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Mask study that the medical journals dare not print


THREE leading medical journals have refused to publish the results of the first major scientific investigation into the effects of wearing masks on the spread of Covid-19. The authors of the long-awaited ‘gold-standard’ randomised controlled trial have admitted their findings are ‘controversial’ and are keeping them secret until their paper has been peer-reviewed and published. The Danish newspaper Berlingske has the details:


Professor: Large Danish mask study rejected by three top journals

The researchers behind a large and unique Danish study on the effect of wearing a mask are having great difficulty in getting their research results published. One of the participating professors in the study admits that the still secret research result could be perceived as ‘controversial’.

For weeks, the media and researchers around the world have been waiting with increasing impatience for the publication of a large Danish study on the effect – or lack thereof – of wearing a mask in a public space during the corona pandemic.

Now one of the researchers who has been involved in the study has said that the finished research result has been rejected by at least three of the world’s leading medical journals.

These include the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Medical Association’s journal JAMA.

‘They all said no,’ said Professor Christian Torp-Pedersen, chief physician in the Research Department at North Zealand Hospital.  

However, the Professor does not wish to disclose the journals’ reasoning. He said: ‘We cannot start discussing what they are dissatisfied with, because in that case we must also explain what the study showed – and we do not want to discuss that until it is published.’

The study was initiated at the end of April, following a grant of DKK 5m (£600,000) from the Salling Foundations (owner of the Salling Group, Denmark’s largest retailer). It involved 6,000 Danes, half of whom had to wear face masks in public over a long period of time. The other half were the control group.

A large proportion of the test participants were employees of the Salling Group’s supermarkets: Bilka, Føtex and Netto.

The study and its size are unique, and the purpose was once and for all to try to clarify the extent to which the use of face masks in public spaces provides protection against coronavirus infections.


One of the co-authors, Henrik Ullum, tweeted yesterday that he was ‘very unhappy’.

It wouldn’t be the first time politics has trumped science amongst those who are supposed to be its guardians. Professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University said last month that she was having unusual difficulty getting anything on herd immunity published, and biomathematician Dr Gabriela Gomes has said the same thing.

I think we can be fairly confident that this mask study – the largest carried out – doesn’t say what the pro-maskers would like. On October 18, Alex Berenson revealed on Twitter that one of the study’s lead investigators, Professor Thomas Benfield, had said the study would be published ‘as soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper’. No courage would be required if it confirmed Covid orthodoxy.

This was first published in Lockdown Sceptics on Octber 23, 2020, and is republished by kind permission.

Editor’s postscript: The Government are constantly telling us they are ‘following the science’, and we must too. But science is becoming about as (un)trustworthy as the government. If we have learnt nothing else since the so called Covid crisis took over virtually every aspect of our lives, it is that science has become as politicised as politics. 

As any intelligent or decently educated person knows, science is never ‘settled’ even if the climate change zealots aided by the BBC keep insisting it is. There is always new data emerging, different ‘models’ and different interpretations of the same data being argued about, and every so often comes a major discovery or paradigm shift that upsets the whole apple cart.

What we’ve witnessed since the start of the Covid pandemic is a quite ruthless weaponising of Imperial College’s modelling research which Will Jones wrote about here. Then there was the publication of research trashing hydroxychoroquine that the Lancet was forced to retract, reported by Edmund Fordham here. Dr Fordham followed that up with a report on the shambles of the RECOVERY trials. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) was bound up with the same scandal, albeit less noticed. The same authors retracted another paper from it on the same day (June 4) as the Lancet’s fake news. The reason given was the same: the database was ‘unverifiable’. Bizarrely, this did not stop it reaching print on June 18, albeit with a retraction ‘banner’. Now it seems the same journals may be at it again. It is all made worse by the failure of the MSM to investigate and their own selective reporting of ‘science’. It seems that ‘mask’ research is going the same way.

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Will Jones
Will Jones
Will Jones is editor of the Daily Sceptic.

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