VA Hospital, asked for medical justification for mask policy, consults lawyers

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INTRODUCTION: This is a record of my interaction with the Veterans Administration Hospital of central Iowa about their requirement that everyone wear a mask all the time they are in the hospital. I showed them the research proving masks are completely ineffective at stopping covid, but they do a magnificent job of blocking oxygen so that wearers' oxygen levels drop and carbon dioxide levels rise, causing a wide variety of serious medical issues.

I had a few exchanges with VA staff, followed by attempts to involve newspapers to report it, and lawyers to sue in federal court.

The basis of my complaint is in two parts: Section One explains in what sense blind faith in rituals proved by research to accomplish nothing, loaded with social rejection of anyone who questions them, runs towards the essence of the False Gods of primitive paganism and offends the Biblical importance placed on Truth. Section Two summarizes tons of research showing that masks and vaccines don't help but harm, while covid tests are very unreliable.

500 words news article version

If the Veterans Administration Hospital is able to assure its patients that its mask requirement slows covid, without causing a host of other medical harms, why won’t they?

Why did they consult with their lawyers instead of their doctors before answering? I asked them October 29, “Why are masks still required to enter your hospital for everyone, all the time, this long after the best peer reviewed studies (Netherlands, Bangladesh) find no “statistically significant” benefit from them, while other studies (Germany, Cato Institute) document serious physical harm they cause? If your answer is that you know about studies in favor of obsessive masking that I have overlooked, can you refer me to them?”

This question was completely ignored, which strongly implies they indeed cannot justify their policy from any evidence. Their December 23, response: “...After reviewing your request with both the Medical Center Director as well as the Regional Counsel, it was determined that the facility mask policy is in line with Executive Order 13991 and is consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Therefore the Facility Director will not grant your request.... Laurel S. Williamson, Central Iowa Health Care System Privacy Officer.”

I read Executive Order 13991, by Biden, January 20, 2021. It begins with an assertion (made without any support) that masks in fact slow covid. Never does it prohibit hospitals from discussing research with patients.

In fact it says hospitals should “address obstacles” to mask requirement enforcement. Isn’t it an obstacle to mask requirement enforcement, that the best research says masks accomplish little or nothing? Shouldn’t that be “addressed” by the hospital?

The EO also says hospitals should “incentivize” mask wearing. Wouldn’t it “incentivize” mask wearing, to tell patients about all the wonderful research proving masks help?

But if there is indeed no such research, is any hospital prohibited by Biden from so informing its patients?

Although these concerns apply in every federal facility, you would think in a hospital, there would be several doctors who know the research and can easily correct me if I am wrong or interact with the CDC if I am right. But then I had thought a hospital would treat a question about mask research as a medical question to be answered by consulting with doctors, not lawyers.

In order to give my request firmer legal standing, I framed it not only as a request to address research of concern, but as a request for a religious exemption from their mask requirement. Did you know Jesus refused to obey a health regulation on the ground it accomplished nothing? Mark 7:1-16.

“Doing truth”, John 3:21, and challenging lies, is a fundamental Christian calling. Bowing down to a false god is our #1 “thou shalt not”. A mandate not supported by evidence or science but by censorship describes a state-established religion. Especially when “unbelief” is treated like blasphemy. It reeks of superstition equal to the magical powers attributed by our ignorant ancestors to bowing down to a carved tree.

My application for an exemption for myself: denied. My request for research cites in support of their policy: ignored.

Appeal? The VA said I could appeal through the VA’s External Complaints program, if I will claim I am discriminated against for being an unpopular color, gender, etc.

Religious discrimination isn’t on their list.

Denial of Informed Consent isn't on their list.

Subjection to a treatment proven to be harmful to everyone and beneficial to no one isn't on their list.

Denial of critical medical care unless I bow before a superstitious ritual whose pretense of scientific legitimacy can only survive with the support of heavy censorship of evidence - that's not on their list.

Medical Fraud isn't on their list.


Resources: The 15 page Application for a religious exemption from all covid mandates that I submitted to the VA: Part One includes Biblical and legal arguments. (http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Religious/Secular_Exemption_from_Mask_Vaccine_%26_testing_Mandates) Part Two has my summaries of research. (It is updated frequently.) (http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption _from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence)

A little more detail about the mask studies, from my application to the VA: CATO. On November 8, the Cato Institute published a review of mask studies, (https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/2021-11/working-paper-64.pdf) finding that “The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence [Netherlands, Bangladesh] has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, [reviews of other studies] eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.” [Let’s mandate masks as a precaution, in case they turn out to be effective.]

The Denmark study, November 2020, compared nearly 6,000 masked with nearly 6,000 unmasked.

After two months the difference in cases between the two groups was only 4, which the authors said was not “statistically significant”. (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817) The Bangladesh study, November 8, 2021, found that only one percent fewer mask wearers got sick compared with the maskless, when patients submitted their own reports, but that advantage dropped to a tenth of one percent when patient reports were double checked with PCR tests. (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817)

The German study, April 20, 2021, documents the multitude of diseases triggered by mask wearing. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072811/) It reviewed 42 studies of specific medical harms, from mild to fatal, from mask wearing. (See my summary of the study. http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption_from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence#Masks_Harm_More_than_they_Help) Most of those serious consequences have been paid too little attention to to put numbers on the likelihood of suffering them, but the buildup of carbon dioxide and lowering of oxygen saturation, which is universally accepted as contributing to them, is suffered by everybody.

Everybody.

You included.

