Intelligent Design Medicine

But IS there such a thing as pandemic science?

Spread the love

Or is it just panic science?:

On September 14, 1918, in the midst of the worst pandemic in modern history, an article in the New York Times quoted Dr. Rupert Blue, then surgeon general of the US Public Health Service. Blue reported that doctors in many countries were treating their influenza patients with digitalis and the antimalaria drug quinine. There was no evidence that the two drugs were any more effective than folk remedies being used by patients, including cinnamon, goose grease poultices, and salt stuffed up the nose, but doctors were desperate and willing to try just about anything. They would eventually abandon quinine and digitalis as treatments for flu when studies showed they were not only ineffective but caused serious and sometimes deadly side effects.

Today, just shy of two months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the media are once again flooded with cures, patients such as Michigan State Representative Karen Whitsett are being quoted with claims that hydroxychloroquine “saved my life,” and doctors are prescribing drugs that have not been shown to be effective. Only this time, it’s the twenty-first century, the age of “evidence-based medicine.” Or so it might seem. But instead of no science to back up treatments, we now have bad studies being reported uncritically in the press, and Twitter storms of doctors, journalists, and researchers arguing about the ethics of withholding drugs from dying patients, even though we have no idea if those drugs do more harm than good.

Jeanne Lenzer, Shannon Brownlee, “Pandemic Science Out of Control” at Issues in Science and Technology

The problems that Lenzer and Brownlee identify in their screed as wrong science are normal components of a panic in a crisis. What it all really shows is that we aren’t as much smarter than our forebears as we think.

4 Replies to “But IS there such a thing as pandemic science?

  1. 1
    JVL says:

    An interesting perspective. Has anyone else read this?

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Real doctors tend to use real science: their own clinical experience. The drugs in question have been used and prescribed often for other conditions, so real doctors know what to expect. I’d trust them far more than crazy politicized experts.

    Incidentally, a close look at the stats from 1918 shows that it wasn’t necessarily the all-consuming plague we imagine. Kansas, where it began, had 2000 deaths in a population of 1.5 million. That’s on the order of one death per thousand people. Not an all-consuming plague.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    After opening with a spray against the medical profession generally and speaking of ‘vicious partisanship’ this is a concluding line in one paragraph of
    ”In the case of two drugs now being used against COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, there is a very real possibility that patients who might have recovered from the virus without them will be harmed or even killed by the treatment..”
    Basically, it is a ridiculous article with two threads – one, what the Establishment is doing wrong and two, doctors who are trying to save lives shouldn’t be trying until the the treatment has been properly tested.
    (By which time the whole thing will be over,)
    Not mentioned is that there is no real treatment anyway although the CDC published the efficacy of Chlorquinine against SARS three years ago.

  4. 4
    Belfast says:

    After opening with a spray against the medical profession generally and speaking of ‘vicious partisanship’ this is a concluding line in one paragraph.
    ”In the case of two drugs now being used against COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, there is a very real possibility that patients who might have recovered from the virus without them will be harmed or even killed by the treatment..”
    No reference given., and God only knows what a ‘very real possibility’ is meant to mean.
    Basically, it is a ridiculous article with two threads – one, what the Establishment is doing wrong and two, doctors who are trying to save lives shouldn’t be trying until the the treatment has been properly tested.
    (By which time the whole thing will be over,)
    Not mentioned is that there is no real treatment anyway although the CDC published the efficacy of Chlorquinine in vitro against SARS three years ago.

Leave a Reply