He’s ba-ack! Longtime “integrative medicine” apologist and exaggerator of the “power of placebos” Ted Kaptchuk is promting misinformation again in an op-ed in The New York Times.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has resurrected the antivax claim that the childhood vaccine schedule has never been tested in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a saline placebo controls (and therefore the vaccine schedule is unsafe). This is an old and deceptive antivax half-truth that ignores both what constitutes a scientifically valid placebo and the ethical requirements for RCTs.
Thanks to RFK Jr. the deceptive claim that the childhood vaccine schedule has never been tested in a randomized controlled trial with a saline placebo control is making the rounds again.This is an old and deceptive antivax half-truth that ignores both what constitutes a scientifically valid placebo and the ethical requirement that RCTs have clinical equipoise.
Earlier this month, CNN host Kasie Hunt interviewed antivax presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Although she did better than most journalists confronting him for his past antivax statements in that she played a clip of one of his antivax statements, she clearly hadn’t anticipated his response, which should have been very predictable given that he’s been using it for at least 15 years. I guess it’s time for another primer.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been a very useful paradigm for assessing evidence in medicine. However, like any other framework, it can be misused, particularly when fundamentalist EBM methodolatry leads to its inappropriate application to questions for which it is ill-suited, a misuse that has been weaponized against public health during the pandemic.