First Contact October 29 2022

My first contact with the hospital was October 29, on the hospital website. I asked these questions:

My note to hospitals. To the Veteran's Hospital in Des Moines October 29, 2021: (My answers to multiple choice questions on their contact form: Which category best describes your question? VA health care. Which topic best describes your question? Medical care concerns at VA Medical Facility. Tell us the reason you're contacting us? Service complaint. My inquiry is: a general question. What is your question?)

Why are masks still required to enter your hospital for everyone, all the time, this long after peer reviewed studies find no statistically significant benefit from them, (for example the Netherlands study published last November), while other studies document physical harm they cause - some harm for most people after long use, and significant harm for some people after even a little use?

If your answer is that you know about studies in favor of obsessive masking that I have overlooked, can you refer me to them?

Is there any place in your medical system where the evidence for and against mask and vaccine obsession is compared, so that we may understand the basis of your policy?

If not, can you refer me to any forum in the world where doctors on all sides of the controversy can interact without fear of censorship?

If not, will you consider being the first to create such a resource, which will restore the confidence that your policies are in the best interests of our health, of people like me who read so much evidence from censored world class doctors that masks and vaccines are not beneficial?

In the absence of any such resource anywhere, the policy of any hospital that is so far contrary to science, apparently to appease bureaucrats and politicians with zero medical credentials, raises questions how many other medical decisions are made at your institution so contrary to the best interests of our health.

I have posted just a few of the studies that concern me, at (this http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption_from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence). I assume the information will not fit in your online form.

Second Contact: November 9, 2021

Then on November 9, I met with the hospital’s “Patient Advocate”, Lori Clair. Or Lori Sinclair. (She wrote "Clair" on the business card she gave me, but said "Sinclair" in the phone message she left for me later.] I gave her a print copy of my Application for a Religious Exemption from their mask mandate.

She said she would read my 40 page application and pass it to others. Actually the 40 pages is just the legal and Biblical argument that the issue is religious because mask benefits are a lie. I explained, and my printout said, that Part Two is the medical research showing that mask benefits are a lie. That’s probably another 40 pages; it changes every day. She said the VA doesn’t do its own research on the issue; it trusts the CDC.

Third Contact: November 18, 2021

November 18, I emailed a followup to Lori (Sin)Clair, but it bounced back. The email address on the business card she gave me said "VHACIHOA_PATIENT_ADVOCATES@va.gov", but it bounced back with the message that I was not authorized to email her. Hmmm.

November 20, 2021. (I'm still counting this as the third contact.) Lori left a phone message for me. She said she had talked with the Ethics Board chair, Suzanne Tavor, and the hospital administrator, Lora Williamson, and my application was denied. Later another VA employee was unable to confirm that either name went with those titles.

Fourth Contact: December 11, 2021

I snail-mailed the following "Motion to Reconsider to Lori (Sin)clair, and on the 23rd, to Suzanne Tavor, Infectious Disease Nurse, the title given me by another VA employee.

Dear Lori Clair,

Thank you for processing the Application I submitted November 9 for a Religious Exemption from mask wearing, (following my October 29 entry on your website), for reading it, and for sharing it with your Ethics Board chair, Suzanne Tabor, and your hospital administrator, Lora Williamson. (According to the phone message you left Friday, November 20.)

I have delayed responding to you until I could process recent developments. CATO. On November 8, the day before I met you, the Cato Institute published its own review of mask studies, finding that “The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.” My summary of the study, with more detail, is enclosed.

BANGLADESH. I had already told you about the Denmark study last November which finds no “statistically significant” Covid reduction from masks. The other major “well done” study was in Bangladesh, Aug. 31, 2021, which I had read about but hadn’t read. I wanted to double check news reports about it by reading it myself. The CATO report increased my curiosity.

The authors of the study glow with praise for the covid reduction achieved by masks in their research. They found a whopping 1% greater chance of infection without a mask! That’s according to biased self-reporting of symptoms. When self-reporting was double checked by testing blood samples, that whopping 1% benefit dropped to only a 0.09% greater chance of infection without a mask. Less than a tenth of a percent benefit! Does that degree of benefit justify, in your mind, mask mandates for all your patients? Or any mask mandate anywhere outside an operating room or dusty work environment? My notes on the Bangladesh study are enclosed.

GERMANY. I also learned, a week ago, about a German study published April 20, 2021, that reviewed 42 studies that documented specific medical harms, from mild to fatal, from mask wearing, especially long term masking. Most of those serious consequences have been paid too little attention to to put numbers on the likelihood of suffering them, but the buildup of carbon dioxide and lowering of oxygen saturation, which is universally accepted as contributing to them, is suffered by everybody.

Everybody.

You included.

My notes on that report are also enclosed. Don’t remain ignorant of that study, if you care about your own health.

The Bible is obsessed with Truth. It is at war with superstition and its false gods. Blind faith in a ritual that does no more for you than bowing down to a carved tree, enforced by censorship of strong evidence and marginalization of those who follow it, and validated by a New Morality that treats disagreement like blasphemy, meets every reasonable definition of a False God. It makes nations ignorant, Isaiah 30. It blinds science and medicine. It pauses the centuries of progress under our Christian ancestors.

Empowered by today’s tracking technology, this surrender of individual scrutiny to whatever some anointed expert dreams up is a vote for the greatest tyranny ever to exist on this planet, this Footstool of God.

Give your patients a reason to trust your medical judgment. Don’t require, or even accept, blind faith in you. Inform your patients. Don’t surrender your own policies to blind faith in a bureaucrat. Don’t just tell me you follow the CDC and the Mayo Clinic, without telling me where, among their resources, they seriously address these studies. If you look, you will find they do not, unless you can get a lot more out of their search engines than I could.

