Eaton: Some errors in letter about masks

Posted 6/11/21

After reading Mr. Brian Reilly’s letter (“Letter writer misinformed about masks,” Sun City West Independent, May 26, 2021) I did some additional research related to his noted topics.

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Eaton: Some errors in letter about masks


After reading Mr. Brian Reilly’s letter (“Letter writer misinformed about masks,” Sun City West Independent, May 26, 2021) I did some additional research related to his noted topics.

He stated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had no peer reviewed studies to “prove that masks work to stop transmission of diseases.” Looking at the CDC website, the organization does not profess that masks “stop the transmission of diseases,” but rather denotes that masks used in conjunction with other preventive measures, such as social distancing, hand washing, etc., aids in reducing the risk of transmission.

He stated that peer reviewed studies proved that hydroxychloroquine “was shown to be an effective cure in defeating COVID.” According to the National Institutes of Health, the results of studies does not show hydroxychloroquine to be a benefit. The NIH stated, “In a large randomized controlled trial of hospitalized patients in the United Kingdom, hydroxychloroquine did not decrease 28-day mortality when compared to the usual standard of care. Participants who were randomized to receive hydroxychloroquine had a longer median hospital stay than those who received the standard of care. In addition, among patients who were not on invasive mechanical ventilation at the time of randomization, those who received hydroxychloroquine were more likely to subsequently require intubation or die during hospitalization than those who received the standard of care. In another randomized controlled trial that was conducted in Brazil, neither hydroxychloroquine alone nor hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin improved clinical outcomes among hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. More adverse events occurred among patients who received hydroxychloroquine or hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin than among those who received the standard of care.”

Mr. Reilly stated that the COVID vaccine has resulted in more than 4,000 deaths. This seems to be purported by right-wing media, such as Fox (e.g., Tucker Carlson). The source of this comes from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Note that VAERS is not an official, vetted report of vaccine-related incidents. Anyone can submit a report and, as the system’s website notes, “VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem” and “the reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental or unverifiable.” The CDC website further noted, “FDA requires health care providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS.”

Reports to VAERS of death following vaccination do not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the death. CDC follows up on any report of death to request additional information to learn more about what occurred and to determine whether the death was a result of the vaccine or was unrelated. CDC, Federal Drug Administration and other federal agencies will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 285 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from Dec. 14, 2020 through May 24, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 4,863 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy and medical records has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines. However, recent reports indicate a plausible causal relationship between the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and a rare and serious adverse event — blood clots with low platelets — which has caused deaths.”

In summary, it looks like what one believes depends greatly on the source of information, or misinformation, whichever the case may be. As for me personally, I’ll place more trust in credible health organizations, such as the CDC, NIH, and FDA rather than Tucker Carlson or Mr. Reilly.