Twitter is a favorite place for antivaxers to promote their message. A recent study suggests how the antivaccine Twitter community has changed.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the US, increasing concern has been expressed about the politicization of the CDC and FDA due to pressure from the Trump administration to downplay the severity of the pandemic and push out treatments and a vaccine as fast as possible, potentially at the expense of safety. This has led me to a disturbing question: Can I trust the CDC and FDA any more?
For a quarter of a century, quackery and pseudoscience have been integrated into medicine through the construct of “integrative medicine” and into academic medicine in the form of quackademic medicine. Unfortunately, there has been little pushback. That’s why it’s good to see a recent article in The Surgeon decrying this phenomenon. We need more of this.
A week ago, The Toronto Sun published a syndicated column by a pseudonymous Canadian doctor, Dr. W. Gifford-Jones. The column was packed with antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience. Apparently due to complaints, the article was taken down after an uproar, but is still available on the website of at least one other Canadian newspaper. How is it that a physician who writes such twaddle can be syndicated in over 70 newspapers?
Science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient ways of knowing from other cultures, and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?