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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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.