and even
wear whatever, and so on, is potentially was believed to be a dangerous thing make it making matters worse. Then they abandoned that and flipped it around. In total absence of supportive evidence, they used what I call substandard science, which does not use randomized control trials and doesn’t have verified outcomes. They looked at those articles, and there’s a lot of scientists writing those kinds of articles because it’s easy to write an article in a pandemic. The idea is that during a pandemic you should be able to get your scientific results out quickly to help. Actually, the opposite is true. You don’t want bad science when everyone’s terrified. You’re in a pandemic. You want to have the highest quality standards for the science you publish and for the policy recommendations you make.
Instead, they’ve gone the other way, which resulted in what I think is a very political statement by the World Health Organization that unfortunately affects
governments, in particular in Canada. So, we felt it was important to complain about that and to point out the additional dangers to masks beyond what was said in that they even admitted, and so we made a long list of additional dangers that had not been considered yet.
04:40 DELL: You can access all of the science we talk about, along with all pros and cons at https://www.rcreader.com/commentary/masks-dont-work-covid-a-review-of-science-relevant-to-covide-19-social-policy then draw your own conclusions.
Can you take me through the main studies you looked at that you thought really show us you know that masks are not an effective tool in stopping COVID19.
DENIS: As I said, if you use only proper studies, randomized controlled trials with verified outcomes, they all unambiguously say somewhere in the article, usually in the abstract, there is no statistical evidence of a benefit in terms of reducing risk of getting a viral respiratory disease. They all say it. You don’t have to pick one that is particularly good that says it, and the others don’t.
For example, the most is the one by Jingyi Xiao1, Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures Published in Emerging Infectious Diseases on May 5th, 2020 – Volume 26, Number 5 https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article
They’re very unambiguous. If you want me to read the key paragraph. They put it this way: Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning. We identified several major knowledge gaps requiring further research.
So, here’s the latest, best study in the sense that uses only these very bias-free studies that says
‘It doesn’t matter if you sanitize surfaces, it doesn’t matter if you’re washing your hands, and masks don’t work.’
It’s basically telling you that’s what the science is telling us, the current science, and there’s good reason for that. The reason is that we know, and we have known for a decade that the main transmission route of all of these types of virulent respiratory diseases is very fine aerosol particles that are supported as part of the fluid air. With those kinds of particles, they’re going to get through the sides of the masks, even the tiny wrinkles you have in your skin and so on. There’s no way you can prevent these aerosol particles from either entering or coming out.
Masks are not going to work under these circumstances, and we know, and we understand why you get this transmission in the winter. That’s because these fine aerosol particles are stabilized in the air when the absolute humidity is low, and as soon as summer comes around and there’s more humidity in the air. the transmissivity drops to a factor of four or five lower. They just go away. You don’t transmit them anymore.
08:16 mins The centers of transmission are in the winter. In mid-latitude countries there’s a narrow band where you get all these diseases, we say behave the same way. They’ve been coevolving with us, with our ancestors for five million years. This is happening all the time. It happens in the winter so it’s reversed in the southern hemisphere at those mid latitudes.
This is all extremely well understood science. It’s just that the science policy people you see on TV aren’t aware, and don’t read the top science, and for some reason are not paying attention to it but the top scientists have known this for well for the last decade anyway. The transmissivity is understood, the mechanism is understood, and based on that we know why masks shouldn’t work, it would be surprising if they did work.
It’s not about droplets, it’s not about spit balls, it’s not about surfaces, and fomites. All that kind of stuff has nothing to do with it. It’s all about buildings where you have fine aerosol particles suspended in the air of the building, they can be measured, there in high concentration, that’s where the transmission occurs so you’re looking at daycare centers, hospitals, airplanes, potentially places where the air is fairly closed in, people’s homes as well traditionally that’s where
transmission occurs in the winter, in mid latitude countries, not when you get too cold and not when you get too warm.
