Use diagnostics to quickly select & mute silence (as documented)
It's simple to use Diagnostics to identify all the silence in an audio file. I want to mute (not delete) all the silence.
Oddly, the "Fix by: Deleting Silence" setting is documented to do just that (mute instead of delete), however the implementation doesn't mute. It deletes. You can get the exact behavior by choosing "Fix by: Shortening Silence" to 0ms.
I recommend, fixing the documented feature, then renaming it to "Muting Silence" in the interface (so people can actually find it)
Here's a screenshot of the feature as documented here...