Don’t be irritated when your patients want to be well informed. Inform them. If you think you follow the research better than your patients, don’t keep that knowledge to yourself. Direct us to your evidence that masks significantly help and do not significantly harm. And if you don’t follow the research, trusting the CDC to do all your studying for you, stop! Change course! Medicine did not advance as it has by doctors ignoring research!

You told me the VA Hospital relies on the CDC for research, and does no research of its own. That’s what you told me November 9, but on the phone message you left for me November 20 you threw in the Mayo Clinic website. Did you think those two institutions address the best research? I can’t imagine how anyone could feel their position well informed who does not address the Denmark, Bangladesh, and German studies. Yet my following attempts to find them addressed on either site came up dry: Mayo Clinic

RE Germany: No relevant results for “April 20, 2021”. No results at all for “Germany, masks”. “Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose” gets a couple of results that warn, “Faculty must wear approved masks properly covering the mouth and nose.”

RE Denmark: No return for “Danish Mask Wearers”. Nothing relevant for :November 18, 2021”. Or “Denmark, masks”.

RE Bangladesh: No results for "Bangladesh masks". “August 30, 2021 Bangladesh” or "Impact of Community Masking".

“Mask Research” gets “How well do face masks protect against coronavirus?” which doesn’t cite a single study. Its authority, the CDC. August 24, 2021. It is presented the way a parent presents duties to children, omitting evidence which experience confirms children either can’t understand anyway or don’t want to think so hard about anyway. Mayo Clinic research.

It lists 25 “references” which include neither the German nor the Denmark study. Nor was it updated to include the Bangladesh study which was published 6 days later. 6 references were to CDC posts, one to the WHO, one to the FDA.

A large number of returns come up for “mask research”, but only the first one seems relevant to mask research.

CDC searches: results Mayo search results

RE Germany: No relevant results for “April 20, 2021 Germany” or for “Germany, masks”. “Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose”, searching for the exact phrase, gets three results which do not include the German study.

RE Denmark: Four irrelevant returns for “Danish Mask Wearers”. Nothing relevant for “November 18, 2021 Denmark”. For “Denmark, masks”, the closest to an article relevant to the Denmark mask study was “If you must travel to Denmark, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”

RE Bangladesh: No relevant results for "Bangladesh masks". “August 30, 2021 Bangladesh” only got two “travel health notices”. "Impact of Community Masking" + Bangladesh, zero returns.

“Mask Research” gets a lot of “guidance” of what to do, but I didn’t spot anything that looked like it included any evidence that any of its guidance was good. The first return was “Improve How Your Mask Protects You” Updated Apr. 6, 2021. It didn’t even list any references or footnotes.

Although I couldn’t find the studies addressed at all by searching, there was another time when I happened upon a paragraph in a CDC post that dismissed the Denmark study as “inconclusive”, when its finding of no “statistically significant” benefit was definite, and as “small”, though it followed nearly 6,000 participants for two months. I address that paragraph at Section Two of my Application.

I had hoped that with a rejection of my application, you would have given some rationale for your decision. Like, some evidence that masks accomplish anything, to counter the highest quality studies which show they don’t. I had hoped that the reputation of your hospital would mean enough to you that you would defend it (I am snailing a response because the email address on the business card you gave me responds with “VHACIHOA_PATIENT_ADVOCATES@va.gov. Your message couldn't be delivered because delivery to this group is restricted to authenticated senders.”.)

I move to update my application with a recent review of all previous mask studies which was unavailable when I met with you, published by the Cato Institute. The study was published the day before I talked to you but I only learned of it later. In light of this new evidence, I submit this Motion to Reconsider.

From the abstract:

The Cato abstract states: "...evidence of facemask efficacy is based primarily on observational studies that are subject to confounding [To cause to become confused or perplexed; To fail to distinguish; mix up] and on mechanistic studies [mechanical measurements by various contraptions] that rely on surrogate endpoints [substitute things measured, other than actual infection rates with or without masks] (such as droplet dispersion) as proxies for disease transmission. The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.”

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, senior scientific director of the Brownstone Institute, summarized the Cato study:

“The truth is that there have been only two randomized trials of masks for COVID. One was in Denmark, which showed that they might be slightly beneficial, they might be slightly harmful, we don’t really know—the confidence interval kind of crossed zero,” he said. “And then there was another study from Bangladesh where they randomized villagers to masks or no masks. And the efficacy of the masks was for reduction of COVID was something between zero and 18 percent. So either no effect or very minuscule effect.”

I searched the CDC website for some acknowledgment of the Denmark study. All I found was a very strange half paragraph six months later. The CDC denigrated the study as “inconclusive” when its finding of no statistically significant benefit was quite conclusive. It called the study “too small”, which is a strange way to describe a study of 6,000 subjects over two months. Here is my analysis of it. If my analysis is wrong I will appreciate correction.

You told me the VA hospital doesn’t do its own research in support of policies like mask wearing, but trusts the CDC. Later you added, the Mayo Clinic. Don’t most of your doctors follow a lot of research? Isn’t research what doctors rely on to advice patients about the risks they face with all manner of treatments and operations? Aren’t your doctors a huge pool of knowledge about every kind of research? On a matter affecting all your patients, like masks, wouldn’t it be an easy thing for you to ask your doctors for volunteers to assemble some responses to studies like those I cite, to make available to any patient who asks about the evidence for your policy? And not just for the benefit of patients, inquiring about your mandate for masks, but for your doctors and nurses, when your mandate stretches to the deadly covid vaccines? When that seemingly inevitable day arrives, will you doggedly fire them for “resisting”, yet still without addressing the research that alarms them?

