Dr. Ashish Jha has led other scientists into the fray against COVID-19 pseudoscience and deserves a lot of praise for that. However, to be more effective, he and his colleagues need to understand the critical role of conspiracy theories in science denial.
Antivaccine activists and pandemic minimizers Del Bigtree and Joe Mercola are promoting the myth of the “casedemic” that claims that the massive increase in COVID-19 cases being reported is an artifact of increased PCR testing and false positives due to too sensitive a threshold to the test. As they have done for vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases many times before, they are vastly simplifying and exaggerating a scientific controversy to cast doubt on the scope and deadliness of the pandemic.
Once more, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. cries “Censorship!” over efforts to counter COVID-19 and antivaccine disinformation. Hilarity ensues.
In “COVID-19 EXPOSED,” antivax pediatrician Dr. Larry Palevsky has pivoted effortlessly to COVID-19 quackery and denial, same as it ever was for antivaxxers.
Last year, the Trump administration essentially disbanded the National Vaccine Program Office, folding it into an office focused on infectious diseases. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. What does this mean for monitoring the safety of the soon-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines?