FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn indicated that his agency would be willing to grant emergency authorization to a coronavirus vaccine, even before it completes Phase 3 clinical trials. This is a reckless gamble and could cause an unmitigated public health disaster.
There are some striking differences between how Europeans and Americans are navigating the pandemic. The latter have a lot to learn from the former.
As I watch the current debacle of our children preparing to return to school, I more and more feel it is time to take a moment to talk about the errors we have made. My original thoughts turned to responsibility and accountability, words that have occupied my professional life as a surgeon, words molding my thinking just as they molded my character.
Another clinical trial of remdesivir – this time with hospitalized patients having moderate COVID-19 – yielded disappointing and strange results. The first randomized trial showed a modest benefit in patients with severe COVID, so theoretically the drug should have worked better in patients who weren't as sick. But, it didn't.
Health literacy, or understanding the medical narrative, is a problem for a majority of Americans. When compounded with numeric literacy, understanding numbers, ratios and rates -- the daily litany that has accompanied COVID-19 news conferences -- it's estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans just don’t get it.
There are crazier ideas than harsh, indefinite lockdowns to fight the coronavirus. One was proposed by a bioethics professor: Put mind-controlling hormones in the water supply to make people more cooperative.
Large pharmaceutical companies are multinational organizations with incentives to distribute their vaccines broadly.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of studying repurposed drugs to battle COVID-19. In an interview, ACSH advisor Dr. Kathie Seley-Radtke weighs in on this method while providing a glimpse at some of the very promising research now going on in her lab. If you want to know how antiviral drug discovery might tame COVID-19, this is a must-read.
Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin's propaganda machine are working in overdrive.
Social distancing reduces the possibility of becoming infected with COVID-19. A new study suggests that social distancing also applies to facilities -- in this case -- nursing homes. But how can these particular facilities do that? Read on.
The media regularly reports about deaths from COVID-19 as if that is the whole story. But it's not. COVID-19 doesn't behave like a cold or the flu. In many cases, it hangs on, leaving the patient with a host of chronic (and maybe permanent) conditions. Simply counting deaths will understate the damage done by the virus.
Data suggest that about 3% of Americans, or nearly 10 million people, have been infected with coronavirus. Unfortunately, this data comes from late April and early May, and the virus has spread even further since then. The official COVID-19 case tally, therefore, is a dramatic undercount.