YET ANOTHER DUBIOUS FACT CHECK. BUT THIS ONE IS EVEN WEIRDER THAN THE LAST.
A PolitiFact “fact checker” who has attempting to discredit National Pulse reporting on mask mandates and recent medical journal papers has almost zero experience in real news reporting, medical reporting, COVID-19 reporting, or even national news, The National Pulse can reveal.
The information is the latest in a slew of “fact checker” stories which reveal dubiously credentialed individuals working to remove anti-Big Pharma content from the internet at the behest of big tech companies and their sponsors in the pharmaceutical industry.
Floridian liberal Gabrielle Settles appears to have begun working for Politifact in March 2021, bylining at least 70 stories for the corporate-backed censor.
Settles, however, has no experience in dealing with any of this kind of information, having performed the majority of her “fact checks” simply by copying and pasting from the Centers for Disease Control website, and even veering off into “fact checking” pictures of Christmas cards and photos of singer Rihanna.
Prior to Politifact, Settles worked at a small, St. Petersburg outfit called “The Weekly Challenger”, and prior to that, as an “Office Administrator” at “Moody Radio” and a “contributing writer” at a blog called “The Power Broker Magazine.” The sites receive almost zero web traffic.
In fact, Settles’s journalistic contributions are extremely limited. But naturally, her contributions to partisan rhetoric are not.
The Politifact “reporter” – a job which includes no actual reporting – has a history of pro-Democrat and anti-Trump tweets. Naturally, she took umbrage with The National Pulse’s story on masks and deaths, derived from two separate stories of May 16th and May 26th.
In the first, Natalie Winters reveals how Beny Spira, Associate Professor at the University of São Paulo, published an April 19th 2022 study “analyz[ing] the correlation between mask usage against morbidity and mortality rates in the 2020-2021 winter in Europe.”
The data came from 35 European countries, and concluded:
“The findings presented in this short communication suggest that countries with high levels of mask compliance did not perform better than those with low mask usage in the six-month period that encompassed the second European wave of COVID-19…”
The study also found:
“Moreover, the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences…”
But Settles found this particular science to be “False” and as a result, the National Pulse story is now being censored on social media. Settles’s source appears to be a singular professor from the corporate-backed Milken Institute for Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her name is Emily Smith.
But Smith didn’t even tell Settles that Spira’s study was incorrect. She is quoted as saying:
“I think we can just use common sense to say that when cases are rising, people are more likely to do protective things… You’re more likely to wear a mask when you go out and your city or your country might also have made recommendations or requirements to do those things.”
In other words, Smith is claiming that the mask usage and deaths is an inverse correlation, though she offers no evidence, nor science, nor refutation of the science offered. Instead, Smith suggests using “common sense” – a phrase oft-derided when used by anti-authoritarian activists at the beginning of the pandemic.
Smith, for what it is worth, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as revealed on her university biography.
A second study reviewed by The National Pulse, though thus far unmolested by Politifact, asserts:
“The most important finding from this study is that contrary to the accepted thought that fewer people are dying because infection rates are reduced by masks, this was not the case…Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths or ∼50% more deaths compared to no mask mandates.”
The study also posited a potential reason for the disparity in risk ratio (RR) for dying from COVID-19:
“A rationale for the increased RR by mandating masks is probably that virions that enter or those coughed out in droplets are retained in the facemask tissue, and after quick evaporation of the droplets, hypercondensed droplets or pure virions (virions not inside a droplet) are re-inhaled from a very short distance during inspiration.”
Dubbed the “Foegen effect,” the theory suggests that COVID-19 “virions spread (because of their smaller size) deeper into the respiratory tract.”
The National Pulse reached out to Politifact at their firstname.lastname@example.org address for a correction on June 2nd 2022. As yet, no one has responded, and Settles’s factually inaccurate “fact check” remains both online, and continues to censor The National Pulse stories on Facebook.
Reporting by The National Pulse.