One of the more hilarious things that the ivermectin crowd is currently doing is equating any funding ever received by the Gates Foundation as being purchased personally by Bill Gates
For example, @UNITAID. Various bizarre claims have been made that any funding from Unitaid is equivalent to receiving a personal bequest from Bill Gates
However, even a very cursory examination shows that the Gates Foundation contributes only a tiny fraction of the Unitaid budget. The main funder is France, followed by the UK
Unitaid has, as with many of these large NGOs funded by countries, a bit of a complex structure, but they basically sit under the WHO with a separate executive. If we were to be deeply cynical, we might say that Unitaid funding was like getting cash from the French/UK govts...
...but realistically, I suspect that the WHO has just as much power over the decisions made by Unitaid. Having never worked with or for either organization (although I know lots of people who do), I'd guess it's probably a complex political headache
The funding that Unitaid DOES receive from the Gates Foundation is $10mil per year, and is earmarked for projects specifically addressing HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria (which is Unitaid's core purpose)
Anyway, you'd have to be deeply ignorant and completely uninterested in looking up basic facts to claim that Unitaid funding had much to do with Bill Gates
And I say this all as someone who is deeply distrustful of billionaires and would prefer that we didn't have to rely on the haphazard philanthropy of rich people to eliminate diseases we already know how to cure

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More from @GidMK

7 Dec
Today, our letter about a paper in Nature Scientific Reports that claimed to find no evidence that staying at home reduced Covid-19 deaths was published

This is a depressing example of how scientific error-correction fails 1/n…
2/n The original paper came out in March, amid the huge worldwide epidemics, and was immediately a massive hit. After 9 months, it has been accessed nearly 400k times and has one of the highest Altmetric scores of any paper ever Image
3/n The paper has also been, I think it's fair to say, one of the more impactful pieces of work during the pandemic. It is still regularly cited everywhere to support the idea that government restrictions against Covid-19 don't work ImageImage
Read 18 tweets
3 Dec
Abortion statistics are a fascinating example of bias, because there are a great many misconceptions about abortion that are nevertheless common

Try and answer the following questions without looking them up
(I'm using mostly US/EU/Aus stats here, while some of this is generalizable to other places, many of the stats will be very different particularly in low-income regions. Also, even within similar countries these stats can be quite different, so this is very general)
1. What is the most common age-group for people who have induced abortions?
Read 15 tweets
1 Dec
The most important work that I've done this year - we found that the IFR of COVID-19 is double as high in developing countries compared to high-income places…
(The graph above is a new figure that will soon be in the updated medrxiv preprint)
As you can see from the figure above, this difference is largest in young people and tapers off in the elderly. By age 80, the IFR is only 1.3x higher in developing countries than high-income areas
Read 8 tweets
30 Nov
One of the more depressing things about all these god-awful ivermectin "analyses" is how much they muddy the water if the drug DOES prove effective to some degree
I mean, it's entirely possible (some would reasonably argue likely) that ivermectin has a benefit for COVID-19! It's extremely unlikely that the benefit is large, but a small benefit is still very much on the cards
We may end up being quite certain that ivermectin reduces the death rate from COVID-19 by, say, 10%. That would be important, and the medication would be a useful part of the toolkit for treatment of the disease
Read 6 tweets
29 Nov
I'm still quite surprised at the complete and utter lack of basic integrity that has some ivermectin proponents arguing that the literature is fine because there is an "expected" rate of fraud and misconduct which has not been exceeded
This bizarre narrative states that the fraud in the ivermectin space isn't an issue because every scientific area has fraud and therefore we're just seeing exactly what we'd anticipate for any treatment
This is just genuinely nonsensical. Most of the fraudulent studies have been the most hugely positive, and there are serious concerns with many of the other papers
Read 5 tweets
25 Nov
People keep sending me this video on Youtube about ivermectin and Japan, and I think it's a wonderful litmus test for basic critical thinking

It's nonsense, and the deficiencies are very obvious
In the video, Dr. John Campbell repeats the claim that, since Covid-19 claims dropped after the 13th of August, and as this was the point that ivermectin was "allowed as a treatment", this means that ivermectin had some massive implied benefit Image
But, as Dr. Campbell notes, there was no policy change in Japan on the 13th of August. There was absolutely no difference in terms of patient care before or after this "intervention"
Read 12 tweets

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