Category: Science and the Media

The Suicide Holiday Myth, Now with COVID

There is no association between the holidays and suicide – that is a myth. The effect of the pandemic is less clear.

/ December 2, 2020
Steak-umm

Frozen meat vs. COVID-19 misinformation: The strange case of Steak-umm

Of all the strange things that have happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of a frozen meat company as a source of critical thinking and skepticism regarding COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation is one of the strangest. How did Steak-umm become a champion of critical thinking about the pandemic?

/ November 16, 2020

Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. Now what for science-based medicine?

In 2016 and 2020, scientists expressed surprise and alarm at the results of the Presidential election. In 2016 it was alarm that someone as antiscience as Donald Trump was elected, and in 2020 it was over how close the election was, given Trump's dismal record on science, medicine, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Are scientists out of touch? And now what, for federal...

/ November 9, 2020
HHS

Vaccine safety monitoring in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic

Last year, the Trump administration essentially disbanded the National Vaccine Program Office, folding it into an office focused on infectious diseases. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. What does this mean for monitoring the safety of the soon-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines?

/ October 26, 2020

The Mask Ask: Understanding and Addressing Mask Resistance

The wearing of masks has become contentious on scientific and ideological grounds. Why is that, and how can we communicate with people who don't follow the scientific guidelines?

/ October 16, 2020
The Great Barrington Declaration

The Great Barrington Declaration: COVID-19 deniers follow the path laid down by creationists, HIV/AIDS denialists, and climate science deniers

Apparently signed by thousands of scientists, the Great Barrington Declaration argues that lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic do more harm than good and that society should use "Focused Protection" for the elderly and those at high risk for severe disease and death from COVID-19 while letting the young go about their business normally. A closer look reveals that COVID-19 deniers...

/ October 12, 2020
Donald Trump heading to Walter Reed Medical Center

Science-based medical lessons from President Trump’s case of COVID-19 (thus far)

We learned early Friday morning that President Trump has COVID-19. As the story evolved, it was hard not to take a look at potential science-based lessons in medicine that this story provides.

/ October 5, 2020

Don’t use a COVID-19 vaccine, cry the antivaxxers, because of the horseshoe crab!

Antivaxxers are now urging vegans not to use a COVID-19 vaccine because blood from horseshoe crabs will be used in its manufacture. At its heart, this is no different than their weaponization of beliefs against other vaccine ingredients, except that it does use a germ of a good point that we should be looking for other ways to ensure that vaccines have...

/ September 7, 2020

Can “optimizing your metabolism” through diet prevent or cure COVID-19?

A favorite claim by those favoring "holistic" therapies is that using diet to "optimize metabolism" can prevent or treat COVID-19. These claims are of a piece with similar claims for many other diseases and are just as exaggerated.

/ August 31, 2020

HCQTrial.com: Astroturf and disinformation about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 on steroids

Late last week, a "study" published on HCQTrial.com by an anonymous source claiming to be a group of PhD scientists went viral. It claimed that countries that used hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 had a 79% lower fatality rate than those who didn't. It was horrible science and quickly debunked on Twitter by several epidemiologists. That didn't stop it from going viral. Disinformation...

/ August 10, 2020