How we got here with political and health misinformation: The case of “Hacker X” and Mike Adams
Ars Technica recently published a story about Hacker X, who helped Mike Adams expand his online empire of health fraud into an empire of fake news and political disinformation, thus intertwining health and political misinformation into the deadly combination we see now.
State medical boards vs. COVID-19 misinformation, an update
The disinformation epidemic about COVID-19 has pushed state medical boards to consider disciplining physicians who promote COVID-19 disinformation. How would that work? What are the obstacles? Is it even possible? It should be, but it will be messy and complicated.
The Federation of State Medical Boards vs. COVID-19 misinformation: A losing battle so far
A few weeks ago, the Federation of State Medical Boards, which itself does not have any regulatory power but advocates for state medical boards, issued a statement that physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation should be subject to disciplinary measures. Unfortunately, a recent report found that not a single US physician has had action taken against their medical license for doing this. Why?
Antivaxxers misrepresent a study to falsely claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause cancer
The latest antivaccine propaganda claims that a 2018 research paper published by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows that the RNA in the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines can cause cancer. As usual, it's a complete misapplication of a cherry picked study grounded in a lack of understanding of molecular biology. Same as it ever was.
The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”
There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...
2020 and the pandemic: A year of (some) physicians behaving badly
Looking back on 2020, if there's one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it's that crises reveal character. Unfortunately, the character of too many physicians has been found wanting, as they spent 2020 denying the pandemic, peddling quack cures, or spreading misinformation in the service of defying public health interventions. What can be done?
Responding to Dr. Vinay Prasad’s “dunking on a 7′ hoop” criticism of SBM
Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...