Brownstone » Brownstone Institute Journal » More Evidence from the UK that Masks Don’t Work

More Evidence from the UK that Masks Don’t Work


It was inevitable that once it became accepted wisdom among corporate media, corporate executives, public health authorities and politicians that masks worked, that mask mandates would become a permanent threat to society. 

But as we’ve seen the evidence base accumulate over time that masks and mandates have been completely useless, from real world data to randomized controlled trials like the DANMASK study, there’s been a concerted effort to maintain the fiction that masks are necessary interventions. 

The latest example comes from the UK, where the head of the National Health Service has already called for the return of “tougher” COVID measures:

Specifically, Matthew Taylor called for several “interventions” to be reintroduced in the UK to “protect” the NHS:

It called for stronger messages to the public on how to reduce transmission, including wearing the best possible face masks, and urging people to get vaccinated.

Taylor also highlighted the profound incompetence of many institutional medical professionals when he explained how removing restrictions doesn’t actually mean “living with COVID:”

“In our view, we do not have a ‘Living with Covid’ plan, we have a ‘living without restrictions’ ideology, which is different. We need to put in place the measures that are necessary to try to alleviate the pressures on our health service while this virus continues to attack.”

Before addressing his comments regarding masks, Matthew should be required to explain exactly what “living with COVID” actually means.

He says that the “measures that are necessary” should be put in place to help the National Health Service while the virus “continues to attack.” 

So apparently he’s advocating for permanent restrictions on normal life…

How else are we supposed to interpret this? 

Putting aside the glaringly obvious fact that the highest surge of infections in the UK happened while restrictions like mask mandates and vaccine passports were in place:

Let’s also ignore that mandates have failed quite literally everywhere they’ve been tried.

Assuming his advocacy is based on reality, that masks do in fact work, in this scenario, what is the end game? Forcing masks in daily life will be an indefinite, endless revolving threat.

Because it will never be eradicated, the virus will always be “attacking.”

There will always be seasonal surges followed by waning periods that inevitably transition back into surges.

Will Matthew Taylor be appearing on the BBC to advocate for masks to return every single spring and winter?

I guess that’s the depressing plan that we’re supposed to accept. And while Boris Johnson appears not to be moved by this potentially politically motivated public plea, what happens when a new Prime Minister, or a new Governor or Mayor in the US decides to be more sympathetic to Taylor’s (or others like him) advocacy?

It’s tough to think about.

The UK Should Be “Urging People to Get Vaccinated”

It’s also telling that Taylor specifically called to increase vaccinations, considering the UK already has one of the world’s highest vaccination rates:

Over 92% of everyone over the age of 12 in the UK has had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. 

86.2% are fully vaccinated. Nearly 70% have had a booster shot.

The percentages are even higher among those over 50, who make up the overwhelming majority of COVID hospitalizations:

The numbers are incredible. Nearly everyone over 50 has had at least one vaccination dose, with ~96-97% of that age group fully vaccinated, and 90% boosted.

If a remarkable uptake like this isn’t enough to prevent a “brutal” Easter in NHS hospitals, shouldn’t they be asked why the product they’re promoting so ferociously apparently isn’t working particularly well? 

And of course, no one in the media deems it necessary to ask these questions — during his interview, there was no push back as to who exactly the UK government should be targeting to receive more vaccinations.

No questions for the NHS chief on how it’s possible for his system to be so overwhelmed with COVID patients in an era with 90-99% vaccination rates among those over 50, not to mention the unsurprising lack of questioning as to why he would recommend masking given its unequivocal failure to prevent a larger surge of infections just a few months earlier in the UK.

As always with the media’s coverage of COVID policy, there’s no interest in asking the difficult questions health authorities may not be prepared to answer, but only in promotion and nodding acceptance that our wise bettors in the health service know more, data and evidence be damned.

Not once did they ask why mask mandates should be brought back when England and Scotland had conducted this very experiment, which showed once again that mask mandates do not matter:

It was, as always, another opportunity for health officials to spread misinformation unchecked with the smirking support of media members desperate to show their allegiance to the correct set of political ideologies.