I am curious: are VA hospitals legally bound by CDC guidelines?

If so, I want to learn what laws govern. This would be a more serious problem than I thought, because if medical errors by a government bureaucracy can only be corrected by an act of Congress or a Constitutional Amendment, before doctors are allowed to exercise their best judgment for their patients, the healing of modern medicine will take far more work than I was hoping. Are you not legally allowed to do your own research? Or to publicly interact with the CDC in reviewing evidence?

If not – if CDC statements are non-binding guidelines, then you have important reasons to do your own research, address alternative views, and publish it in language accessible to lawmakers and voters. Not only to assure patients that your policies are in our best interests, and to build public confidence in your grasp of medical facts, but to keep your doctors and nurses from quitting when your mandate stretches to covid vaccines, as is already happening.

Which assures me that it is not just my medical ignorance that supports my concern, nor can the resistance of doctors be accounted for by profits from serving the ignorance industry, since way too many medical professionals are forsaking everything and gaining nothing. The CDC has obviously not earned their respect.

Why should it? Was I wrong when I told you the CDC doesn’t seriously address evidence that doesn’t support its guidelines? Is it not true that vaccine manufacturers “contribute” significantly to the CDC foundation? Could this help explain why a significant number of doctors and nurses are leaving medicine rather than take “the jab”? (Even a 1% quit rate is overwhelming, when that many are ready to take such a costly step.)

As my application makes clear, standing for truth, and exposing lies, is a fundamental Christian duty. And when mandates are supported not by evidence or science but by censorship, and with moral outrage over noncompliance as indignant as ancient responses to blasphemy, we are dealing with a state established religion. The Bible is pretty clear how readily we should bow down to a false god.

Fifth Contact: December 23, 2021

I received a rejection letter from Laurel S. Williamson, who gave her title, not as hospital administrator, but as Privacy Officer.

A photocopy of her letter is posted as a response Dec 23 2021.pdf PDF.

She wrote, "Thank you for your inquiry regarding your second request for a religious exemption to the facility policy which requires a face mask be worn by all staff, volunteers, veterans and visitors.

"After reviewing your request with both the Medical Center Director as well as the Regional Counsel, [our lawyers], it was determined that the facility mask policy is in line with Executive Order 13991 and is consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Therefore, the Facility Director will not grant your request.

"If you wish to pursue your request you may contact the External Complaints Program to discuss other possible avenues to address your concerns.


"Office of Resolution Management Diversity and Inclusion (ORMDI)
External Complaints Program
Attention: Sterling Akins, External Complaints Program Manager
1575 I Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington DC

Sixth Contact: Dr. Liang Cheng, surgeon, after she removed my cataracts. May 29, 2022

Veterans Administration Medical Center, Des Moines, IA

First I want to thank you for awesome vision. I thought my right eye, which you fixed 2 weeks ago, was awesome, being equal, uncorrected, to my better left eye corrected. But now my new left eye is back to being my best eye, much better than it had been, corrected. What beautiful colors, what fine detail! I can see “seas” on the moon again! Everybody I work with is so much better looking than I thought! Except when I looked in the mirror I was horrified.

About mask research: you told me you are persuaded by a JAMA article very early in the covid experience, that masks are effective in reducing covid infection. You said you couldn’t remember any other details – date, doctors or institution conducting the research, except that it was published by JAMA. Look it up, you advised me. You said you had not heard of the Bangladesh or the Netherlands mask studies, (which CATO judges the only “well done” studies), but the JAMA article is all you need to know. You spoke in the singular, as if JAMA had published only one mask study.

My review of the earliest mask and vaccine studies (2020) is posted at: http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Covid_Updates. Unfortunately I was not good about reporting the publishers of the research I reviewed. I reported authors, links, and titles. So

I can’t search the file for “JAMA” to see which research was theirs. The list, in chronological order, includes, along with research reviews, articles by doctors. Some of them peer-reviewed.

There have been mask studies over many years, including their effectiveness with previous coronaviruses. Those studies showed masks ineffective, which helps explain why masks were not previously mandated in past decades – although a century ago masks were required to stop Spanish Flu, when authorities were satisfied if you wore gauze with quarter inch holes.

Not until November 2020, the Denmark study, did a study measure actual covid-19 infections in real people wearing, and not wearing, masks. Although the research was completed in April, there were actual news articles about the difficulty of the authors in getting a peer-reviewed publisher before November. My review of this and other current research: (http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption_from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence)

Although you showed some irritation at my concerns, I thank you, in addition to your fine surgery, for agreeing to let me send you links to the later, larger studies. You said the check-in desk would give me your contact info, although they said they couldn’t, so we’ll see if this letter gets through.

Summaries and links close this letter. I want to make some strong statements, premised on this evidence. But everything I write is subject to being shown evidence that I am wrong. Please, someone, correct me if I am wrong. Don’t just tell me “there is nothing I can do” while you continue behaving as if the whole world is insane and that is a good thing. A nurse was afraid my mask not being properly above my nose would trigger some vulnerability she had. She didn’t want to know about any research that everybody else’s masks weren’t protecting her. When I made the mistake of using the word “truth” she interrupted with something like “MY truth is truth FOR ME”. No, truth doesn’t flit back and forth to accommodate our notions of what it is. If it did every lie would become “truth”. Truth is a correct grasp of reality. It is documented by an endangered process we call “evidence”.

