Seven months after the Keene City Council voted 12-2 for a mask ordinance, the evidence shows what we knew before, which is that masks do not work. There remains no peer-reviewed scientific study to support the public wearing of masks to slow the spread.

The Annals of Internal Medicine released a Danish study in November which found that wearing surgical masks did not protect wearers against infection from coronavirus. The clinical trial ran from April to June and was conducted by scientists at the University of Copenhagen with 6,000 participants of which about 5,000 completed the experiment.

Hopeful that masks would cut the infection rate by half, the Danish researchers instead found masks did not reduce infection rates. Among the masked group, 1.8 percent got infected compared to 2.1 percent among those not wearing masks. This difference was statistically insignificant; i.e., masks did not work.

A CDC study published this month looked at the impact of state-issued mask mandates in 2,313 U.S. counties. Between March and December 2020, face mask mandates reduced case growth rates by 1.3 percentage points over 21-100-day periods. According to the CDC, “Daily case and death growth rates before implementation of mask mandates were not statistically different from the reference period.” Again, masks did not work.

Public confusion is understandable when authorities like CDC chief Robert Redfield say things like, “this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” with no scientific evidence.

A more fruitful endeavor to reduce COVID-19 deaths might be to reduce obesity. U.S. obesity rates went from 31 percent in 1999 to 42 percent in 2018, or around 140 million people.

The World Obesity Foundation discovered that COVID-19 death rates in countries with obesity rates of greater than 40 percent are 10 times that of less-obese nations. Mortality data from Johns Hopkins University and the WHO showed that of 2.5 million COVID-19 deaths by the end of February, 2.2 million, or 9 of 10, were in countries like ours, with more overweight people.

So why are sensible people in New Hampshire still wearing masks and why did His Excellency, Gov. Sununu, extend the statewide mask mandate through March 26?

I strongly recommend an end to the mask mandate and the city ordinance when those executive orders expire this month.

BEN ROBERTSON

Keene