At least we know that politicians are aware of how important and life saving mask mandates and social distancing restrictions are:


In summary, the chief of the NHS says that we can not “live with COVID” without restrictions whenever he deems necessary, remains blissfully unaware that data and real world evidence has shown that masks and mask mandates do not work, and is advocating for the government to urge more people to get vaccinated when nearly everyone over 50 in the country has already been vaccinated. 

The New Data

And best of all, data released just a few days later by his own government shows once again how useless mask wearing is.

The ONS (Office of National Statistics) Coronavirus Infection Survey released on April 13th, contains a summary of data collected from March 13th to March 26th, a period of generally increasing infections throughout the UK, and well after mask mandates had been lifted in England.

There are numerous categories and comparisons between different characteristics throughout the document, but one portion in particular is especially illustrative — the section on mask wearing and its relationship to the likelihood of testing positive for COVID during this time period.

Here’s how the data looks:

The concise summary is that there is virtually no difference in likelihood of testing positive based on mask wearing in the UK.

The underlying data provided in the survey shows how useless mask wearing is in greater detail, as they’ve helpfully provided a breakdown of the sample sizes and results in the different categories.

Of the 28,942 adults surveyed who “always” wore a mask, 7%, or 2,020 tested positive.

Of those who indicated masks were “not needed,” 3,962 out of 66,545 tested positive, which is 5.95%.

The “sometimes” category resulted in a 7.3% positive testing rate, 1,073 out of 14,671, and the “never” group had an identical 7.3% percentage.

Similarly, among children, 164 of the 2,643 in the “always” wore masks designation tested positive, a rate of 6.2%. The “sometimes” category had 125 positives out of 2,446, which is a rate of 5.1%. 

Compared to the reference group, those that “always” wore masks, both school aged children and adults had nearly identical results.

For example, the group of children who “never” wore masks were just as likely to test positive as those who “always” wore masks.

Masks don’t work.

Similarly, adults who worked or attended school in settings where masks were “not needed” were less likely to test positive than those who “always” wore masks in those same settings.

Masks don’t work.

Those who only wore masks “sometimes” had no significant difference either way.

Masks don’t work.

It certainly exposes the incompetence of the head of the NHS when he says masks should be reintroduced to protect hospitals, doesn’t it?

It’s extremely difficult to reduce infections by introducing restrictions that do absolutely nothing to reduce infections. But this will be the playbook going forward. Since March 2020 and the death of sanity, the majority of mainstream health officials have permanently reorganized their recommendations and public proclamations based on a lie.

There’s now limitless political capital to be gained by going on television to advocate for further restrictions on normal life, based on literally nothing.

And of course, this data makes it even more apparent that school masking and the bewildering toddler masking enforced in New York City remains a dangerous farce; theatrical abuse to protect the egos and vanities of vicious, stupid adults who are either too ignorant to know they’re wrong, or too committed to the lie to turn back.

Mask wearing in London is still remarkably high; people have been force fed purposeful misinformation based on incompetence or malice for over two years now, and based on the actions of activists with credentials like Ashish Jha in the United States.

And based on the actions of Jha’s counterparts like Matthew Taylor in the UK, this will continue to be an international issue in the coming days, months and years.

There will clearly be no end to the push for a return to COVID restrictions among the medical and public health establishments. 

No matter how many surges arise with strict mandates in place, the pervasive groupthink on masks has infiltrated every facet of the elite decision making process.

It’s now an undisputed fact to them that “masks work” and that “mandates work” and “have worked,” despite the profound absurdity of these statements.

Along with the mountains of data collected from jurisdictions throughout the world, survey data in the UK has also now confirmed that “always” wearing a mask is completely irrelevant to your chances of testing positive compared to someone who sometimes or never wears one.

Mask wearing by the general public, something Ashish Jha and Matthew Taylor and Anthony Fauci and many others will be cheerleading and promoting for years to come, doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. 

It is impossible for mask mandates or promotion to reduce infections or the strain on hospitals because masks do not work. They do not help. There is no value, whether for adults or children. And unfortunately, many influential and important activists now have free license to appear on major public forums and blatantly lie in order to protect their political ideology.

Republished from the author’s Substack

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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