In recent months, the media has called on celebrities to open up about their COVID vaccination status. Immunity is a shared space, the argument goes, and pro-vaccine pop-stars can convince the public that getting immunized isn't just a personal choice. There's some truth to this, but the argument raises touchy ethical questions about privacy that need to be answered.
Social media censorship has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic, in large part thanks to the proliferation of so-called "fact-checkers." While efforts to limit the spread of false information online seem sensible, experts are starting to point out the downsides of tech companies moderating scientific disputes.
Vaccination status on dating sites has become an issue as more people have been immunized. Some online daters are concerned about the disease while others worry about privacy issues if the dating app is linked to government databases. Should people simply be counted on to tell the truth about their vaccination status? Having dwelled for far too long in that gruesome world that's an easy one: hell, no. Too many lies and too many liars.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a favorite tool of skeptics aiming to spread immunization fears. As it turns out, VAERS has actually helped ensure the safety of FDA-approved shots.
The anti-GMO movement used to be a cultural juggernaut. But as time goes on, the activist groups that once held so much sway seem increasingly irrelevant.
On the heels of a new survey, public health experts say partisan politics crippled America's pandemic response. At the same time, they want federal agencies like the FDA and CDC to tackle incendiary political issues including racism, gun violence and climate change. Trying to solve these partisan problems won't improve the credibility of the public health establishment.
Shipping regulations passed in December 2020 and poised to take effect in the near future will greatly restrict access to electronic cigarettes. Since the law was enacted, additional research has shown that smokers who switch to vaping have a good shot at giving up cigarettes, and maybe even nicotine, forever. Congress is hindering this important public health victory.
Research shows that vaccine skepticism appeals to people who already distrust authority. Solutions proposed during the COVID-19 pandemic may be amplifying the problem rather than solving it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified calls to ban flavored e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. One physician says there's good evidence that vaping increases the risk of infection for teenagers. Do her claims stand up to scrutiny?
A new poll confirms that vaccine uptake is increasing in the U.S. There are legitimate concerns about convincing the minority of immunization skeptics to get their shots as we pursue herd immunity. But risk-averse regulators and panic-prone journalists may be exacerbating the problem.
To speed COVID vaccine uptake and bring the pandemic to an end, some commentators are calling on the government to mandate immunization as a condition for participating in society. This may seem like a reasonable policy, but there's compelling evidence that it could backfire.
When combined, science and religion can be a powerful force for good. Let's use it to vanquish COVID.