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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.
Contrary to the claim in Cheng et al.’s title their study tells us nothing about whether masks work or not. What they offer is a modelling study demonstrating that, given a set of assumptions, masks may conceivably protect. While hardly in dispute, this study would still have offered an important recommendation a year ago. Today, after having run the practical experiment for over a year, we are no longer interested in what might credibly be assumed to work in theory but what can be shown to work from actual observed data. For this Cheng et al. have nothing to offer.
If and when governments want to force something on the people against their will, who do not want to endure or perform what’s expected of them, what is the best and most successful way to go about it? Schmelz & Bowles is one more in a long row of well funded studies to provide just this solution. Surprisingly they are more open about their real concerns than is customary when they explicitly state
“Our findings have broad policy applicability beyond COVID-19 to cases in which voluntary citizen compliance is essential because state capacities are limited.”
Perhaps the most important paragraph in the Ministry of Defence paper (UK in cooperation with Germany) is hidden in a small paragraph on page 95. Why would governments consider it worth their while to invest time and money into just this kind of research? The soldier envisioned here is ideally suited to be deployed against their own domestic population. Surprisingly this is no hoax and no parody, I downloaded it from the official UK government site.
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