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Antivaccine nonsense Religion

“Fetal cells” in COVID-19 vaccines…again

In the age of COVID, everything old is new again in antivax conspiracy world. This time around, antivaxxers are trying to claim (yet again) that COVID vaccines contain “fetal cells.” Once more into the breach.

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Bad science Clinical trials Medicine Politics Popular culture Quackery

Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 7: Are there positive studies that aren’t fraudulent?

Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, a drug repurposed for COVID-19 that almost certainly doesn’t work but is still being touted as a “miracle cure” by quacks, grifters, and political ideologues. Are the data supporting it all fraudulent and/or biased? The answer, increasingly, appears to be yes.

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Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics

Astroturf and think tanks manufacturing doubt about COVID-19 public health interventions

The embrace of antimask and antivaccine views by the right wing is due to more than just clever reaching out by antivaxxers. There’s a big money astroturf machine encompassing various “think tanks” behind it.

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Bad science Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

The astroturf effort promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 continues apace

A week and a half ago, a “study” published on “HCQ Trial” by an anonymous source claiming to be a group of PhD scientists went viral. It claimed that countries that used hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 had a 79% lower fatality rate than those who didn’t. It was horrible science and quickly debunked on Twitter by several epidemiologists. That didn’t stop it from going viral. Disinformation like this during a pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges we face.

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Bioethics Medicine Popular culture Skepticism/critical thinking

A pharma shill working on behalf of an industry-funded group shows how easy it is to publish propaganda as a legitimate op-ed

Many are the PR firms and astroturf groups out there trying to influence the public. One favored technique is to publish an op-ed by an expert or “thought leader” in a major media outlet. Not infrequently, these op-eds are ghostwritten. Unfortunately, to its sorrow, STATNews found that out this week.