OK, we understand that Professor Carl Hangimout - a world-renowned expert in evidence-based medicine - is currently at the Covid-19 Inquiry, responding to questions about the efficacy of face coverings. Let’s drop in and see how it’s going … …
MR KITSCH: So, Professor Hangimout, let us be clear. You – a fringe pseudo academic; described as a ‘fuckwit’ by an esteemed colleague; and the university student who could only get a B-minus for a biological science essay in 1986 – want us to believe that masks are ineffective?
CARL HANGIMOUT: Systematic reviews of the empirical evidence consistently conclude that wearing a face mask in community settings achieves no appreciable reduction in viral …
LADY MALLETT: Can we hurry it along, Mr Kitsch; today’s revered expert has already been waiting 20 minutes.
MR KITSCH: Of course, my Lady.
Professor Hangimout, please keep your answers concise. Is it, or is it not, true that there are some research studies – cutting-edge modelling studies, published in respected scientific journals – that conclude that masks reduce Covid infections and save lives?
HANGIMOUT: Scientific studies vary as to their rigour and …
MR KITSCH: Yes or no?
HANGIMOUT: But it would be misleading to …
MR KITSCH: Please answer the question; Yes or no?
HANGIMOUT: Well, yes. But other, more robust studies, draw a different conclusion. Plus the harms associated with community masking have …
LADY MALLETT: Harms? What possible downside could there be? Anyway, we can wade through that later if … uh … when we read your lengthy witness statement.
MR KITSCH: That will be all, Hangimout. You’re dismissed.
My next witness is Professor Trish Greenkookie. Good morning, professor.
TRISH GREENKOOKIE: Good morning.
LADY MALLETT: Very, very sorry, Professor, to have kept you waiting for so long. We know your time is so very precious. Do forgive us.
MR KITSCH: Your patience is hugely appreciated, Professor.
As described so eloquently and succinctly in your witness statement, you are Professor of Primary Health Care at the University of Oxford – one of the most esteemed institutions in the world. You studied Medical Sciences at Cambridge – another world-famous university - and Clinical Medicine at Oxford before training first as a diabetologist and later as a general practitioner. As if that wasn’t enough, you have a doctorate in diabetes care and an MBA in Higher Education Management; so a true expert in every sense of the word. Is that correct, Professor?
MR KITSCH: That rare combination of in-depth academic expertise and practical experience on the frontline. Is that correct, Professor?
GREENKOOKIE: Yes, I guess.
MR KITSCH: And huge integrity too, as demonstrated by your involvement with Independent SAGE, a group of the most impartial and objective scientists in the world who were – quite rightly – demanding earlier, longer, and harsher restrictions.
LADY MALLETT: Quite right, Mr Kitsch. We are so privileged to have you with us today. Professor; an expert who in no way allows her personal values and political leanings to influence her cutting-edge guidance.
MR KITSCH: And I see you are wearing a mask today, Professor.
GREENKOOKIE: Three masks actually; triple protection.
MR KITSCH: A very sensible measure, Professor. You cannot be too careful in a crowded indoor environment like this.
LADY MALLETT: Exemplary behaviour, indeed.
MR KITSCH: Before I ask you further questions, Professor, could I respectfully request three things to help our stenographers who are busily transcribing?
GREENKOOKIE: Yes, of course.
MR KITSCH: First, could you speak up?
GREENKOOKIE: No problem.
MR KITSCH: Second, could you speak more slowly?
MR KITSCH: And third, would you kindly remove the pantyhose from your head?
Photo courtesy of Possessed Photography at Unsplash
This article was originally published on the Daily Sceptic