Study Warning About Face Masks Debunked, Soon To Be Retracted

Stock photo of a man working out
Stock photo of a man working out
(stock image via Depositphotos)

A study that purportedly criticized the efficacy of wearing face masks during the pandemic is about to be retracted after some funky facts came to light.

From Retraction Watch:

A study that warned of the perils of using face masks as a precaution against contracting Covid-19 appears slated for retraction, Retraction Watch has learned. The 2020 paper, “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis,” was written by Baruch Vainshelboim, who listed his affiliation as Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health System.

But the study gained wide circulation earlier this month, thanks in part to some conservative politicians, and became the subject of fact-checks by the Associated Press and Snopes, which pointed out that the paper was published by an exercise physiologist with no academic connection to Stanford University or the NIH in a journal that accepts “radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas.

Stanford has disavowed both Vainshelboim and the paper.

Snopes, the fact-checking site, cited the study as false and misleading: “The paper was published by an exercise physiologist with no academic connection to Stanford University or the NIH in a journal that accepts ‘radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas.'”

Vainshelboim is not a medical doctor but reportedly holds a PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Porto in 2014.

The paper got renewed traction this month after the far-right leaning fake-news site, The Gateway Pundit, which has been banned from Twitter for repeatedly posting misinformation.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Tucker Carlson: The Deep State Ate My Fake News Homework

Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson (screen capture)

During his Wednesday night show, Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson told his audience that his producers had acquired “incriminating documents” about Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, but the documents had “vanished” while being shipped from New York to Los Angeles.

From The Independent:

In a bizarre segment on Wednesday night’s show, Carlson alleged that his team mailed the documents from New York to Los Angeles after receiving them from a “source” on Monday, but that the bundle never arrived.

Without providing any further details or evidence, Carlson said the “damning” documents had “vanished” on route, heavily implying foul play.

Carlson said a producer had shipped the documents to him from New York to Los Angeles via a “brand-name company”. When they didn’t arrive, the shipping company told Fox that their package had been opened and the documents had “disappeared”.  

Viewers questioned why Fox shipped the only copy of such “damning” material without making any kind of back-up, and the segment has since been a subject of ridicule on social media.

Within the last hour, a spokesman for UPS told The Daily Beast that they had located the mysterious package Carlson suggested had been deliberately misplaced or intercepted because it contained “damning” materials on the Biden family.

“After an extensive search, we have found the contents of the package and are arranging for its return,” the spokesman said.

Trump Orders Federal Agencies To Stop Subscribing To NY Times, Washington Post

Donald Trump has ordered US military forces to the Middle East following an Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities

Donald Trump has ordered US military forces to the Middle East following an Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities

Talk about petty…

Axios is reporting that the White House will soon order all federal agencies to not renew their subscriptions to the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Yes, those would be the two newspapers Donald Trump has repeated raged against on Twitter for what he feels is biased, ‘fake news’ reporting.

The announcement came just hours after Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show calling the two papers ‘fake.’

The White House said on Tuesday that it would cancel its own subscriptions to the Post and the Times, after Trump complained that they were “fake” during an appearance this week on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an email to the Wall Street Journal: “Not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving—hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be saved.”

CNN Speaks To GOP Voters But Doesn’t Reveal They Are All Organized Trump Activists

(screen capture via CNN)

This is bad.

CNN interviewed a group of women presented as ‘Republican’ voters who happen to support Donald Trump, when they are actually part of an organized group that promotes the Donald.

From The Washington Post:

The seemingly random group of eight women were, in fact, members of an organized group dedicated to promoting Trump. The group calls itself the Trumpettes of America 2019 Palm Beach Team, although CNN and correspondent Randi Kaye didn’t mention anything about such a group. Nor did the anchors, including Anderson Cooper, who introduced Kaye’s report.

The network simply identified the panelists individually, with their names appearing onscreen next to the word “Republican.” Kaye gave no hint that the women knew one another and had a common cause.

As a result, the segment left the impression that CNN had assembled a panel reflecting a cross-section of opinion from Republican women about the crossfire between Trump and four freshman Democratic congresswomen of color, whom Trump told to “go back” to their own countries in Sunday tweets, despite all four being American citizens.

Rather than a cross-section, however, the Trumpettes were plainly of one mind.

Some of the women had appeared on CNN before, and neither time was an affiliation to being part of an organized Trump group acknowledged.

Edward Wasserman, dean of the University of California at Berkeley journalism school, described the lack of disclosure as “a fraud on the viewer.”

Wasserman told the Post the network may have withheld the identity of the group “to cover up the lack of news value in the interview and to provide ‘something that looks like balance’ in the face of Trump’s criticism that CNN is anti-Trump.”

The women do seem pleased with how the segment went, even going so far as to promote the clip on their Facebook page.

However, note that they encouraged their followers to watch them on “the Anti-Trump Fake News CNN Show.”

There’s gratitude for you…

Trump Calls Fox Business Anchor “Fake News” In Tense Exchange

Things got testy between Donald Trump and Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo on Friday as she asked about his continuing attacks on deceased Sen.John McCain.

When she observed that his attacks divide more than unite the country, Trump stated again that his attacks only come up because of reporters question, and then he called Bartiromo “fake news.”

“I didn’t mention John McCain until you asked me a question about John McCain,” said Trump, clearly agitated. “I could say I have no comment but that’s not me. But you shouldn’t have brought it up. Actually, I thought you weren’t suppose to bring it up but that’s OK. Fake news, every once and a while.”

