By making mask-wearing recommendations and policies for the general public, or by expressly condoning the practice, governments have both ignored the scientific evidence and done the opposite of following the precautionary principle.
In an absence of knowledge, governments should not make policies that have a hypothetical potential to cause harm. The government has an onus barrier before it instigates a broad social-engineering intervention, or allows corporations to exploit fear-based sentiments.
Furthermore, individuals should know that there is no known benefit arising from wearing a mask in a viral respiratory illness epidemic, and that scientific studies have shown that any benefit must be residually small, compared to other and determinative factors.
Otherwise, what is the point of publicly funded science?
The present paper about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history.
Denis G. Rancourt is a researcher at the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA.ca) and is formerly a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada. This paper was originally published at Rancourt’s account on ResearchGate.net. As of June 5, 2020, this paper was removed from his profile by its administrators at Researchgate.net/profile/D_Rancourt. At Rancourt’s blog ActivistTeacher.blogspot.com,he recounts the notification and responses he received from ResearchGate.net and states, “This is censorship of my scientific work like I have never experienced before.”
The original April 2020 white paper in .pdf format is available here, complete with charts that have not been reprinted in the Reader print or web versions.