Every now and again, @NYMag's @intelligencer decides to publish COVID misinformation.

The latest example comes courtesy of @davidzweig and centers around masking for kids.

It makes the same tired arguments that I've been hearing for months now. Let's take a look...
Zweig starts by misrepresenting a single study from Georgia that looked at 90K students/169 schools (cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/7…).

He insinuates that the study found no protection with masking for students.

In truth, student masking reduced COVID incidence by 21%...
The trend did not reach statistical significance, and the authors give a logical reason why.

But the trend was still there.

Also, the lack of statistical significance could have been due to the small sample size (only ~80 schools in the groups with/without masking)
Next, the Talented Mr. Zweig claims the CDC's science brief on COVID in K-12 schools (cdc.gov/coronavirus/20…) lacks studies of student masking in isolation.

I guess he missed this second Georgia study that linked student masklessness to COVID clusters? cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/7…
A similar episode/investigation in Israel revealed an uptick in cases at a school ***immediately after*** masking was rolled back. eurosurveillance.org/content/10.280…

Zweig opts to gloss over/downplay this inconvenient finding in a sidebar. 👀🧐 🤔
Finally, Zweig makes the most tired of tired arguments: "COVID, of course, is also a disease that tends to have much milder effects on children."

First, COVID can be both less threatening in kids AND STILL CAUSE A LOT OF SERIOUS DISEASE IN KIDS.
Moreover, Zweig makes the exhausting comparison of pediatric flu vs. pediatric COVID. Just so tired.

I guess he missed this CDC study from June showing COVID hospitalizations among teens were greater than hospitalizations linked to influenza over 3 recent flu seasons...
Not to mention, the CDC study even analyzed the flu season (2018-2019) that Zweig highlights in his bogus comparison!!!! 🤯🤬🤯🤬🤯🤬🤯🤬🤯🤬🤯🤬

The difference is clear as the daylight that his tired argument can't seem to see.
P.S. For the people chirping at me about statistics:

A trend can be clinically significant but not statistically significant for the reasons I mention

Zweig undoubtedly understands this, and if he doesn't, that's less than great


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More from @MoNscience

3 Sep
Today @NYCMayor de Blasio told @BrianLehrer that @WNYC/@Gothamist's recent series on ventilation in @NYCSchools is inaccurate

He should read our latest:

NYC Officials Say School Windows Can Always Offer Solid Ventilation. Independent Scientists Disagree
And as a fun exercise in science media literacy, let's break down the Mayor's response...
Two weeks ago, Brian Lehrer asked @NYCMayor/@BilldeBlasio whether he had heard that the air purifiers @NYCSchools had purchased for every classroom in the city lacked HEPA filters, an industry standard.

The mayor said he'd look into it.
wnyc.org/story/ask-mayo… Image
Read 15 tweets
31 Aug
NYC Approves 4,000 Classrooms For In-Person Schooling Despite Unreliable Ventilation

Part 2 of our look at the city's back-to-school COVID precautions...

✍️: @clewisreports for @WNYC / @Gothamist
Looking through building surveys conducted by NYC's Department of Education, @jeffwilen found thousands of classrooms have been cleared for occupancy despite relying exclusively on functioning windows for ventilation.

She even made an interactive map.🙏🙌
gothamist.com/news/nyc-appro… Image
@jeffwilen Got interrupted mid-thread. Dang work. Let's continue.

Aerosol scientists would probably raise their eyebrows at this part about the classrooms "relying exclusively on functioning windows for ventilation"...
Read 13 tweets
28 Aug
“In addition, the [Intelligence Committee] was able to reach broad agreement on several other key issues. We judge the virus was not developed as a biological weapon…” dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
“Most agencies also assess with low confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered; however, two agencies believe there was not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way.” dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
Remember when a major magazine entertained the ideas that SARS2 was a bioweapon or genetically engineered despite scientific evidence to the contrary? Good thing that didn’t happen because it would be pretty embarrassing right now…
Read 6 tweets
23 Aug
Vaccine mandates now that Pfizer-BioNTech is fully approved in U.S...
Pentagon to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for military thehill.com/policy/defense…
NYC officials said it was a coincidence that its schools' mandate came the same day as full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine and that they were planning to forge ahead even if the federal decision hadn't come today. gothamist.com/news/nyc-publi…
Read 6 tweets
30 Jul
“One of the slides states that there is a higher risk among older age groups for hospitalization and death relative to younger people, regardless of vaccination status. Another estimates that there are 35,000 symptomatic infections per week among 162 million vaccinated Americans”
‘The slide references an outbreak in Barnstable County, Mass., where vaccinated and unvaccinated people shed nearly identical amounts of virus.” washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07…
Read 4 tweets
28 Jul
Here is the issue with Leonhardt’s takes on public health and COVID:

They often misconstrue data, don’t see the bigger picture and can mislead people… (a thread)
First, I’m surprised that anyone (without an agenda) can look at this national map and essentially say “You know what? Some parts of this country are going to be alright.”

I mean, it looks like a scene from the “Floor Is Lava” Image
Second, many counties in the states he mentioned ***DO*** fall in the danger zones or are moving in that direction.

The eastern half of New Jersey, Suffolk County, Mass (home to Boston) and Milwaukee County, Wisc. are either under substantial or high risk. ImageImageImage
Read 7 tweets

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