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.
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.
China has long promoted the sale and use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Now the city of Beijing wants to criminalize criticism of TCM.
The World Health Organization recently held its Global Vaccine Safety Summit. Antivaccine propagandist Del Bigtree cherry picked quotes to make it seem as though WHO scientists were questioning vaccine safety and made a video. Unfortunately, that video went viral. Fortunately, even those cherry picked quotes weren’t very convincing.
Seven decades ago, Chairman Mao Zedong began promoting traditional Chinese medicine and its “integration” with science-based medicine. His long game has paid off, and he has triumphed, thanks to WHO, which has formally approved integrating mystical and pseudoscientific TCM codes to the new ICD-11.