All posts by David Gorski

Dr. Gorski's full information can be found here, along with information for patients. David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer Liaison Physician as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. If you are a potential patient and found this page through a Google search, please check out Dr. Gorski's biographical information, disclaimers regarding his writings, and notice to patients here.

All science denial is a form of conspiracy theory

Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all forms of science denial are a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, science denial represents a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.

/ January 25, 2021
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

The efforts of antivaxxers to portray COVID-19 vaccines as harmful or even deadly continue apace…

As more and more COVID-19 vaccines find their way into more and more arms, there are reports of bad things happening to people after vaccination up to and including even death. As I've been predicting for a long time that they would, antivaxxers are now weaponizing these reports and anecdotes before they have even been investigated in order to spread fear, uncertainty,...

/ January 18, 2021
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Did the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine cause a fatal case of ITP?

Last week, a post by Heidi Neckelmann, the wife of Miami obstetrician Dr. Gregory Michael describing his death from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) 16 days after being vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine went viral. Unsurprisingly, in her grief she blamed the vaccine for her husband's death from a rare autoimmune condition that destroys platelets and causes bleeding. Unfortunately, Dr. Michael's tragic...

/ January 11, 2021
COVID-19 vs. FDA and CDC

Germ theory denial in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic

As hard as it is to believe, in the middle of a global pandemic that's claimed so many lives and so thoroughly disrupted society, there are people who still deny germ theory. How can this be?

/ January 4, 2021
Doctors behaving badly

2020 and the pandemic: A year of (some) physicians behaving badly

Looking back on 2020, if there's one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it's that crises reveal character. Unfortunately, the character of too many physicians has been found wanting, as they spent 2020 denying the pandemic, peddling quack cures, or spreading misinformation in the service of defying public health interventions. What can be done?

/ December 28, 2020
Dr. Gorski gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Syncope and Bell’s palsy: Distinguishing correlation from causation for adverse events observed after COVID-19 vaccination

The FDA has approved emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for two COVID-19 vaccines, and the largest mass vaccination program in history has begun. Look for antivaxxers to attribute reactions to the vaccine that the vaccine very likely didn't cause. We'll examine the example stories of vasovagal syncope and Bell's palsy that were reported by the press last week.

/ December 21, 2020

It was inevitable that antivaxxers would claim that COVID-19 vaccines make females infertile

Antivaxxers have been claiming that vaccines cause female infertility for as long as I can remember. So it's not surprising that they are now claiming that COVID-19 vaccines will make women infertile. Their assertion is based on a highly speculative and incredibly unlikely immunologic mechanism. Same as it ever was.

/ December 14, 2020

Responding to Dr. Vinay Prasad’s “dunking on a 7′ hoop” criticism of SBM

Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...

/ December 13, 2020
Dr. Paul Thomas

The Oregon Medical Board suspends the medical license of antivax pediatrician Dr. Paul Thomas

Late last week, the Oregon Medical Board suspended the licenses of two physicians, one for bragging about not wearing a mask around his patients, the second being Dr. Paul Thomas, an antivaccine pediatrician, whose continued practice was deemed a threat to his patients. It's time for more state medical boards to step up, as Oregon's has.

/ December 7, 2020
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

No, the Moderna and Pfizer RNA vaccines for COVID-19 will not “permanently alter your DNA”

With the new mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna likely to be available soon, antivaxxers have been ramping up the fear mongering. Their latest claim is that mRNA vaccines will "permanently alter your DNA" or even "make you transhuman." Such claims rest on an utter ignorance of the totality of what we know about the biology of DNA, RNA, and how...

/ November 30, 2020