More push back about masks

How ironic is it that the day before the April 22 Acorn had hit the streets, a neighbor who is an health insurance professional and I were talking about the subject of face coverings. He mentioned that there is a false study regarding the use of face coverings, attributed to Stanford University.

He mentioned particulars that just happen to be in Mr. Daniel’s letter. I mentioned the letter to my neighbor and he just shook his head. I said that I would send a rebuttal to this phony study. He said, “Snopes has your rebuttal.”

So I looked it up, and it has the same information that my insurance professional neighbor told me. I will quote it for your readers’ information: “The paper was published by an exercise physiologist with no academic connection to Stanford University or the NIH in a journal that accepts “radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas.’”

While I support and applaud free speech, this letter from Mr. Daniels is just another example of a gullible section of the population that either does not research things for facts or searches out whatever they find to support their political agenda.

May I suggest that it may just be time for The Acorn to get a fact checker to help separate the wheat from the chaff and continue to give us items of veracity and sanity. As in this case, our lives depend on it.

Jim Shahan
Oak Park

What possible reason does The Acorn have for continuing to publish false health information about the pandemic?

In a recent letter full of misinformation, a writer promoted the completely disproved idea that face masks do not prevent the spread of COVID, and cited a “Stanford study” that is widely disproved with the most basic Google search.

Forbes, Fact Check, Associated Press and Stanford itself have all come out rejecting any connection to this “study” with no peer reviews that suggest that face masks are not effective in the spread of COVID.

Enough. The editorial standards of The Acorn have become dangerous and must be upgraded to meet high journalistic standards.

Please do a service to the community you serve and refrain from publishing misinformation from disproved sources with no medical experience. Do your research and verify a claim before spreading it and suggesting it has merit by publishing it. Or perhaps even better, focus on the publication of letters with ideas that actually bring us all together.

David Zweig
Oak Park

Wow, apparently it was your reader, Gerard Daniels who was duped. Although Gerard is clearly proud of his “background in health and environmental studies,” a simple internet search quickly locates an article from the Journal of Medical Hypotheses claiming to be a Stanford study.

It was strongly refuted by Stanford Medical, who requested an immediate correction. According to Stanford, the author, Baruch Vainshelboim, had no affiliation with the university since 2016 when he was a visiting scholar for one year on matters unrelated to the article he authored. Common sense would tell us that COVID-19 was not known until 2019.

Stanford Medicine strongly supports the efficacy of mask-wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If Gerard is being honest with himself, perhaps he should question if Stanford Medical or social media is the best source of information concerning his health.

Marcy Tamayei
Agoura Hills

While I am happy to accept Gerard Daniels’ qualifications on particulate matter at face value, I will challenge a key element of his letter criticizing face masks.

After reading his letter to The Acorn, I quickly found five online articles debunking the socalled “recent Stanford study” he cited.

The “study” was a pay-topublish piece in a non-peer-reviewed journal that prides itself on raising hypotheses without subjecting them to any scrutiny.

The author was not actually affiliated with Stanford or the university with his research. Many right-wing sites have claimed the paper was a National Institute of Health study, which is also untrue. In fact, it’s not even a study, just, once again, a hypothesis.

There is way too much bad info being dumped onto the internet every day. People who use Facebook or a single TV channel as their only sources of news are being fed suspect information, meant to drive an agenda, not the truth. All of us should question what we read or view and not accept it as gospel.

Here’s the simple facts about getting through and past the COVID-19 pandemic: Wearing a mask as the most effective way to protect yourself and others as we all go out in public will be the new normal.

The sooner we can vaccinate more than 90% of the population, the better our chances of wiping out the mutations and variants that continue to spread. Those variants will likely require a COVID-19 booster shot in late 2021 or early 2022.

The longer it takes to convince the subset of our population that believes masks are ineffective and vaccines are a conspiracy to come around to common sense, the longer we will be living with COVID-19 and its ongoing variants, mutations that will sadly claim even more lives.

David Higgins
Agoura Hills

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