I’m actually more concerned for your sake, and for the millions of others younger than I, than for myself. I trust Jesus to give me all the health I need to do His will, and I am near enough to the end of my life anyway. I have had a satisfying life, and now thanks to you I can even see more clearly the people I want to help.

I am astonished that hospitals, of all places, are the last institutions in Iowa to respond to the overwhelming medical research (see below) that masks accomplish too little reduction of infection to be sure they accomplish anything, (Bangladesh, Netherlands) while causing a lowering of oxygen saturation which is a measurable factor in a wide range of serious conditions. (Germany)

I am also very concerned that Biden has submitted amendments to the WHO which, if adopted and not vigorously challenged by Congress, could reduce the freedom in your profession to about that of China. Surely you are following that development. This breathtaking surrender of freedom is made comfortable by the “frog in boiling water” principle, after two years of mask and vaccine mandates without evidence, continuing over a year since mask research has conclusively shown they have as much scientific support as false gods.

I am apoplectic that the VA administration has responded to my concerns, not by consulting their doctors to inform me about research supporting mask use that negates the Bangladesh and Netherlands studies, but by consulting their lawyers to tell me what you told me: they can’t do anything about it anyway. Their lawyers cited Biden’s executive order from his first day on the job.

I responded that the order doesn’t prohibit doctors from supplying honest, research-based “informed consent”. Since the order cited no research or other evidence whatsoever in support of its mandate, the order does not prevent informed doctors and hospitals from taking political steps to reverse the mandate, including full disclosure to the public.

For example, the hospital could include somewhere on its website the evidence for and against masks, and any other issue that divides public opinion. The website could allow doctors on both sides of the controversy to interact with each other, without fear of censorship, where “peer review” would not preemptively censor but would simply subject errors to scrutiny. I have urged the governor to establish such a website as the basis for her emergency mandates: http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Cure_for_Covid_Censors

In fact, Biden’s Executive Order explicitly orders institutions to use persuasion to overcome resistance to the mandate, so that if I am wrong, the hospital administration is required by the EO to show me the evidence that I am wrong.

Not just tell me the president makes us all mask up and there is nothing they can do.

My record of interaction with VA administration is at: http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/VA_Hospital,_asked_for_medical_justification_for_mask_policy,_consults_lawyers

It has now been over a year since the Bangladesh study which, along with the Netherlands study the year before, proves there is no statistically significant benefit to masks, while a German review documents terrible ailments that are contributed to by the lowering of oxygen levels in the blood. (See below.)

I lack the medical credentials to tell a hospital about the medical evidence against its requirements, and doctors who have the credentials are censored. But I do have the credentials as a believer in the Holy Bible to apply to the VA for a religious exemption from the requirement, because truth is the essence of Christian faith and your mask requirement is far enough from the truth to qualify as a False God, which Christians are warned not to submit to.

My printed application to the VA, explaining what is “religious” about truth, that examines law and Scripture, is posted at:

http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Religious/Secular_Exemption_from_Mask_Vaccine_%26_testing_Mandates


Here is a brief summary:

On November 8, 2021, the Cato Institute published a review of mask studies, (https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/2021-11/working-paper-64.pdf) finding that “The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence [Netherlands, Bangladesh] has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, [reviews of other studies] eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.” [Let’s mandate masks as a precaution, in case they turn out to be effective.] 

The Denmark study, November 2020, compared nearly 6,000 masked with nearly 6,000 unmasked. After two months the difference in cases between the two groups was only 4, which the authors said was not “statistically significant”. (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817) The Bangladesh study, November 8, 2021, found that only one percent fewer mask wearers got sick compared with the maskless, when patients submitted their own reports, but that advantage dropped to a tenth of one percent when patient reports were double checked with PCR tests. (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817)

Even that meager benefit must be balanced against the notorious levels of false positives from PCR tests.

The German study, April 20, 2021, documents the multitude of diseases triggered by mask wearing. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072811/) It reviewed 42 studies of specific medical harms, from mild to fatal, from mask wearing. (See my summary of the study. http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption_from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence#Masks_Harm_More_than_they_Help) Most of those serious consequences have received too little attention from researchers to put numbers on the likelihood of suffering them, but the buildup of carbon dioxide and lowering of oxygen saturation, which is universally accepted as contributing to them, is suffered by everybody. Everybody. You included.

Dave Leach



Or
1-888-566-3982 Option 4

"Included with this letter is an information sheet about the External Complaints Program for your information.

"Sincerely, Laurel S. Williamson, Central Iowa Health Care System Privacy Officer."

The second page offers help for people whose cross dressing is "discriminated against". But if all that is discriminated against is religious freedom, no help is offered.

I read Executive Order 13991, signed by President Biden on his first day in office. Indeed, it requires the VA hospital to require masks. It does NOT prohibit the hospital from informing patients about mask and vaccine research. It does NOT prohibit the hospital from granting religious exemptions.

You can read EO 13991 here. This copy has portions highlighted in red that I refer to in my report below about its contents.

Broadlawns Medical Center Application

I sent almost the same application for a religious exemption from mask wearing, to Broadlawns, that I had sent to the VA hospital. Broadlawns is a taxpayer-subsidized teaching hospital with a Board of Trustees that is elected every two years, though I think individual trustees serve four year terms, like Iowa state senators. (U.S. senators serve six year terms.)

So my application should be taken more seriously, right? Because the trustees, being elected, are more accountable to the public, right?

