of the National Committee against Mandatory Mouth Caps
March 5 2021
Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM provided misleading information about the effectiveness of face masks in a presentation to the House of Representatives on 20 January 2021. Van Dissel showed a graph showing a very minimal positive effect of mouth masks. However, in the scientific article on which he relies, the same graph shows a negative effect, in other words, the article shows that face masks on balance lead to more infections.
RIVM spokesperson, Dr Coen Berends, confirms that a wrong version has been used, but states that this does not matter, because “You cannot speak of a positive or negative effect of masks in public space,” says Berends. Now that figures from the RIVM show that masks lead to more infections, the National Committee against Mandatory Mouth caps (NCVM / Ademvrij.NU) is calling on the government and parliament to lift the mask requirement with immediate effect.
In a presentation to the House of Representatives on January 20, 2021, Jaap van Dissel, as chairman of the OMT, showed data that would show that wearing face masks in public spaces, such as shops and public transport, would have a positive effect on public transport. prevention of contamination, albeit with a very mild, hardly measurable effect. He showed the following graph:
The graph is taken from a scientific article by Bauner et al: “The effectiveness of eight non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 in 41 countries" (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.28.20116129v4.full#disqus_thread). In this overview, the average effect of face masks is just above zero, although there are also clear negative effects.
In Bauner's original article, however, the graph looks different. The article shows the following graph, in which the average effect is slightly negative:
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