You know that mask study that Tucker Carlson featured on Fox News recital? The letter was originally published as a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics? Well, fuggedaboutit. JAMA Pediatrics withdrew the study.
If you’re watching the July 1 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, you’ve probably heard Carlson state that “this study confirms that masking children is not simply unnecessary and can be counterproductive. Masking children is legally very dangerous for children. “Did he say “dangerous?” Again, these are masks on the faces of children, not marsupials or feces. Not that children have never worn masks before the pandemic. coronavirus Covid-19. There’s a thing called Halloween, for example. Carlson, by the way, has as many medical degrees as your average: 0.
Meanwhile, that same day, Alex Berenson, who doesn’t appear to be a medical doctor or alpaca doctor, tweeted the following:
Did he call the mask a face covering? There is a big difference between the two. For example, the mask should not have a dull color. Diapers can even have doody pairs. Masks also don’t pee, unless you’re doing something really wrong with your mask. Or your face, for that matter.
Regardless, what got Carlson and Berenson excited about this research? It is said to have “measured” the amount of carbon dioxide in the air that 20 girls and 25 boys inhaled when they were wearing masks compared to when they weren’t. They are all between the ages of 6 and 17.
The authors state that people wearing masks are inhaling levels of carbon dioxide “deemed by the German Federal Environment Office by a factor of 6 to be unacceptable”. They write that these levels are “reached after 3 minutes of measurement.” The authors conclude that their results “suggest that children should not be forced to wear masks”.
Well, that sounds impressive. Why then don’t surgeons pass out after they wear surgical masks for several hours? Or what about Halloween? Will kids in ghost costumes or any other costume covering their nose and mouth say “trick or air, I need air?”
This is the thing though. When you say you have measured something in a scientific paper, you need to be prepared to describe exactly how you did so and provide proof that you actually did what you were told. You can’t just say, “Listen to me.” Scientific articles are not like dating sites where you can say whatever you want. If you say you “don’t like drama” in a scientific paper, prepare yourself for someone to challenge that claim.
Apparently, people in the medical and scientific communities have questioned this research letter, which happens to not be the same as a full scientific paper. And when JAMA Pediatrics The editors asked the authors to answer these questions, it seems that the authors were unable to provide adequate answers.
In an editorial in JAMA Pediatrics, an Editor (Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH) and Interim Editor-in-Chief (Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, MBA) explain why they chose to withdraw the research letter. They addressed many scientific issues related to the research method, “including concerns about the applicability of the equipment used to assess carbon dioxide levels in this research environment and whether Whether the measurements obtained accurately represent the carbon dioxide content of the inhaled air, as well as the relevant issues for the validity of the study conclusions. They also emphasized that the authors were unable to “provide compelling evidence to address these issues.”
A closer look at the research letter also reveals some “huh” claims. For example, the research letter begins with the sentence: “Many governments have made it mandatory for students to cover their noses and mouths or cover their faces. The evidence base for this is weak. However, they do not provide much evidence to support this claim. Studies have shown that masks can help prevent respiratory droplets and mask use is related to prevalence. lower infections with the Covid-19 coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a website detailing the uses of masks. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a website reviews the evidence behind the use of masks in reducing the spread of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The authors also describe their own research as “well controlled,” which is like describing yourself as amazing, sexy, or talented so far. Instead, you must provide the details of the study to your readers so that they can conclude whether the study is indeed “well controlled.”
All of this is a reminder that the results from one study are never enough to draw strong conclusions. A scientific study needs to be replicated. In others, other scientists may repeat the study in different ways and get similar results. That’s why it’s important to have multiple researchers look at the same scientific question. Then, each study can add more evidence to guide what to do.
Would Carlson use one of his shows to tell the audience that JAMA Pediatrics The study he touted has now been withdrawn? Will he then explain his research concerns? Will Berenson do the same with his tweets? Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen. After all, holding your breath for too long can actually increase the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood.