Parson hasn’t released any data analysis showing the masks worked: report
- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office has asked the state’s health department to analyze data on the effectiveness of masks, according to the Missouri Independent and the COVID-19 Documenting Project.
- According to emails obtained using the state’s Sunshine Law, the scan
- But the governor’s office never made it public, according to the report.
In November, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office tasked the state’s health department with analyzing data on the effectiveness of the masks, but did not release the information after it was shown that they were working to stem COVID-19, according to a report from the Missouri Independent and the Documenting COVID-19 Project.
According to the report released Wednesday, Parson’s office asked the state health department to commission the study in November. Days later, authorities returned data showing a comparison of infection and death rates in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City, and Jackson County with the rest of Missouri, according to the report.
The data showed the masks to be effective, especially as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spread in the state, according to the report. The scan was requested by Alex Tuttle, Parson’s liaison with the health department, according to the report.
The Independent and the COVID-19 Documenting Project obtained the emails by applying for them using a Missouri Sunshine law.
“I think we can say with great confidence, looking at the public health literature, and then looking at the results of your study, that the communities where masks were needed had lower positivity rates per 100,000 and lower rates of positivity per 100,000. lower mortality, ”wrote Donald Kauerauf, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Elderly Services, in an email Nov. 3, according to the report.
Kauerauf noted that there were a number of other factors that could also contribute to the data, but said it was clear the masks were effective, according to the report. Public health experts since the start of the pandemic have encouraged face masks as a way to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Scientists from the United Kingdom, Australia and China recently analyzed more than 70 published studies around the world and found that besides vaccination, wearing a mask appeared to be the most effective public health measure in the fight against the coronavirus.
From late April to October, areas of Missouri with mask warrants experienced an average of 15.8 cases per day per 100,000 population compared to 21.7 cases per day per 100,000 population in areas that did not have ‘mask requirements, the data showed, according to the report.
Parson, a Republican, fiercely opposed to the two mask mandates and vaccination warrants as tools to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In response to the Missouri Independent report, Parson released a statement on Facebook on Thursday calling the report’s author Rudi Keller, associate editor of the Missouri Independent, a “political blogger.”
Parson said Keller “wrote a deliberately misleading article.”
“He selected information from a Sunshine request, then took the data out of context to fit his narrative. He left out important information that provides context for the whole story,” Parson wrote. . “This type of ‘so called’ reporting is unethical and must stop because it misleads the public and poses a threat to the credibility of our institutions.”
“There is no definitive evidence to prove that the warrants only saved lives and prevented COVID-19 infections in the largest cities in Missouri,” he added.
Parson said the data used to create the analysis had been “public on our dashboard for over a year” and doubled down on his opposition to mask warrants, but said he was not “anti- mask”.