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Infectious disease expert at Fauci's NIAID undercuts the boss by challenging school mask mandates

- JUST THE NEWS - Greg Piper - JAN 27, 2022 -

Scientist Margery Smelkinson discloses her NIAID affiliation on Twitter but not her writing. Continued masking is "unnecessary, even in schools and among the unvaccinated" in Maryland where NIH is based, she says.

An infectious disease scientist in Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is undermining his promotion of continued masking while skirting direct confrontation with NIAID's director of 38 years.

Margery Smelkinson identifies her NIAID affiliation on Twitter, where she regularly questions COVID-19 policies, but she hasn't otherwise removed her mask, so to speak.

The scientist made perhaps her biggest splash Wednesday with an Atlantic essay questioning the CDC's purported evidence for COVID-19 mask mandates in schools, including a North Carolina study promoted by the National Institutes of Health, which oversees NIAID.

While the NIH's safe school reopening guide called masks "very effective at slowing the spread," Smelkinson called the North Carolina study and others weak because they didn't isolate the impact of masks and had no control group.

"The time has come to pivot towards mask-optional policies," she tweeted. Mask mandates in schools are neither "based on robust evidence" nor "balanced against potential harms."


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