A survey of the research shows that the science of mask wearing is hardly "settled." And this up-in-the-air nature of it all is a reminder of how immoral it is to impose mandates on people, backed with state violence.
Did the hardliners win at Versailles because the Americans were too weak with the flu to object? If so, it would be just one way that disease profoundly affected public policy in the wake of the 1918 flu.
The medical profession has long employed the state to pad doctor salaries and influence. Before the Flexner Report, mechanics made more than doctors and the brightest students avoided the profession to enter the clergy.