09:45mins DELL: Let me ask you a question. I don’t know if you watched the whole show. I posed the question about the spike that we saw in America. It begins at the end of March and we’re coming out of it now, which is totally outside of a cycle we would expect for coronavirus. As you said, we see this gigantic spike April, May [screen shot] and it should have happened in the fall. What are your thoughts? Why this is happening there?
I wrote a whole paper on your theory. I heard your theory explained and I think you’re absolutely right. I wrote a paper on it that came out on the 2nd of June 2020 and you’ve got it up on the screen. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341832637_All-cause_mortality_during_COVID-19_No_plague_and_a_likely_signature_of_mass_homicide_by_government_response
DELL: The title reads ‘No plague and a likely signature homicide by government response.’ What are your thoughts?
DENIS: Well, my thoughts are, first of all the graph you showed is a little different from the graph I show because you’re adopting the way of showing it that hides the truth in a sense, and that’s because all the governments are plotting it that way but if you actually plot it in the way that epidemiologists plot it you get something that looks a little bit different. I’ll show you a graph of that in a second if I can just pull out the right one for you.
That peak you’re talking about only occurs in certain jurisdictions in certain states and not in others, so it only occurs in the states that did these kind of very severe emptying the hospital type procedures but not in California or Texas, and a lot of these bigger states where they didn’t do that.
If you plot it here’s ‘all cause mortality’ as a function of time on a bi-week basis. [screen shot]
11:37 mins What you see is there’s a winter burden of deaths every winter and it’s a hump okay, and the important point is that this latest one here, which has that peak you talked about, which is unnatural, and has never been seen before, which is due to human intervention. I would agree with you on that but the important point is that the area under these peaks is the total mortality, the total winter burden mortality all causes, and that has not changed.
They aren’t bodies in the street. It’s not a killer. You see large changes when there’s an earthquake that kills people in a country or something like that. You don’t see anything like this here. You can go to Europe, the United States, Canada, and so on. The winter burden’ all cause mortality’ is statistically the same as it has been for the last many decades, and that is because of the nature of these diseases. Here’s what it looks like over a 10 to 20 year period. [screen shot]
You always get these peaks and it’s been understood since the beginning of this science that these violent respiratory diseases put a heavy burden on people who are immune deficient, who are already in a fragile state.
When you get infected by this, and these aerosols go deep into your lungs, and your immune system has to start fighting it, your immune system requires a lot of metabolic energy to do that and it will shut down other functions even to get that metabolic energy. It becomes the priority thing that you have to do to survive.
So, anyone in a fragile state is going to be put at great risk because of that infection. That’s been understood and that’s why you get these winter burden deaths, and it hasn’t been any different this year.
This is why I tell people “Stop talking about cause of death” because that’s a very tenuous and biased thing. It’s very difficult to measure where you have comorbidity conditions, and you have a complex situation like this you don’t try to split hairs and decide what killed the person, you look at ‘total all cause deaths’ and what you see is that it’s no different than for the last several decades but there’s that peak that you mentioned. Now, that peak is unnatural. Nothing like this over the last many decades, nothing like this has never been seen before. It’s unnatural because it’s way too sharp, viral infection peaks in the general population, unless you’re doing something, are never that sharp, it’s way too late in the season, and it happens in synchronicity with the declaration of the pandemic everywhere at the same time. [screen shot]
14:33 mins All the European countries where it happens, the US, Canada, all he jurisdictions, all the specific states that did this, where it happens it’s happening at the same time. Everyone went into lockstep with what the World Health Organization suggested. I think they used it as a justification for doing it.
In fact, the World Health Organization recommended they empty their hospitals, that they prepare their hospitals for something huge that was going to happen and everybody went along with that. Well, not everybody. The jurisdictions that did had that peak. The jurisdictions that didn’t because they used their own science, their own judgement did not have a peak like that. In fact, I can show you California. [screen shot]
That red line is where the pandemic was declared and there is no so called COVID peak on the other side of it. So, nothing special happened in California, they didn’t go all out and start putting people on ventilators and so on.
