JAMA: Communicating Science in the Time of a Pandemic

Dr. Richard Saitz of Boston University School of Public Health and I co-authored this piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Here is an excerpt:


Criticism of NY Times’ Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker

Yesterday on Twitter, several clinician-researchers urged me to weigh in on the New York Times’ introduction of a new Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker. They were troubled by it. I was, too, when I saw it. But I had no time to address it yesterday and – more than 24 hours later – I still […]


Why make international news out of 9 vague patient reports on remdesivir?

The Reuters headline blared, “One in three South Korean COVID-19 patients improve with remdesivir.”  The first sentence of the story repeated that number: “One in three South Korean patients seriously ill with COVID-19 showed an improvement in their condition after being given Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral remdesivir, health authorities said.” One in three.  Was that 1,000 […]


Some global reaction to the news of US mass purchase of remdesivir

Canadian physician-researcher James Brophy of McGill University read the news announcing, “US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir.” Rather than reacting with shock and scorn as many observers did, Brophy celebrated the announcement as “good news for the rest of us” around the globe. Why? He explained in an opinion piece published […]


For breakfast, give me 2 observational studies and an anti-irritant

This is the way many of my days begin. I check for messages – across all media – and I see this on Twitter from Adam Cifu, MD, one of our former editorial contributors: I think this article was published just to irritate ⁦@VPrasadMDMPH⁩ and ⁦@garyschwitzer⁩ https://t.co/KWVqMEk3K8 — Adam Cifu (@adamcifu) June 30, 2020 Once […]


Pharma PR appears as unvetted COVID-19 vaccine news in STAT newsletter

I’ve written about STAT’s Morning Rounds newsletter in the past, and criticized how STAT accepts pharma sponsorship of the newsletter. In the last two weeks, for example, the newsletter has featured sponsored content from: drug company AstraZeneca; the Biotechnology Innovation Organization – whose biggest sponsors include drug companies Lilly, Merck, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson; biotech […]


Following the dexamethasone COVID-19 drug news as it unfolds today

I’m flying solo while trying to catch up on today’s news on preliminary announcement of trial results of the drug dexamethasone for COVID-19 patients. What follows is a series of tweets in response to what the Associated Press, CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, and some smart physicians on Twitter have written. Among the […]


Same old, same old, with NY Times Well column – bisphosphonates for pneumonia this time

While the overarching theme may be the same – the puzzling editorial decision-making in the New York Times Well blog/column – the specific topics change – and so, provide more examples for instruction. Bone Drugs May Have Added Benefit: Lower Pneumonia Risk is the headline of the latest troubled piece that caught my eye. The opening line: […]


Reuters report is another classic case study in how NOT to cover COVID-19 news

Four days ago, Reuters reported from Rome, “New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says.” The statement that COVID-19 “has become much less lethal” and that “the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy” caused an uproar in the global scientific community. But it was Reuters that gave the scientist an international megaphone. Journalist Roxanne […]


60 Minutes promotes one hospital’s “promise of plasma”

I’m a bit late on this with only a few excuses.  The birth of a new grandson.  Computer problems.  Living in the Minneapolis area and being focused on the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. But this is worth addressing, even though a little late. CBS 60 Minutes broadcast a story it called, […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

View More