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Extraordinary scenes, wild claims, and the drug hype machine in overdrive, with a bizarre twist. At WIRED: Let's Get Real About the President's Antibody Treatment.

 

 

 

What. a. month. Here we are, with phase 3 trial results for 5 vaccines in sight – and so many questions about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine that slid behind and is now on hold. My fourth monthly vaccine roundup at Absolutely Maybe: Covid Vaccine Race, Month 9.

And with signs that we could be facing another historic de-feminization period in science because of the pandemic, Meet the Women Leading Vanguard Covid-19 Vaccine Trials: A Sign of Progress and Reminder of What's At Risk.

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 vaccines are hurtling along. In my roundup this month, the contours of the race are getting clearer – Vaccine Contrasts & Massive Volunteer Mobilization: Covid-19 Vaccine Race, Month 8.

Meanwhile, in "you can't make this stuff up"...I wrote about my thoughts on what happened with convalescent plasma for Covid-19 at WIRED: The FDA's Approach to Covid-19 Is a Bloody Mess.

And then when the mess got worse, at Absolutely Maybe, The FDA's Epic Statistical Fail & Worse: Has Informed Consent Been Made Next To Impossible?

Last month, I wrote about the evidence on hydroxychloroquine, and the need for publications to be up-to-date in Covid time. At the end of July, a living systematic review was published, that was a month out-of-date on hydroxychloroquine: this was a problem, too. And I submitted a rapid response about it to the BMJ.

 

 

 

June put us into the 6th month since the genome of the new coronavirus was sequenced and made available to the world. That basically fired the starting gun for the race to a vaccine: 12 to 18 months, was the fastest it could take, we've been told. My overview post for the status as the 6th month began, at Absolutely Maybe – Covid-19 Vaccine Race, Month 6: First Emergency Use & Phase 3 Trials. And then another, on those at phase 3 trial stage, through the lens of those trials and the interim results of their earlier trials: The Clinical Trial Results Stampede Begins: Covid-19 Vaccine Race, Month 7.

Also on Covid-19 vaccines: my thoughts about the dangers of misleading and unchallenged marketing hype about their adverse effects, at WIRED. (And I go into the ethics and evidence on this in the above "Month 7" post.)

Also at Absolutely Maybe, thoughts on a hyped observational study of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19: Study Publications Must Be Up-To-Date in Covid Time.

It's a Covid-19 theory that went viral: women leaders were handling the pandemic better than their male counterparts. Now, I've got Jacinda-Ardern-envy, too, but I think this is a bias bonfire. I explain why at WIRED: What the data really says about women leaders and the pandemic.

After a bit of popular demand, I wrote a post about the Ioannidis debates, at Absolutely Maybe: Science Heroes and Disillusion.

And I was on the Australian Medical Students' Association podcast, talking with Daryl Goh, Adam Dunn, and Kieran Kennedy on misinformation in health (71 minutes on Spotify).

 

 

 

 

My latest at WIRED is a dig into a complicated question: Social Distancing Has Become the Norm. What Have We Learned? 

A post I was working on before Covid-19. In which I point to 3 ways conflict of interest claims get twisted like pretzels. Absolutely Maybe: A Cartoon Guide to Conflict of Interest Claims, Fair & Foul. A lot of words, but also cartoons! And a second one that had its start pre-pandemic: Let's Be Serious About Bias in Protocols for Systematic Reviews.

John Ioannidis published a preprint concluded Covid-19 has a low infection fatality rate (IFR), and it was March all over again for me: I couldn't concentrate on anything else. So here's my take: A Critical Look at a Preprint Inferring the Covid-19 Infection Fatality Rate. It turned into a trilogy...

Part 2 was A Critical Look at Preprints on Covid-19 Infection Fatality Rates:The Sequel - considering another 2 preprints besides the Ioannidis one.

Part 3 was at Absolutely Maybe. After wrestling with the severe problems in a couple of those preprints, I nevertheless decided to write Reasons to Worry Less the Explosion of Preprints.

And in other news, the US National Information Standards Organization has a document on standardizing badges at journals out for consultation. I submitted a comment challenging doing this at all.

 

 

 

 

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