Last month, a study showed that papers about COVID-19 that are retracted tend to be cited far more than average and continue to be heavily cited after retraction. Clearly, scientific publishing and the scientific community need to do better.
While Orac was off last week, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk resurrected an antivax conspiracy theory that Anthony Fauci’s wife was “supposed to make sure” that he “behaves ethically.”
Antivaxxers love to claim that vaccine mandates (especially COVID-19 vaccine mandates) violate the Nuremberg Code and call for Nuremberg-style tribunals to hold public health and vaccine advocates “accountable”. As usual, they have no idea what they are talking about. This is also not a new antivax narrative, although what is unprecedented is that what was once fringe even among antivaxxers is now mainstream.
A recent article in Bioethics makes ethical arguments against vaccinating children against COVID-19. If you change the word “COVID-19” to measles, chickenpox, or rotavirus (or others), this article could have been published on one of the higher-brow antivax websites in 2010. Antivax arguments never change; they’re just continually recycled.
Antivaccine alternative health tycoon Joe Mercola claims that the unblinding of participants in the clinical trials of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines was intended to “blow up the trials” and undermine the science, making it impossible ever to identify long term adverse events. What he’s really doing is deceptively oversimplifying complex ethical and scientific issues surrounding these trials in the middle of a deadly pandemic, all in the service of his grift.