We'll see. I sent the following cover letter, with the complete printout of part one of my Application, May 26. I am posting this June 9. No answer yet. But it was May 25 that I called the office of the Trustees. No one was there. I left a message, simply asking how to contact the trustees. I'm still waiting for an answer. (When I snail-mailed this letter and Application, I addressed it to their names, at the hospital's general address.)

Then June 3 while my wife was having therapy I walked to the door where the lady checks your forehead and makes you put on your mask and asks where you are going. I told her I wanted to talk to someone in the office of the Board of Trustees. She made a phone call and then told me someone from the office would come down to get me. I waited 45 minutes, until my wife was done, and gave up.

Anyway, here's the cover letter I sent to Broadlawns trustees J. Marc Ward, Dave Miglin, Mary Krieg, Emily Webb, Kavi Chawla, Janet Metcalf, Andy McGuire, MD, MBA

Is your Board of Trustees reconsidering its mask requirement? If it will continue, this is an application for a religious exemption.

It has now been over a year since the Bangladesh study which, along with the Netherlands study the year before, proves there is no statistically significant benefit to masks, while a German review documents terrible ailments that are contributed to by the lowering of oxygen levels in the blood. (See below.)

I will be glad to be shown these studies are wrong, or have been superseded. But in the absence of any such justification for your policy – I don’t see any discussion of evidence anywhere in your system and your doctors that I have talked with haven’t been interested in the subject – it is an enormous scandal that hospitals are the last places in Iowa to respond to the medical evidence.

I lack the medical credentials to tell a hospital about the medical evidence against its requirements, and doctors who have the credentials are censored. But I do have the credentials as a believer in the Holy Bible to apply to you for a religious exemption from your requirement, because truth is the essence of Christian faith and your mask requirement is far enough from the truth to qualify as a False God, which Christians are warned not to submit to.

I am not a patient at Broadlawns, being a veteran, but I bring my wife here; it is for those times that I apply for a religious exemption.

The enclosed booklet lays out my reasoning for classifying my concerns about the research as religious. My review of the research itself takes up more space, and is posted at (http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption_from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence)

Here is a brief summary of the relevant research:

On November 8, 2021, the Cato Institute published a review of mask studies, (https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/2021-11/working-paper-64.pdf) finding that “The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence [Netherlands, Bangladesh] has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, [reviews of other studies] eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.” [Let’s mandate masks as a precaution, in case they turn out to be effective.] 

The Denmark study, November 2020, compared nearly 6,000 masked with nearly 6,000 unmasked.

After two months the difference in cases between the two groups was only 4, [out of nearly 6,000 - less than a tenth of 1%] which the authors said was not “statistically significant”. [Meaning that besides being a negligible difference, it was within the "margin of error", so that the existence of any benefit at all is uncertain.](https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817)

The Bangladesh study, November 8, 2021, found that only one percent fewer mask wearers got sick compared with the maskless, when patients submitted their own reports, but that advantage dropped to a tenth of one percent when patient reports were double checked with PCR tests. (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817)

Even that meager benefit must be balanced against the notorious levels of false positives from PCR tests.

The German study, April 20, 2021, documents the multitude of diseases triggered by mask wearing. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072811/) It reviewed 42 studies of specific medical harms, from mild to fatal, from mask wearing. (See my summary of the study. http://savetheworld.saltshaker.us/wiki/Application_for_Secular/Religious_Exemption_from_Mask/Vaccine_Mandate_-_Section_Two,_The_Evidence#Masks_Harm_More_than_they_Help) Most of those serious consequences have received too little attention from researchers to put numbers on the likelihood of suffering them, but the buildup of carbon dioxide and lowering of oxygen saturation, which is universally accepted as contributing to them, is suffered by everybody. Everybody. You included.

Dave Leach

If you would like to help me get a response from Broadlawns' Trustees, write to each of the board members: J. Marc Ward, Dave Miglin, Mary Krieg, Emily Webb, Kavi Chawla, Janet Metcalf, and Andy McGuire, MD, MBA. Address: Board of trustees <> Broadlawns Medical Center <> 1801 Hickman Road <> Des Moines IA 50314-1597. Or call: 515-282-2200, the general hospital number.

Iowa Senator Grassley (no response yet)

Subject: Please help me get the VA hospital to answer a very important question
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2021 19:37:05 -0600
From: Dave Leach <daveleach@saltshaker.us>
To: caseworker_grassley@grassley.senate.gov

Dave Leach
Family Music Center
The Partnership Machine Inc.
4110 SW 9th St, Des Moines IA 50315; home, 137 E. Leach zvenue
Des Moines IA 50315
515-244-3711
www.saltshaker.us, www.SaveTheWorld/Saltshaker.US

Honorable Senator Grassley:

If the Veterans Administration Hospital is able to assure patients that its mask requirement slows covid without causing a host of other medical harms, why won’t they? Will you help me get them to answer?

I asked them November 9, “Why are masks still required to enter your hospital for everyone, all the time, this long after the best peer reviewed studies (Netherlands, Bangladesh) find no “statistically significant” benefit from them, while other studies (Germany, Cato Institute) document serious physical harm they cause? If your answer is that you know about studies in favor of obsessive masking that I have overlooked, can you refer me to them?”

This question was completely ignored, which strongly implies they indeed cannot justify their policy from any evidence. Their December 23, response: “...After reviewing your request with both the Medical Center Director as well as the Regional Counsel, it was determined that the facility mask policy is in line with Executive Order 13991 and is consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Therefore the Facility Director will not grant your request.... Laurel S. Williamson, Central Iowa Health Care System Privacy Officer.”

