Tag: coronavirus

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A recurring debate about COVID-19 bubbled up late last week, when a group of scientists announced an as-yet unpublished open letter to the World Health Organization arguing that COVID-19 transmission is airborne and urging it to change its recommendations.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

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
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
COVID-19

COVID-19: Out-of-control science and bypassing science-based medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn't just been a pandemic of coronavirus-caused disease. There's also a pandemic of misinformation and bad science. It turns out that doctors today are just as prone as doctors 100 years ago during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic to bypass science-based medicine in their desperation to treat patients.

/ May 4, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine and the price of abandoning of science- and evidence-based medicine

Based on anecdotal evidence early in the pandemic and then-unreported clinical trials, followed by hype and bad studies by French "brave maverick doctor" Didier Raoult, antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine became the de facto standard of care for COVID-19, despite no rigorous evidence that they worked. A steady drip-drip-drip of negative studies has led doctors and health authorities to rethink and backtrack,...

/ April 27, 2020

The CDC Releases New Data on COVID-19 in Children

Another large data set, this time from the CDC, supports the anecdotal observations that pediatric COVID-19 cases tend to be mild and that a very small percentage of children are requiring intensive care. The absence of obvious symptoms increases the risk of spreading the virus, so social distancing and proper hygiene are key when it comes to kids.

/ April 10, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin versus COVID-19: Grift, conspiracy theories, and another bad study by Didier Raoult

On Friday, Prof. Didier Raoult posted another study of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine used against COVID-19. It is a single arm observational study of patients with mostly mild (or even asymptomatic) disease that is painfully uninformative with respect to the question of this treatment's effectiveness. That didn't stop America's Quack Dr. Oz and other grifters from touting Raoult's study, as well as a...

/ March 30, 2020