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Medicine Politics Popular culture Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

The WHO walks back its statement that asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission is “very rare”

Yesterday, the World Health Organization walked back its statement that asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is “very rare.” This was after COVID-19 deniers had had a field day using that statement to attack social distancing, contact tracing, and mask wearing. It was a science communication disaster.

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Popular culture Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Did the WHO just say that asymptomatic people with COVID-19 don’t transmit the coronavirus?

A story claiming that the WHO just said that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients don’t transmit coronavirus. Spoilers: It didn’t. However, the WHO’s message added unnecessary confusion and led COVID-19 deniers to say masks and social distancing are not necessary.

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Bad science Clinical trials Medicine Politics Popular culture

The Surgisphere debacle

I got it wrong about something. It turns out that recent Lancet hydroxychloroquine study was likely fraudulent, thanks to a small, very dodgy company called Surgisphere. Here, I admit and explain my error and try to set things right.

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Medicine Politics Popular culture Pseudoscience Quackery

Beijing proposes criminalizing “slandering” or “libeling” TCM

China has long promoted the sale and use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Now the city of Beijing wants to criminalize criticism of TCM.

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Bad science Medicine Popular culture Pseudoscience

Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller publish another terrible “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study

Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller, two antivaccine propagandists disguising themselves as scientists, published yet another terrible “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study purporting to show unvaccinated children are healthier. How awful was the study? Let Orac tell you!