Bartiromo didn’t back down, saying, “It’s not fake news. You just told me why you have an issue with him.”

After the interviewed, Bartiromo made a point of telling the TV audience, “For the record, there were no conditions or stipulations agreed to ahead of the interview.”

(h/t Mediaite)

Earlier this month, Trump mentioned McCain during a press event with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro: “I’m very unhappy that he didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare, as you know. He campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare for years.”

“I was never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be,” he added.

News Round-Up: January 11, 2019

• InstaHunk Joe Blizzard is setting up some serious 'beard goals.' #Woof
Joe Blizzard

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Joe Blizzard is setting some serious ‘beard goals.’ #Woof

• White House officials are considering diverting disaster funds earmarked for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California to build Donald Trump’s beloved ‘wall’ under the guise of declaring the border situation a ‘national emergency.’

• Did you hear about the United Airlines pilot and copilot having sex in the cockpit during a flight? Me neither. But fools who came across the fake story on the fake news site World News Daily Report swallowed the bogus story hook, line and sinker.

• After reviewing recent HIV research, experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) say they agree with over 300 health agencies around the world: HIV positive people with an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV.

• Hate crime charges have been filed against a Washington state man who groped and punched a married lesbian couple at a Seattle Seahawks game.

• Check out this promo video for the upcoming WorldPride Main Event on Saturday, June 29, 2019, which will bring the entire LGBTQ community and its allies together on one ginormous dance floor at New York City’s largest venue, the Jacob Javitz Center.

Click here for more info on Pride Festival.

News Round-Up: January 10, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• Ok, I can hear you already, “Randy, that hot pic of Gus Kenworthy is just click bait! Why do you do this to us?” But it’s not – see that phone grip that says ‘Be True?’ Proceeds from sales will help Gus raise $1 million for his AIDSLifeCycle campaign. Click here to buy. See? I’m here to help 😉


• Josh Hutcherson revealed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he and Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth once stripped naked together at Berlin fetish clubPics or it didn’t happen…

• Manchester Pride has announced they’ve added a black and brown stripe to their Pride flag to represent Black, Asian and ethnic LGBTQ people. What do you think – do we need a new version of the iconic rainbow flag? I think the original flag already represented everyone…

• Fox and New Regency have announced that they’ll release a karaoke version of box office juggernaut Bohemian Rhapsody in 750 theaters across the US and Canada starting this Friday, January 11.

• Seniors and ‘ultra conservatives’ shared about seven times more ‘fake news’ on social media than younger adults, moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election season.

• It may be the middle of winter, but Aussie singer Troye Sivan has his head in summer sunshine with his new music video for “Lucky Strike.”

Trump Supporter Arrested For Death Threats To Boston Globe

Robert Chain of Encino, California, has been charged with making threatening communications in interstate commerce after he allegedly called in threats to the Boston Globe newsroom 14 times over a 12-day period between August 10 and 22.
Robert Chain of Encino, California

A California man was arrested this week for making multiple death threats targeting the Boston Globe using homophobic slurs.

Robert Chain of Encino, California, has been charged with making threatening communications in interstate commerce after he allegedly called in threats to the Boston Globe newsroom 14 times over a 12-day period between August 10 and 22.

The threats apparently stemmed from the Globe’s call for newspapers across the nation to publish op-ed pieces in support of a free press all on the same day.

From the Department of Justice:

On Aug. 10, 2018, the Boston Globe announced that it was requesting that other newspaper publications around the country publish a coordinated editorial response to political attacks on the media. The coordinated editorial response was to be published on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.

According to court documents, immediately following the announcement, Chain began making threatening calls to the Boston Globe’s newsroom.

In the calls, Chain referred to the Globe as “the enemy of the people” and threatened to kill newspaper employees.

In total, it is alleged that Chain made approximately 14 threatening phone calls to the Globe between August 10 and 22, 2018.

Over 300 newspapers took part in the coordinated editorials.

Homophobic slurs “faggot” and “cocksuckers” were a popular choice of insult used by Chain.

According to an affidavit filed by the FBI, Chain said in an August 13 phone call, “Hey, how’s your pussy smell today, nice and fresh? We are going to shoot you motherfuckers in the head, you Boston Globe cocksuckers. Shoot every fucking one of you.”

During a call on August 16, Chain used the word “faggot” as he continued to threaten the Globe, which he referred to as “the enemy of the people.”

“You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every fucking one of you. Hey, why don’t you call the F, why don’t you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out buddy. Still there faggot? Alright, why, you going to trace my call? What are you going to do motherfucker? You ain’t going to do shit. I’m going to shoot you in the fucking head later today, at 4 o’clock. Goodbye.”

In a call on August 22, the 68-year-old told the Globe, “You are the enemy of the people, and I want you to go fuck yourself.” Chain added that he would continue with this threats “as long as you keep attacking the President.” Chain went on to use the term “fake news” in that same phone call.

The phrases “enemy of the people” and “fake news” have been used many times in past months by President Trump as he has attacked various news outlets in public statements.

In fact, since the deadly gun shooting in June at the Maryland newspaper, The Capital Gazette, Trump has used the term nine times.

When police entered Chain’s home, they found over 20 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Chain faces a possible five year prison sentence, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

Trump Rants As Hundreds Of Newspapers Denounce His Attacks On Free Press

Donald Trump

Thanks to a campaign initiated by The Boston Globe, over 350 newspapers across the country issued op-ed pieces in a coordinated defense of the media from Donald Trump’s calls of “fake news.”

The Trumpster, in predictable fashion took to Twitter to rant: “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!”