Tag: conspiracy theories

Figure 1

Science denial, overconfidence, and persuasion

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.

/ August 22, 2022
Yogi Berra

Conspiracy theories about monkeypox: Déjà vu all over again or same as it ever was?

Last Thursday, the Biden administration officially declared monkeypox to be a national public health emergency. Unsurprisingly, conspiracy theories abound, many of them recycled from COVID-19 and older antivax conspiracy theories.

/ August 8, 2022
ABIM Logo

The ABIM vs. medical misinformation: Better late than never?

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?

/ May 23, 2022

“This Would Translate to About 10,000 Deaths” Reflections From the Start of the Pandemic

“This would translate to about 10,000 deaths” Two years ago, Dr. John Ioannidis wrote an essay in STAT titled “A Fiasco in The Making? As The Coronavirus Pandemic Takes Hold, We Are Making Decisions Without Reliable Data.” It contained the following paragraph: If we assume that case fatality rate among individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 is 0.3% in the general population — a...

/ March 17, 2022

Everything old is new again

Since the pandemic hit, I've frequently said things like, "Everything old is new again", referring to the antivaccine movement in the age of COVID-19. As 2022 dawned, I thought I'd expand a bit on what I mean. Is there a term for déjà vu, but what I'm seeing now is amplified a thousand-fold? Proponents of science-based medicine have been warning us for...

/ January 3, 2022
How RFK Jr. sees the members of ACIP and VRBPAC

Are the FDA’s VRBPAC and the CDC’s ACIP hopelessly compromised by conflicts of interest over COVID-19 vaccines?

The FDA's VRBPAC and the CDC's ACIP are the two main committees that approve vaccines to be sold in the US and issue recommendations regarding who should receive them and when. In the wake of the recent recommendation that children 5-11 receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is now portraying committee members as thralls of big pharma. But are...

/ November 29, 2021
The BMJ's Facebook logo

What the heck happened to The BMJ?

Last week, The BMJ published an "exposé" by Paul Thacker alleging patient unblinding, data falsification, and other wrongdoing by a company running three sites for the massive clinical trial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It was a highly biased story embraced by antivaxxers, with a deceptively framed narrative and claims not placed into proper context, leading me to look into the broader...

/ November 8, 2021
Comirnaty

Yes, the FDA really HAS given full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

After the FDA announcement a week ago that Comirnaty, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, had been approved, it took less than a day for antivaxxers to spin a conspiracy theory claiming that the FDA hadn't really approved the Pfizer vaccine at all and that Comirnaty wasn't available, all to protect Pfizer from liability. It's a superficially plausible conspiracy...

/ August 30, 2021
Ivermectin

Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 2

A few months ago, Scott Gavura wrote about how the veterinary deworming drug ivermectin has become the new hydroxychloroquine in that it is being promoted as a highly effective treatment against COVID-19—and by many of the same people who previously promoted HCQ—despite evidence that is, at best very weak and at worst completely negative. Unfortunately, with the publication of two new and...

/ June 21, 2021

Bad Documentary Review: The Great Culling

The Great Culling is a mess of an anti-fluoridation documentary trying to scare you into...something. I watched it so you don't have to, and you shouldn't.

/ June 19, 2021