I read Executive Order 13991, by Biden, January 20, 2021. It begins with an assertion (made without any support) that masks in fact slow covid, and ends with getting the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms to enforce masks! But never does it prohibit hospitals from discussing research with patients.

In fact it says hospitals should “address obstacles” to mask requirement enforcement. Isn’t it an obstacle to mask requirement enforcement, that the best research says masks accomplish little or nothing? Shouldn’t that be “addressed” by the VA hospital?

The EO also says hospitals should “incentivize” mask wearing. Wouldn’t it “incentivize” mask wearing, to tell patients about all the wonderful research proving masks help?

But if there is indeed no such research, is any hospital prohibited by Biden from so informing its patients?

Although these concerns apply in every federal facility, you would think in a hospital, there would be several doctors who know the research and can easily correct me if I am wrong or correct the CDC if I am right. You would think a hospital would treat a question about mask research as a medical question, to be answered by consulting with doctors, not lawyers.

In order to give my request firmer legal standing, I framed it not only as a request to address research of concern, but as a request for a religious exemption from their mask requirement. Did you know Jesus refused to obey a health regulation on the ground it accomplished nothing? Mark 7:1-16.

“Doing truth”, John 3:21, and challenging lies, is a fundamental Christian calling. Bowing down to a false god is our #1 “thou shalt not”. A mandate not supported by evidence or science but by censorship, and with moral outrage over noncompliance as indignant as ancient responses to blasphemy, sounds a lot like the superstitious attribution of magical powers by our ignorant ancestors to bowing down to a carved tree.

My application for an exemption for myself: denied. My request for research cites in support of their policy: ignored.

Timeline:

October 29: original application on the VA website.

November 9: I talked in person to Patient Advocate Lori Claire (or Sinclair; her business card says one, her phone message said another).

November 20: first rejection, left in a phone message. The message said she had shown my application to Suzanne Tavor, Ethics Board chair, and Lora Williamson, hospital administrator.

December 11, I mailed Lori a motion to reconsider, with research not available with my original application.

December 19, I mailed a similar package to Tavor, although I could not confirm that there is an ethics board or that she is its chair, but VA staff told me she is an Infectious Disease nurse.

December 23, I received a rejection letter from Laurel S. Williamson, who gave her title, not as hospital administrator, but as Privacy Officer. I will gladly send you, of course, copies of as much of this as you can stand.

A little more detail about the Netherlands, Bangladesh, German, and Cato Institute studies, from my application to the VA:

CATO. On November 8, the day before I met Lori, the Cato Institute published its own review of mask studies, finding that “...evidence of facemask efficacy is based primarily on observational studies that are subject to confounding [To cause to become confused or perplexed; To fail to distinguish; mix up] and on mechanistic studies [mechanical measurements by various contraptions] that rely on surrogate endpoints [substitute things measured, other than actual infection rates with and without masks] (such as droplet dispersion) as proxies for disease transmission. The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, [reviews of other studies] eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.” [Let’s mandate masks as a precaution, in case they turn out to be effective.]

GERMANY. I also learned, a week ago, about a German study published April 20, 2021, that reviewed 42 studies that documented specific medical harms, from mild to fatal, from mask wearing, especially long term masking. Most of those serious consequences have been paid too little attention to to put numbers on the likelihood of suffering them, but the buildup of carbon dioxide and lowering of oxygen saturation, which is universally accepted as contributing to them, is suffered by everybody.

Everybody.

You included.

The study   The title of the study: "Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?" Published online 2021 Apr 20. Paul B. Tchounwou, Academic Editor. Authors: Kai Kisielinski, Paul Giboni, Andreas Prescher, Bernd Klosterhalfen, David Graessel, Stefan Funken, Oliver Kempski, and Oliver Hirsch.

My summary of the study, with its long list of medical consequences of obsessive masking, is posted at Two of my application to the VA Hospital.

Dave Leach

I received no answer from Senator Grassley.

Next Step: Newspapers

Epoch Times submission

I submitted the following article to Epoch Times, on December 30, 2021:

"VA Hospital, asked for medical justification for mask policy, consults with lawyers"

If the Veterans Administration Hospital is able to assure its patients that its mask requirement slows covid, without causing a host of other medical harms, why won’t they?

Why did they consult with their lawyers instead of their doctors before answering?

I asked them October 29, “Why are masks still required to enter your hospital for everyone, all the time, this long after the best peer reviewed studies (Netherlands, Bangladesh) find no “statistically significant” benefit from them, while other studies (Germany, Cato Institute) document serious physical harm they cause? If your answer is that you know about studies in favor of obsessive masking that I have overlooked, can you refer me to them?”

This question was completely ignored, which strongly implies they indeed cannot justify their policy from any evidence. Their December 23, response: “...After reviewing your request with both the Medical Center Director as well as the Regional Counsel, it was determined that the facility mask policy is in line with Executive Order 13991 and is consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Therefore the Facility Director will not grant your request.... Laurel S. Williamson, Central Iowa Health Care System Privacy Officer.”

I read Executive Order 13991, by Biden, January 20, 2021. It begins with an assertion (made without any support) that masks in fact slow covid. Never does it prohibit hospitals from discussing research with patients.

In fact it says hospitals should “address obstacles” to mask requirement enforcement. Isn’t it an obstacle to mask requirement enforcement, that the best research says masks accomplish little or nothing? Shouldn’t that be “addressed” by the hospital?

The EO also says hospitals should “incentivize” mask wearing. Wouldn’t it “incentivize” mask wearing, to tell patients about all the wonderful research proving masks help?

But if there is indeed no such research, is any hospital prohibited by Biden from so informing its patients?