15:42 mins DELL: So let me ask you this final question because we’ve been presenting science, we really eked out the science, I haven’t held you to a thirty second sound bite, we really want to understand what’s going on here but I just feel like I’m getting frustrated because I feel like so much of the population doesn’t really understand the concept of herd immunity, doesn’t understand how viruses move every year they’re alive, they’ve just never been focused on, so it seems like they’re either gullible to whatever they’re told in the news, by the scientific body, they just assume that must be the truth but as a scientist, and I’m meeting more and more men and women like you. How frustrating is it to see the bastardization of something you do for a living and who’s in charge of it?
16:40 mins DENIS: It’s frustrating on many, many levels. It’s frustrating because the top officials, the government officials, the health officials are talking nonsense, total nonsense, and even among professional scientists there’s a lot of scientists who will not say what their real conclusions are, and what they really think. There’s a kind of a political correctness that comes from peer review where you have to admit that everybody’s work is fine, and cite it all, and then you end up with this mushy statement at the end. You gave examples of that in some of the papers you were reading.
So, a scientist might be doing good work, applying good statistical methods but
then in getting through the hurdle of peer review they end up saying that fomites are important, droplets are important, aerosols are important, everything is important, and you end up with just this mushy science. In fact, everything is not important. There is a dominant transmission mechanism, this is an infection that penetrates the lungs via aerosol particles. If you as a scientist don’t see that and don’t admit it, and feel obliged to talk about spitballs and things like that then we’re not doing science that is helpful to the public policy
18:07 mins DELL: Okay, if you were able to, if someone said okay Denis what is our public policy moving forward, what do you think we should do?
DENIS: First of all this was not a killer event. The winter burden mortality has not been greater than usual, there was an anomalous peak there, which needs to be investigated criminally, and through real methods of discovery of what happened, an investigation, and because it is a big anomaly, and it targeted some very vulnerable people, and that needs to be investigated.
So, if I am in charge of public policy there’d be some serious investigating going on, and outlining exactly the chronology, and the circumstances of those deaths that happened very suddenly. There was an acceleration of I would say killing off some very vulnerable people in some centers where this was happening. That is needed just to get to clear the air, and to learn from our mistakes, and to also hold people responsible for the decisions they made in the absence of science, and in the absence of trying to discover what would be the best way but instead just listening to authorities from the world health organization, and others.
19:28 mins I would say forget about the vaccine thing. You don’t need vaccines for seasonal viral respiratory infections. It isn’t even a good idea to go there. I don’t think so. These viruses mutate extraordinarily quickly, and they’re mutating all the time. Why would you introduce vaccines into that mix when we’ve been living with these things for a long, long time, and our immune systems have been co-adapting to these viruses continuously for five million years? I don’t think you need to go there. It’s dangerous, and it’s reckless to even go there. I would avoid that completely.
The real answer is, if I’m the boss, is to look at the medicine. Try to do science that is integrated science, try to understand the nature of vulnerability, immune vulnerability because the people who die are immune vulnerable. What is the science of how this viral infection first attacks you, how it progresses in your body, how your immune system responds to it, what your immune system needs in order to respond to it, what are the metabolic energy flux occurring because the death rate is way more a result of whether or not your population is immune prepared, how many immune vulnerable people are there, and will they be infected? That will determine the death rate way more than the particular strain of the virus, which is what I argued in my paper from reviewing the literature.
I would move public policy in that direction and away from these money-making vaccine schemes. That’s what I would do.
21:22 mins DELL: Denis it’s very refreshing to hear from you, and I really want to thank you for your work. I want to thank you for being brave. I know it’s not necessarily lucrative science to go out and tell the truth against policymakers but there are more and more of you stepping forward. We have been very blessed on the show to find scientists all around the world, and as you pointed out I believe you’re right. It isn’t the river of science you’re up against. Actually, the river is those who know the truth that are really starting to speak out.
We’ve got to do something about this rogue group of people that I believe are destroying the world and the future for our children. They’re making us afraid of boogeymen that don’t exist and it’s really great to have you joining us in this fight, which I think ultimately becomes a fight for freedom.
It’s great to know we have science, real science on our side. Thank you for joining us.