To The Daily Sun,

In a letter by Charlie Gallagher in the July 8 issue of The Sun, he cites an article in the River Cities Reader, by Dennis (sic) K. (sic) Rancourt, which states that “Masks and respirators do not work.” The author of the article, Denis G. Rancourt, was dismissed as a professor of Physics at the University Ottawa in 2009 and is now a researcher for the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. He references a number of “peer reviewed” scientific studies to support his views and he concludes by attacking governments and the mainstream media for supporting the wearing of face masks during the current pandemic.

If one reviews the studies that he references in his article, it becomes quickly obvious that he cherry-picked only those statements from the studies that appear to support his views, ignoring other conclusions supporting the use of masks. He also used a number of studies whose purpose was to compare the performance of N-95 masks, surgical masks, and respirators worn by health care workers to reduce their chance of becoming infected by their patients. Current face mask recommendations from the government and the scientific community are based primarily on studies showing that they substantially reduce the risk of an infected (and possibly asymptomatic) individual from transmitting the disease to others, although a recent study at Texas A&M University also indicates a substantial benefit to the wearer from being infected by Covid-19.

If you are interested in Mr. Rancourt’s views on other subjects, you might try his Nov. 21, 2019 article in “Dissident Voice” entitled, “Dear Young Progressives: The White-Supremacist Anti-Immigration Anti-Political-Correctness Free-Speech Fascists Are Your Friends” or exploring his views on climate change. Thank you for wearing your face mask and distancing when appropriate — together, we can beat this pandemic.

John Ford


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