Gaslighting is a form of misinformation, and @WHCOS has been doing this for months. It’s clear that this is a political liability, but it’s not going to go away by cherry-picking data, selectively amplifying expertise, and ignoring data-driven advice
June 29: cherry-picking data by emphasizing the decrease in COVID-19 deaths while completely ignoring the fact that cases were on the rise
May 28: knowingly misrepresenting data in an effort to convince the public that the CDC did the right thing by relaxing its mask mandate *without a proof of vaccination system in place*
April 18 (and every week since): misleading the public by suggesting that vaccines were widely available. That’s never been true: at any given point in time, a small fraction of all vax sites have Pfizer doses in stock— working parents are struggling to get kids vaxxed

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More from @DataDrivenMD

21 Jul
⚠️ This thread does not apply to #DeltaVariant. This was applicable between January and early June. It no longer applies because the assumptions made by the author are invalid.
🔸 hospitalization rates vary
🔸 vaccination rates vary

Get #vaccinated and #WearAMask
If you’re a verified account that amplified this, I urge you to spend be next few days catching up on the data from Scotland, England, Israel, and Australia. *Look at the actual data*

The headlines may be a little off, but they’re directionally accurate
The same can be said about a pre-print study on pediatric deaths due to COVID. If you amplified the Marty Makary post, spend some time reading through the critiques in this thread. The upshot is the same: *look at the actual data* before you amplify whatever aligns w/ your priors
Read 9 tweets
20 Jul
Here’s what worries me most about #DeltaVariant: folks like me, the ones willing to speak truth-to-power, are burning out

Politicians are making decisions based on poll numbers, and a lot of that has to do with public perception. We keep them honest, and influence policy.

Academics have a million things going on, they tend to be reactive. They’ll respond to specific prompts or comments. Whether they agree or disagree, we help keep them engaged up to speed on the data.

Since Biden took over, it’s been a struggle to steer politicians in the right direction. The honeymoon period made it harder to shift public sentiment, and the current White House is far better at leveraging access to help deflect bad press

Read 16 tweets
20 Jul
⚠️ J&J vaccine update: the upshot of the study is that, in the setting of #DeltaVariant, ”the data underscore the importance of surveillance for breakthrough infections that result in severe COVID-19”

primary source:…
Looking through the plots in the pre-print paper, and I must say: I'm struggling to square their results with real-world experience with the J&J vaccine. Nevertheless, I do agree that it’s worth improving our surveillance for breakthrough infections.… Image
I disagree w/ the NYT headline that “one dose of J&J vaccine is ineffective against Delta, study suggests.” There is, however, enough to warrant improved surveillance testing for breakthrough cases across the board.*

*Just my opinion; I defer to @angie_rasmussen & @PeterHotez
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
If you’re policing terminology (again) and wondering why the public has tuned you out, then look in the mirror. 280+ million adults aren’t the problem. You are

Please spare us a redux of the airborne debates

PS— #VaccinesSaveLives *and* #DeltaVariant requires that we #WearAMask
I’m *really* close to calling people out by name rn

If you want to reinforce your priors, go right ahead, but stop amplifying academic esoterica that is not grounded in *what we know is happening in the real-world*

This ⤵️👀 is textbook. #DeltaVariant is real life. Wake up. Image
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
Of all the techniques that trolls use amplify misinformation, the one I find the most fascinating involves using 2 different personas to sow discord. Here’s how it works:
🔸You post something that gets their attention
🔸Persona 1 antagonizes you
🔸Persona 2 defends you

It’s like good cop/bad cop. The goal is to get you to engage— to break up the fight, so to speak. When that happens, your followers get notified and they see the misinformation the first troll (Persona 1) is putting out there

They do this over and over and over again across hundreds of accounts with a large or influential following. Once they get the flywheel spinning, Twitter’s algorithms take over

Read 8 tweets
20 Jul
Knowing what I know about this (a lot)— this isn’t going to help patients, but it will help commercial insurers during contract negotiations

#priorities 🤷🏻‍♂️
Medical billing is based on a system of codes (like UPCs, but for medical services) — hospitals negotiate w/ insurers to determine how much each code is worth

Example: These are some of the codes used for COVID-19 testing at urgent care facilities by UnitedHealthcare
Note the language about when these codes can/cannot be used— this is typical: each insurer has specific guidelines like this

Read 11 tweets

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