Although these concerns apply in every federal facility, you would think in a hospital, there would be several doctors who know the research and can easily correct me if I am wrong or interact with the CDC if I am right. But then I had thought a hospital would treat a question about mask research as a medical question to be answered by consulting with doctors, not lawyers.

In order to give my request firmer legal standing, I framed it not only as a request to address research of concern, but as a request for a religious exemption from their mask requirement. Did you know Jesus refused to obey a health regulation on the ground it accomplished nothing? Mark 7:1-16.

“Doing truth”, John 3:21, and challenging lies, is a fundamental Christian calling. Bowing down to a false god is our #1 “thou shalt not”. A mandate not supported by evidence or science but by censorship, and with moral outrage over noncompliance as indignant as ancient responses to blasphemy, sounds a lot like the superstitious attribution of magical powers by our ignorant ancestors to bowing down to a carved tree.

My application for an exemption for myself: denied. My request for research cites in support of their policy: ignored.

Possible next steps: Appeal through U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA. Appeal through the VA’s External Complaints program. Appeal through a federal lawsuit

Resources: The 15 page Application for a religious exemption from all covid mandates that I submitted to the VA. It includes Biblical and legal arguments. Part One. My summaries of research. Part Two. (About 25,000 words so far; it is updated daily.)

A little more detail about the mask studies, from my application to the VA:

CATO. On November 8, the Cato Institute published its own review of mask studies, finding that “The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence [Netherlands, Bangladesh] has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent-to-treat populations. Of sixteen quantitative metaanalyses, [reviews of other studies] eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.” [Let’s mandate masks as a precaution, in case they turn out to be effective.]

The Denmark study, November 2020, compared nearly 6,000 masked with nearly 6,000 unmasked. After two months the difference in cases between the two groups was only 4, which the authors said was not “statistically significant”.

The Bangladesh study, November 8, 2021, found that only one percent fewer mask wearers got sick compared with the maskless, when patients submitted their own reports, but that advantage dropped to a tenth of one percent when patient reports were double checked with PCR tests.

The German study, April 20, 2021, documents the multitude of diseases triggered by mask wearing. It reviewed 42 studies of specific medical harms, from mild to fatal, from mask wearing. (See my summary of the study.) Most of those serious consequences have been paid too little attention to to put numbers on the likelihood of suffering them, but the buildup of carbon dioxide and lowering of oxygen saturation, which is universally accepted as contributing to them, is suffered by everybody.

Everybody.

You included.


Dave Leach bio

A guy in love with Jesus with way bigger Save The World goals than I have the vision or resources or time or intelligence or networks to tackle alone.

Dave Leach is actually listed in Marquis’ “Who’s Who in America”. (This is to balance the other stuff you’ve heard.) (Starting about 1994, through at least 2020)

FIVE: prolife briefs written to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the briefs in lower courts leading to SCOTUS. The last three were written for others.

SEVEN: times a statehouse candidate.

FIFTEEN: years of managing televised Biblical/political discussions (on The Uncle Ed. Show)

TWENTY FIVE: years of editing an interactive periodical (The Prayer & Action News)

FIFTY: years of marriage.

Writing for others: cafeconlecherepublicans.com, WND.com, ipatriot.com, The Des Moines Register.

Websites: www.Saltshaker.us, www.SaveTheWorld.saltshaker.us.

Marquis’ bio as of about 2006: LEACH, DAVE FRANCIS, editor, musician; b. Iowa City, Nov. 12, 1945; s. Joseph Stanley and Thelma Maxine (Strubhar) L.; m. Donna Susan Schoeppner, Dec. 17, 1970 (div. Feb. 1979); children: Arlo Bernard, Cynthia Robin; m. Dorothy Darlene Barnes, Dec. 13, 1986. B. Music Edn., Drake U., 1967. Band dir. Melcher (Iowa)/Dallas Schs., 1970; band instrument repairman Miller Music/Family Music Ctr., Des Moines, 1972-; editor, founder Prayer & Action News, Des Moines, 1989-; producer, host The Uncle Ed Show, 1995-; owner Family Music Ctr., 1999-. Trumpet player Des Moines Ncpl. Band, 1963-78; musician Kingsway, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine Cathedrals, and Simpson United Meth. Ch., 1980-92. Author, composer: (musical comedy) Werld Klas Ejukashun, 1991; author: The Gifts of Governments, 1990, God's Cure for Loneliness, 1999, The Angel Diary, 2005. Dem. candidate for state rep., Iowa, 1986, Rep. candidate 1988, 90, 2000, 02; pres., edtor Fathers for Equal Rights, Des Moines chpt. 1985-87; mem. Soc. of Mayflower Descendants, 2002-; Chaplain of society, 2005. Avocations: bible study, inventing, construction. Office: 4110 SW 9th St. Des Moines IA 50315-36434; Office Phone: 515-244-3711. Personal E-mail: leach@saltshaker.us.

Dave Leach has published "Prayer & Action News", whose motto is "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:17, since April Fool's Day of 1989


No answer from Epoch Times. I submitted to The Federalist January 5. The Des Moines Register January 15. Cedar Rapids Gazette, the 23rd. Waterloo Courier, January 30.

No answer.




Lawyers

I requested help filing a federal lawsuit from makeamericansfreeagain.com on January 10. January 11, Martin Cannon. Liberty Counsel. One or two others. No response.

In the past I have brought a federal lawsuit in a federal court pro se (by myself, without a lawyer) and came out OK, but now you have to submit to the Real ID license to even enter a federal building to sue our overseers. For which I have as much affection as I do for masks.