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Remember back in the early days of COVID when we knew little about the disease and had nothing to treat it with? Remdesivir (brand name Veklury®) seemed promising for a while, but as I wrote last year:

  1. Its effect was modest, at best.
  2. It's an IV solution, not a pill, which would be quite an advantage
  3. It's a bitch to make

But, just like molnupiravir (aka EIDD-2801), which has made it as far as...

Every now and then a quack dope misinformed individual needs to be called out. Joe "Crazy Joe" Mercola, perhaps the most dangerous purveyor of internet health misinformation, has been in the ACSH cross hairs numerous times, as have the mega-deranged Mike (the Health Ranger) Adams, and Dr. "Superfoods" Oz. Their entry to the "ACSH Hall of Shame" has been earned many times over. Now it's time for a new inductee, Shane Ellison, a seriously flipped out dude who calls himself "The People's Chemist.

It is especially disturbing that Ellison actually has some, albeit modest, credentials behind his name: A bachelor's degree in biology from Fort Lewis College and (gasp) a master's degree in...

You might have read that genetic sequencing can track down genetic changes such that you can identify the “infector.” A careful review of an article claiming this shows that genetic sequencing alone can’t do diddly.

“Even with all of the advances in sequencing over the past decade, our ability to conduct genetic investigations is only as good as our public health infrastructure. The most advanced technologies are useless without ongoing disease surveillance.”

One non-peer-reviewed lay article does say genetic sequencing could identify the infector. But the...

Two years ago, many of you probably had never even heard of many of these terms. Now they're flying around left, right, and center, as are misstatements, misunderstandings, and misdeeds. For people without a solid scientific or medical background, it may sound like Greek. And, Greek letters are also flying around, both literally and figuratively, something I wrote about in July.

So, I thought that it might be helpful to put together "The Language of Covid" – a set of definitions that all of you non-scientists out there might find helpful. Maybe even a few scientists.

SARS-CoV-2

The virus that is now plaguing the world was briefly...

“We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said after she was spotted maskless in a crowded nightclub last Thursday. “My drink was sitting at the table,” she added. “I got up and started dancing because i was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.”

The media have already pointed out the obvious: as the executive of a city with a...

Where along the aerodigestive tract does the virus encamp?

The aerodigestive tract consists of the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. Do the lungs, the primary organ affected by the virus, contain the deadly multitudes? Do they hide in the throat, like a strep infection, or do they reside in our nose and sinus tract? 

The virus moves around by airborne pathways involving aerosols, liquid droplets suspended in the exhaled respiratory air.  Sneezing and coughing make larger droplets, which travel short distances and fall quickly to the surfaces around us.  These bigger droplets, called fomites, were thought to be a source of viral transmission early in the pandemic.  Remember wiping down packages and doorknobs?

The virus exists in sizes smaller than one...

I know of no physician who hasn’t learned something valuable from a more experienced nurse. Not an almost medical student doctor, a newbie “intern,” or an on-the-job training resident physician. So why does the Joint Commission believe those physicians should entirely direct nurses? And who is the Joint Commission anyway?

Let’s start with the easy question, who is the Joint Commission. They are an organization that provides accreditation for hospitals. I am proud to say its origins are with a surgeon, Ernest Codman, who in the early 1900s had the novel idea that you could improve your surgical practice and care by keeping records of treatments and outcomes. At mid-century, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals was formed by merging similar accreditation groups...

In August 2020, Scientific American offered its readers some spot-on advice about how to evaluate the constant stream of COVID-19 research we're all subjected to. Quoting evolutionary biologist Carl Bergstrom, the magazine noted:

As soon as the paper comes out, whatever side that paper supports picks that paper up and uses it to beat the other side with. Both sides often are selectively cherry-picking from the results that favor them. It comes back, again, to finding these trusted sources. You want to find sources that are not trying to promote one particular political narrative around the disease.

Scientific American presumably considers...

“The aim is to enhance the waning immunity given by the two original jabs, and prevent hospitals being overwhelmed with patients during the autumn and winter. Health experts have predicted a resurgence in flu and other respiratory infections, on top of the coronavirus pandemic, as restrictions on social mixing are removed.“

That is from the UK’s Financial Times. Similar reports come from the Guardian. The UK has determined that...

A recent perspective piece in the Washington Post is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the so-called "opioid epidemic." Authors Benjamin Cowan and  Joshua Tibbitts wrote about the link between increased suicides in veterans impact and reduction of their prescription opioids. Finally!  Someone gets it.

Can this article help reframe the thoroughly false narrative that prescription pills are killing tens of thousands of Americans every year? For the most part, the article is accurate. Nonetheless, there are a few statements that need to be examined.

As I and many others have been writing for years, what is being called the "opioid crisis" is now two...