British consulting cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra has become the latest darling of the COVID-19 minimization and antivaccine movement in the UK. Previously known for anti-statin views and advocacy of the Pioppi diet who pivoted to more dangerous misinformation during the pandemic.
Antivaccine activists and quacks often weaponize legitimate concerns about industry conflicts of interest in medicine into the "shill gambit," in which they accuse critics and defenders of science-based medicine of being in the pay of big pharma. However, the rise of physician-influencers and, in particular, Substack show that not all conflicts of interest are from industry or even financial.
A recent VICE story described a Telegram channel devoted to promoting veterinary ivermectin to treat autism. It has echoes of autism quackery going back at least to the use of MMS (a kind of bleach) to "cure" autism by eliminating "parasites."
The pandemic has brought scientists who have rejected science with respect to COVID-19 public health measures a disturbing level of influence. Recent research suggests reasons why and who among the public susceptible to such misinformation remains persuadable.
Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial by the President of ABIM discussing how the board certification can be taken away from diplomates who spread medical misinformation. Is this too little, too late?
Over the weekend, Dr. Lucy McBride, a concierge medicine doctor who has become famous as a pandemic minimizer and one of the drivers of "Urgency of Normal", Tweeted an article that she had written over a year ago about "coronaphobia". Whether she understands it or not, this is a very old antivax trope: To pathologize fear of infectious disease as mental illness.
Decades after Dr. Oz pioneered "integrating" quackery into medicine and after many years of promoting diet scams and quackery on a nationally syndicated daily television show, Columbia University appears finally to have had enough and has quietly downgraded his status. What took so long?
As high-quality evidence increasingly and resoundingly shows that ivermectin does not work against COVID-19, advocates are doing what acupuncture advocates do: Turning to lower quality "positive" studies to claim incorrectly that their favorite ineffective treatment actually does "work".