A peer-reviewed neurosurgery journal published a COVID-19 denier editorial that peddled false statements about the COVID-19 pandemic without any scientific and unbiased evidence to support the claims.
I am not sure what possessed the journal to publish a COVID-19 denier article, maybe something to do with false balance or something else, but you know that this article, by appearing in a peer-reviewed journal, will be used by the anti-vaccine forces as a justification for the COVID-19 denier nonsense.
Let’s take a look at this article and refute the claim presented in the COVID-19 denier editorial. This should be easy.
Continue reading “Peer-reviewed journal publishes COVID-19 denier editorial filled with lies”
Back before the world of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine development process took a long time. Despite the nonsensical claims of the anti-vaccine zealots, the vaccine development process is robust and thorough. The safety and effectiveness of all of the pre-pandemic vaccines are settled science (read the article before you jump up and down screaming about “settled science”).
However, the world of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that if we can save a few months or even years off the development timeline on a new COVID-19 vaccine, it could save hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of lives.
Of course, much of the optimism comes from experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the few rational public health experts who are willing to speak up in Washington DC. Maybe he has seen some secret data only available only to him and Bill Gates that supports this optimism. Maybe he just is trying to be the national cheerleader for healthcare.
I don’t know the real answer, but a lot of vaccine experts who have spent their lifetime studying vaccines, like Dr. Peter Hotez, MD Ph.D., have expressed dismay at how politics may “trump” good science.
So, this article will try to lay out the COVID-19 vaccine development process, along with the independent controls that make sure that all vaccines are safe and effective.
Continue reading “COVID vaccine development process – how it compares to “normal””
I was thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic recently, and I wondered how we would communicate with a time traveler from just two years ago. I had to do this thought exercise a few years ago when I had to create a paragraph in modern English that would make no sense to a time traveler from 1965. Think about the words that we use in common conversation that would make no sense to them — gigabytes, smartphones, internet, WiFi, gluten-free, and so many more.
While at my local coffee joint drinking my favorite and writing my previous blog post, someone said to me, “cool mask.” It’s a Star Trek mask — yes, I am a Trek nerd, don’t get me started. I then realized back in 2019, there is no way someone would put those two words together and make sense.
So, just to have fun on this Friday afternoon, I thought I’d list out some of the terms we use today that would be foreign to someone from 2019. Just a caveat first — some of these terms would be known by scientists and those who were involved with vaccines. But most would not have been said or understood in normal conversations.
Continue reading “What would a time traveler from 2019 think about the COVID pandemic”
Just when we thought we might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Omicron variant was discovered in Africa. Although many countries shut down travel from Africa, it’s probably too late — it probably was being spread before the Omicron variant was found.
Like when the Delta variant was first observed, there was a lot of confusion about how serious it was going to be and whether vaccines would be effective. It caused a surge in cases and deaths worldwide over the summer.
Although it’s very early, I think there is enough information to, at a minimum, understand what may be upcoming. Of course, as with everything about this pandemic, stay tuned because what we know today may be superseded by what we discover tomorrow.
Continue reading “Omicron variant of COVID — some initial facts about vaccines”
Let me get it right out there – I am wearing my attractive (not really) COVID-19 face masks even after being fully Moderna vaccinated. I wear them any time I’m at risk of being close to other human beings. And I intend to wear them until the day Dr. Anthony Fauci quits wearing his.
In the USA, wearing COVID face masks with or without vaccination was based on the honor system, and if there’s one defining characteristic of Americans who reject science, they aren’t honorable. So I don’t want to risk catching some new variant that arises in unvaccinated people who think it’s their right to breathe their contaminated breath on others.
I’m going to continue wearing my face mask for quite a long time, and here are my reasons.
Continue reading “Why do I still wear my lovely COVID face masks? Because of science.”
If you have been following the detritus of the internet regarding COVID-19, you have probably seen a video called “Plandemic” from Judy Mikovits, another pseudoscientist screaming about conspiracies and nonsense during this pandemic. She has a long history of scams and false information over a few decades, not unlike all of the other false authorities we’ve seen over the years.
I thought that “Dr.” Mikovits disappeared from view after a few months, but I keep seeing stuff about her – she’s written a book, she’s attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, and she’s still making false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.
