TSA mask mandate
Everyone is mad at the judge, they should be mad at the CDC
Just imagine we had a competent CDC who ran a cluster RCT of cloth masking mandate in airplanes and measured spread. It could even be factorial design and test different ventilation filters. Imagine the trial was negative-- a judge would not need to strike down the mandate. It would have fallen by scientific consensus.
Imagine now it were positive. We could have a discussion about the effect size, if it varies by case rate at the flight origin city or traveller origin cities. We could discuss when the tradeoff might be worth it, and when it might be not worth it.
Imagine the trial was large. It could be powered for interaction by age. Do cloth masks protect babies or is it a false reassurance? Does it protect immunocompromised? Or again, false reassurance?
Imagine the trial had arms for different rules. An ok to snack arm or a no snacking arm. Does it work with a rule modification?
We ran zero such trials. The CDC ran no studies. No one knows the answer to these questions, despite their bluster. The truth is it seems highly implausible that wearing a mask on one ear lobe, while eating pretzels for an hour works.
The CDC failed it's social contract. It implemented a policy and never generated evidence. This turned a scientific question into a political one. Naturally battle lines were drawn.
Finally a judge comes in and throws out the mandate. Many people are upset with the judge. But the judge didn't fail you. The CDC failed you. It never ran a trial. It never generated knowledge. It kept us in the dark. It should be no surprise that it lost it's power and legitimacy. It proved it does not deserve the power it was was entrusted by the people. It failed to use science to reduce uncertainty. We should be ashamed of the organization. I certainly am.
VP, in the absence of actual RCTs how do these docs go around shouting #MASKS WORK!!!
I feel like the medical profession writ large either has no idea what an RCT is, or pays no attention to whether they exist for (fill in the blank) recommendation.
Basically, my entire impression of doctors is eroded. And it ain’t coming back anytime soon. These people are out of their minds — truly driving blind, and appealing to authority to CYA.
I wasn’t looking for this.
Let's see how mad people really are at the judge. The same day of her decision every major airline dropped the requirement. Multiple viral videos show people cheering, flight attendants singing. When asked whether people should mask on airplanes, Biden - the executive sponsor of the mandate that had been overturned - said, "it's up to them." The administration took two days to even suggest they would appeal the ruling and, still, will do so *without asking for a stay.* Most of the coverage of the administration's thinking says they are concerned they will lose on appeal because the judge's decision was, you know, right.
I think a lot of the anger is performative.