Old antivax tropes never die: “COVID theater,” “Urgency of Normal,” and the Great Barrington Declaration
Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable calling to "end COVID-19 theater" that brought together the Great Barrington Declaration and "Urgency of Normal," a movement to end mask mandates and other COVID-19 mitigations in schools. The arguments used long predate the pandemic and echo a dark side of the history of American medicine.
Last week, SBM devoted a lot of digital ink to a poorly done study analyzing the VAERS database for myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination that was widely publicized to imply that the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease. Three out of the four authors should have known better, leading me to ask: How did we get here?
In response to the dumpster-diving VAERS study published earlier this month, pediatric cardiologist and guest blogger Dr. Frank Han adds context by explaining how cardiologists think about and diagnose myocarditis.
A recent pre-print inappropriately used VAERS to calculated the rate of myocarditis after the COVID-19 vaccine. However, even if the rate was correct, the article glosses over the dangers of the virus and the efficacy of the vaccine.
Dumpster diving in the VAERS database to find more COVID-19 vaccine-associated myocarditis in children
"Dumpster diving" is a term used to describe studies using data from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System database by authors, almost always antivaxxers, who don't understand its limitations. Last week, non-antivax doctors who should know better fell into this trap when they promoted their study suggesting that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are more dangerous to children than the disease.