In case you don’t know about a “false authority,” formally the “argument from false authority” logical fallacy, it means the argument favors claims from individuals based solely on their credentials rather than the scientific consensus. Credentials don’t matter – I may be someone who has a Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry from a top university, but if I claim that you must believe that Sasquatch exists because of my expert background, you should ignore me. On the other hand, Sasquatch does not exist.
The anti-vaccine zealots have a long history of relying upon false authorities – Tetyana Obukhanych, Christopher Exley, and Christopher Shaw. None of the individuals have any reputation in vaccines, yet they are deified by the anti-vaxxers. I’m guessing that Judy Mikovits will be joining that crowd soon.
Continue reading “Judy Mikovits is not an authority on vaccines and COVID-19”
One of the questions that keep entering the discourse on the COVID-19 vaccine is whether it should be given during pregnancy. There’s not a definitive answer, but there is some good advice based on evidence from leading infectious disease experts.
I’m not here to make a recommendation one way or another regarding whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be given during pregnancy. My job is to provide the evidence and the recommendations so that every woman can be armed with this when speaking to their healthcare provider.
Continue reading “COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy – expert recommendations on safety”
Many people have received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and I’ve been reading that post-vaccination means going back to how it was pre-pandemic – party with all your friends in a crowded restaurant.
I don’t mean to be THAT guy – you know, the one that says that buying a trampoline for your kids is not a good idea. But I’ve seen too many social media posts in which people are stating that they are now protected so they don’t have to worry about things. They are just plain wrong.
Despite my being solidly in support of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are three very good reasons to continue to be diligent post-vaccination.
Continue reading “Post COVID-19 vaccine? Don’t go back to your pre-pandemic ways”
One of the most annoying anti-vaccine activists is Peter Doshi who has decided to pontificate on COVID-19 vaccine trials. He is bothersome not because he is a noteworthy scientist or physician, he’s not, it’s because he somehow scored a position as an editor at the respected medical journal, BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal).
BMJ is not a hotbed of anti-vaccine pseudoscience, except for the presence of Peter Doshi. For example, they published a series of articles, written by Brian Deer, about Andrew Wakefield’s despicable deceit, you can read about it here, here, and here. Deer has also written a powerful book about Wakefield’s fraud. I wonder what Mr. Deer thinks of Peter Doshi as an editor at the acclaimed medical journal.
Doshi occasionally uses BMJ as his personal bully pulpit to push anti-vaccine rhetoric that can lead the casual observer to think that he is some respected authority figure with vaccines. He isn’t.
Peter Doshi has just posted an anti-vaccine blog post on BMJ attacking the clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. His opinion piece needs to be critiqued because his attacks can add to the vast number of anti-COVID-19 vaccine myths that are being spread across the internet.
Continue reading “Peter Doshi discusses COVID vaccine clinical trials – once again, he’s wrong”
Donald Trump has recently pushed “Operation Warp Speed” that will speed the coronavirus vaccine race so that we can have a new COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. This is could end up being a disaster.
This is like the hundredth article I’ve posted on coronavirus vaccines. I just joked with someone that if I wrote an article that conclusively established that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines actually cured cancer, erectile dysfunction, and the inability to hit an inside curveball, the first 30 comments posted at the end of that article would ask, “yeah that’s nice to know, old dinosaur. But does it cure COVID-19?”
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose facial expressions in response to whatever lie that Donald Trump is saying during his daily coronavirus campaign events are meme-worthy, has also said that we might see a vaccine within 12-18 months. Now, Dr. Fauci is a billion times smarter than I ever will be about immunology, infectious diseases, and baseball, but I have numerous reservations about this aggressive timeline.
Maybe Dr. Fauci has some inside knowledge. Maybe he has seen some secret data only available only to him and Bill Gates. Maybe Trump has a gun pointed at him during these press briefings (really, campaign rallies).
I don’t know the real answer, but a lot of vaccine experts who have spent their lifetime studying vaccines are very skeptical of this aggressive timeline for a new COVID-19 vaccine. I consider myself a pharmaceutical development expert, and I am unconvinced that this coronavirus vaccine race can be done safely. Continue reading “Coronavirus vaccine race – Operation Warp Speed could be a disaster”