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.

COVID party

COVID-19 parties: Urban legend or real thing?

You've probably seen breathlessly scolding stories in the media about young people holding "COVID parties", in which attendees intentionally try to become infected with COVID-19. Are these parties really a thing, or are they an urban legend? The answer is not entirely clear yet, but current evidence (more specifically, the lack of evidence) for them is much more consistent with the latter...

/ July 13, 2020
Sneeze COVID

Is COVID-19 transmitted by airborne aerosols?

A recurring debate about COVID-19 bubbled up late last week, when a group of scientists announced an as-yet unpublished open letter to the World Health Organization arguing that COVID-19 transmission is airborne and urging it to change its recommendations. What is this debate about, and, if coronavirus is airborne, should we be more scared?

/ July 6, 2020
Mask exemption

Misinformation and disinformation about facemasks and COVID-19

As evidence accumulates that facemasks work to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19, new myths have arisen claiming that, not only do facemasks not work, but that they are actively harmful. These myths have no basis in physiology or chemistry, but that hasn't stopped anti-mask activists from using them to claim protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

/ June 29, 2020
Del Bigtree

Antivaccine leader Del Bigtree on COVID-19: “Let’s catch this cold!” Why antivaxxers and coronavirus conspiracy theorists are often one in the same.

Last week, antivaccine activist Del Bigtree posted a rant denying the severity of COVID-19, blaming the chronically ill for having made themselves vulnerable to severe disease through their lifestyle choices, and urging the young and healthy to "catch this cold". His rant shows exactly why COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and antivaxxers have such an affinity for each other and have teamed up to...

/ June 22, 2020
coronavirus

J.B. Handley’s unthinking person’s guide to the COVID-19 pandemic

J.B. Handley was the founder of the antivaccine group Generation Rescue. Unfortunately, in the era of COVID-19 he's started peddling pseudoscience related to the pandemic. Some things never change.

/ June 15, 2020

Do face masks decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission?

As wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 becomes a culture war issue, the evidence for whether they prevent transmission of COVID-19 remains contested. A new systematic review and meta-analysis provides the best evidence yet that social distancing and masks are highly effective at decreasing the risk of contracting coronavirus, while eye protection might also help, but it's not a slam...

/ June 8, 2020
coronavirus

Antivaxxers launch a preemptive disinformation war against a COVID-19 vaccine that doesn’t yet exist

We don't yet have a vaccine against COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped the antivaccine movement from launching a preemptive disinformation war on social media against it. Unfortunately, as a recent study demonstrates, on Facebook at least, they have been so successful that it is possible that antivaccine messaging will surpass pro-vaccine messaging on FB within a decade.

/ May 25, 2020

Medical conspiracy theories and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned almost innumerable conspiracy theories, and conspiracists like the antivaccine movement have joined forces with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. To combat the proliferation of pseudoscience rooted in conspiracy theories, it is useful to step back and examine the nature of conspiracy theories, including ones that are not medical, even ones like QAnon. Critical thinking is the key to inoculating...

/ May 18, 2020
Plandemic and Judy Mikovits

Plandemic: Judy Mikovits and the mother of all COVID-19 conspiracy theories (some final thoughts)

Last Friday, I deconstructed Plandemic, a misinformation conspiracyfest of a video that went viral last week. It turns out that Judy Mikovits, the disgraced scientist featured in the video has even more conspiracy theories and misinformation up her sleeve.

/ May 11, 2020
Judy Mikovits on Pandemic

Plandemic: Judy Mikovits and the mother of all COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Judy Mikovits is a disgraced scientist who published a paper claiming that a retrovirus called XMRV causes chronic fatigue syndrome, results that other investigators were unable to replicate. Since then, she's been a regular on the antivaccine circuit, but now she's been reborn as a "Fire Fauci" COVID-19 conspiracy theorist. Sadly, it worked. Her book is #1 on Amazon.

/ May 8, 2020