Gah. Well, congrats to the headline-seeking researchers behind that VAERS / myocarditis study, they found the audience they were looking for!

But let's talk for a second about the study.

VEARS is cool, just like FAERS is cool. It's a simple system for collecting adverse event reports from anywhere. Typically, these are used to flag events with disproportionate reporting frequency, which can then be analyzed with other methods that have validated medical data.

I will grant the authors of the paper (… ) one thing, they set up a link to make it easy to comb through the VAERS reports included in their analysis:

So let's take a look at some of them.
The core problem the authors claim to have identified involves boys 12-17 who were hospitalized with myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis. Every single VAERS report I discuss below is a boy 12-17 who was hospitalized and was included in the article's analysis.
VAERS ID 1328253-1. Notice what little information it provides. I've highlighted how, despite two days in the hospital, they never got any information about the vaccination, all of which would've been on the vaccine record card. (Check your own, you'll see.) That's odd.
VAERS ID 1336480-1. It does not mention myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis. It does not include lab values or MRI results. It just says "elevated troponins." Read @han_francis, a pediatric cardiologist, for why that's not enough:
VAERS ID 1347549-1. Missing vaccination info. Conflicting info on whether hospitalized, or just seen in emergency room. No diagnosis of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis. No MRI.
VAERS ID 1351002-1. Missing vaccination info. Conflicting info on hospitalization. No diagnosis of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis. No MRI.
The study had 202 hospitalized boys age 12-17 total. Those four I discussed above are 2% of that entire dataset.

They're hardly alone. VAERS 1360831-1 says "myocarditis," but not much else. Doesn't even say which dose of the vaccine it was. No MRI.
Even the comparatively good reports include gaps and tantalizing missing information. VAERS ID 1377873-1 is missing what state it was in. But the bigger problem is the pending MRI. We don't know what they were eventually diagnosed with, nor their outcome.
I didn't review all of the reports, these are from a brief skim of the first three dozen they listed. Point is, VAERS is useful, but it can't do what the authors claim, there's just not enough reliable data to derive incidence rates, much less do a harm-benefit analysis.


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More from @MaxKennerly

27 Aug
The first page says: "The case has been thoroughly briefed before us—twice." That is untrue. The merits of the case have never been before SCOTUS. What they've had instead were two emergency motions on the "shadow docket" with minimal briefing and no oral argument.

One problem with this emergency / "shadow docket" mode of deciding cases is the high likelihood of factual error, such as this.

The orderly distribution of rental assistance did not happen. The 6 conservative Justices simply assert, erroneously, the issue has "diminished."

The 6 conservatives Justices similarly do not address the changed circumstances. In dissent, Justice Breyer points out what we all know: COVID cases have been rising dramatically via the Delta variant, and the balance of equities now is even more in favor of the moratorium.

Read 6 tweets
2 Aug
Since you're having trouble @potus @CDCgov @PressSec:

The legal authority is 42 U.S.C. § 264(a).

See D.C. Circuit, No. 21-5093 (June 2, 2021)(affirming district court stay order); see also U.S. Supreme Court, No. 20A169 (June 29, 2021)(denying application to vacate stay).

D.C. Circuit:…


FYI, Kavanaugh's concurrence is not the law. We can make predictions what SCOTUS *might* do, but predictions aren't the law. The law is what the majority did: refuse to vacate the D.C. Circuit's order.

Obviously, Congress could've and should've fixed this legislatively in light of the apparent legal threats. For the moment, however, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a) can be used to extend the eviction moratorium. This may change with future court developments, but that is the law right now.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul
We need to clear up something about the Cosby case: the DA, Castor, was not trying to help the women Cosby raped.

The DA was trying to help Cosby defend the civil cases.

Assume the DA did nothing at all. The civil cases proceed, Cosby takes the Fifth to avoid incriminating himself, the jury is instructed to draw an inference against him (see Baxter, 425 US 308), and, having no defense, Cosby likely gets walloped with gigantic verdicts.

Or assume the DA wanted to help the women's civil cases. He then tries get a verdict against or plea from Cosby, creating collateral estoppel, so the plaintiffs could walk into court with liability already decided in their favor and go straight to damages.

Read 6 tweets
30 Jun
Reminder: if you donate to Congressional campaigns, do so before midnight Wednesday (June 30), the end of the FEC quarter.

"Early donor" and "small donor" figures have a big influence on the direction of elections. Look upon these headlines, ye mighty—but don't despair.

I'm not paid or asked to do this, I just have the simple view that every Democrat running for Congress in 2022 is guaranteed to be better than every Republican. Let's start with two first-term Dems in states that the GOP will get to redistrict.
.@Carolyn4GA7, the only Dem to flip a seat in 2020. Republicans want it back. Her opponent last time was a doctor who downplayed COVID-19 and said he'd end the ACA.🤮

Bourdeaux doesn't take corporate PAC $, making donations even more important.
Read 7 tweets
21 Jun
Billionaires, big banks, and hedge funds are flooded with cash but don't want to invest in productive businesses or pay taxes, so they're lobbying to have the government pay them to steal public lands so they can impose taxes on everyone else.

I'm not exaggerating.

Here's $3.75 trillion in cash sitting in commercial banks. It could be lent out to people or businesses; they do not want to do that. They're "waiting for opportunities to invest at higher rates." There's a concern "human beings are getting paid more." "Overheating," they say.
The Senate group has released merely two pages, but embedded in there appears to be a proposal for the wealthiest 0.01% to get a discount (via tax credits) to get paid (via debt interest) to get paid again (via dividends) to own public infrastructure and overcharge us for it.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
Remember all the contrarians complaining about the FDA taking too much time with clinical trials? Well, here's what happens when you skip Phase 2 and cut Phase 3 short. This has risks and would cost $50,000 annually, but we can't tell if it sort-of works or doesn't work at all.
It's disconcerting. Typically, a drug is approved on surrogate markers because the condition's rarity or the drug's narrow indication make it difficult to do robust clinical trials.

Here that's no issue. The lack of data is due to the company and the FDA.
The resignations probably need to go farther down the chain as well. The FDA's decision to approve aducanumab was plainly irresponsible.
Read 4 tweets

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