Shouldn't Cooper be sobered by this study's warnings about economic damage from lockdowns? Instead, the governor flat-out warned of returning to lockdowns in announcing the very order that cited this research.
Taking a study that starts by assuming a mask order in place cannot justify a mask order. Circular reasoning is no basis for an extreme emergency order. Also, a study that was retracted must never serve as the basis of an extreme emergency order.
Regardless of how desirable a policymaker may view a particular action, a mathematical model's "theoretical results" with so much admitted "uncertainty" surrounding them that they should be "interpreted with caution" can never be sufficient for extreme emergency orders.
Regardless of whether the themes of 30 phone conversations in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, are forcibly applicable to the entire state of North Carolina, nothing in this study pertains to extreme emergency orders.
Scientific controversy surrounds one study. A letter signed by 45 epidemiologists carried a formal request for retraction of the paper. They cited numerous methodological errors and "verifiably false" statements.
If anything, this study counsels against state mask mandates as unnecessary and indeed redundant. Rader et al. find "no significant change in mask uptake" from mask mandates. They recommend policymakers instead consider "innovative strategies for evaluating and increasing mask usage" voluntarily.