5/5/2020

Thanks for missing HealthNewsReview.org, but it’s still here

I am touched, and I chuckle, when an occasional follower on Twitter writes, “Oh, how I miss HealthNewsReview.org!” Or I’ll read, “We need HealthNewsReview.org now more than ever.” The fact is that these readers are usually reacting to something just published on HealthNewsReview.org, which is still alive. I think I know, though, what followers mean […]

5/3/2020

The start of a study is often not newsworthy – even when you bring God into it

On the day a study begins, there isn’t much you can say about it. There is no evidence. There is a hypothesis. You could talk about the protocol – how the study will be done. You can’t jump to any conclusions. This article questions why news organizations report on the first day of a study. […]

4/30/2020

What the public didn’t hear about the NIH remdesivir trial

This will not be an article that questions the medical evidence being discussed.  It will focus solely on how the message was communicated to a global audience. I believe that when the results of the NIH-sponsored remdesivir trial – Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – are […]

4/29/2020

The COVID-19 research news rollercoaster is running again: STAT News + Gilead’s remdesivir

This morning, STAT News reported: The story begins:  A government-run study of Gilead’s remdesivir, perhaps the most closely watched experimental drug to treat the novel coronavirus, showed that the medicine is effective against Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Gilead made the announcement in a statement Wednesday, stating: “We understand that the trial has […]

4/23/2020

Shining a light on super-spreaders of coronavirus misinformation

NewsGuard calls itself “The Internet Trust Tool.”  And there may have never been a better time to help consumers learn whom to trust than the COVID-19 pandemic era. (You can read more about NewsGuard’s operating model on their site, or in an article one of their staffers published on STAT.) NewsGuard is a browser extension that […]

4/21/2020

NY Times “Well” column is unwell again – this time on pandemic running advice

I admire much of the great journalism being delivered by the New York Times on COVID-19 pandemic issues. But I continue to be befuddled many weeks by the decision-making and editorial judgment of the Times’ Well column.  We have written several times about how unwell is the Well feature. Today, one of our former physician-contributors, […]

4/17/2020

Slow down your giddyup on Gilead news

This is what STAT reported in what they labeled an “Exclusive” last evening. Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment   Other news organizations played copycat, adding caveats Fox News picked up on the STAT story, but added its own caveats: “Partial data from an ongoing clinical trial […]

4/16/2020

‘Love your lungs’? Exaggerated screening claims seem more out of step than ever

A video on the website of Wisconsin-based Gundersen Health System makes an emotional pitch for lung cancer screening. We see a woman blowing soap bubbles with a child. A jogger exhaling after a winter run. A multi-generational family cheering at something on TV. An older woman blowing out candles on a birthday cake. “Your lungs […]

4/9/2020

Self-promoting MDs hawk unproven COVID-19 pandemic treatments

A friend called last week to tell me about a doctor with a big Facebook following. Her concern? This doctor, Steven Hotze, MD, popular for his Houston-based wellness clinic, his books, and his many media appearances, says that people should not worry about COVID-19 because it’s no worse than the flu. Here’s an excerpt from […]

4/1/2020

Strong caveats are lacking as news stories trumpet preliminary COVID-19 research

For years medical researchers held off while scientists in other fields embraced online platforms for posting rough drafts of manuscripts, known as preprints. Those websites accelerate basic science by allowing researchers to disseminate findings and get feedback on their work before submitting them to a traditional journal. Some argue that such rapid data sharing is […]

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