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May 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Even the left-wing New York Times has begun to push back against aspects of COVID-19 orthodoxy promoted by the mainstream media for the past year, this time in a report taking issue with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) position on outdoor mask-wearing.

While conditioning the resumption of normal outdoor, unmasked activities largely on vaccination, the CDC continues to recommend that Americans wear masks while dining or attending gatherings outdoors, based on the estimate that “less than 10 percent of documented transmission, in many studies, have occurred outdoors.”

But on Tuesday, the Times published an article by David Leonhardt noting that the number “seems to be a huge exaggeration” according to University of St. Andrews virologist Dr. Muge Cevik, and that the actual number is likely anywhere from one percent to less than a 10th of a percent.

In fact, “there is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table,” Leonhardt wrote. Further, much of the data comes from cases at buildings such as schools and construction sites in Singapore that were eventually and inaccurately classified as outdoor transmissions.

Despite the popular insistence that masking is essential outside one’s home, there remain reasons to doubt their effectiveness, such as the CDC’s September acknowledgement that masks cannot be counted on to keep out the coronavirus when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, or a May 2020 study published by CDC’s peer-reviewed journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”

This is not the first instance of a mainstream media outlet dissenting from the prevailing narrative about the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the Times published an admission that not only may the six-foot “social distancing” rule be unwarranted, but that “it’s almost like it was pulled out of thin air,” according to Virginia Tech viral transmission expert Linsey Marr. That month, the Associated Press admitted there was no clear correlation between whether states locked down their economies and COVID-19 case rates.