Tag: vaccines

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
coronavirus

Antivaxxers launch a preemptive disinformation war against a COVID-19 vaccine that doesn’t yet exist

We don't yet have a vaccine against COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped the antivaccine movement from launching a preemptive disinformation war on social media against it. Unfortunately, as a recent study demonstrates, on Facebook at least, they have been so successful that it is possible that antivaccine messaging will surpass pro-vaccine messaging on FB within a decade.

/ May 25, 2020

Medical conspiracy theories and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned almost innumerable conspiracy theories, and conspiracists like the antivaccine movement have joined forces with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. To combat the proliferation of pseudoscience rooted in conspiracy theories, it is useful to step back and examine the nature of conspiracy theories, including ones that are not medical, even ones like QAnon. Critical thinking is the key to inoculating...

/ May 18, 2020
COVID-19 denial and antivaxxers

COVID-19 pandemic deniers and the antivaccine movement: An unholy alliance

Deniers of the severity of COVID-19 as a disease and pandemic have increasingly teamed up with the antivaccine movement, emulating their rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and tactics. The effect on public health is likely to be disastrous.

/ April 20, 2020
5G tower

COVID-19 conspiracy theories: Vaccines and 5G (along with Bill Gates) are responsible!

The COVID-19 pandemic will almost certainly wind up being by far the worst pandemic we have experienced in a century. Given a huge pandemic with tragic death tolls, it's not surprising that conspiracy theories are popping up. Here, we look at two of the most common kinds of COVID-19 conspiracy theories. One blames 5G. The other blames—of course!—the flu vaccine.

/ April 6, 2020

Quoth RFK Jr.: Vaccines and glyphosate are responsible for the obesity epidemic!

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. published an article claiming that vaccines and glyphosate are responsible for the obesity epidemic. Too bad he cited the work of two longtime antivaccine cranks to support his bogus claim. He's really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

/ February 24, 2020

Is defending science-based medicine worth it?

Pseudoscience, denialism, fake news, and disinformation about health are a bigger problem than ever, thanks to social media. As doctors and scientists join lay defenders of science on social media, will they be willing to pay the price in terms of harassment? Or will they decide it's not worth the hassle? And what about our fellow docs who think that it's beneath...

/ January 20, 2020

How do we stop crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe from being used to fund quackery?

GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sites have long been used by desperate patients seeking to fund their use of unproven and downright quacky treatments. How can these sites be changed in order to keep them from being used as a funding supply for unethical quacks?

/ December 30, 2019

“Natural health” and the antivaccine movement: The case of Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Joseph Mercola has been selling quackery for over two decades. It turns out that he also promotes antivaccine pseudoscience, as a new report from The Washington Post shows.

/ December 23, 2019

Dichotomous thinking and uncertainty in medicine and science

Medicine is by its very nature uncertain. Unfortunately, humans don't deal well with uncertainty, and our tendency towards dichotomous thinking leads us to think that if we're not absolutely certain about something we don't know anything.

/ November 11, 2019