Blake Murdoch Profile picture
JD, MBA. Health law scholar, bioethicist and science communicator. Senior Research Associate, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta.
Jörg 🌻 Profile picture DellaLuna Profile picture 3 subscribed
Sep 18 4 tweets 2 min read
Alberta finally gets a covid update. Yes, that is mere CASES of RSV and flu being presented alongside HOSPITALIZATIONs for COVID.

Modelling from @MoriartyLab suggests 47,000-65,000 are getting COVID in AB per week RN. Apparently COVID is not just a flu, who would have thunk.
/1 Image Almost all illness right now is COVID or secondarily, common cold. And COVID come with a serious risk of Long COVID, as high as 20% in women according to recent Statistics Canada information.

Link to @MoriartyLab's data:

Apr 24 4 tweets 2 min read
*Preprint.* Bivalent booster 4% effective vs. XBB infection. CI *-12% to 18%.* Obviously still providing some temporary protection vs severe disease.

The ideological "let it rip" approach is ruining our vaccines. A self-compounding negative spiral.

🧵… Image This study had some other unusual findings as well, so we will see how it proceeds through peer review. @Daltmann10 could perhaps comment on the section regarding possible immune imprinting resulting in increased risk of infection for those who are highly vaccinated?

/2 Image
Apr 19 6 tweets 2 min read
This thread is for sharing stories of people who died or were seriously harmed after being infected with COVID in hospital. Please share your story.

The removal of masks in hospitals instead of upgrading to respirators will ensure these stories continue to happen every day:

🧵 Every story is a personal and community tragedy, not a number.

My heartfelt condolences.

Apr 18 8 tweets 2 min read
Ideology is driving decisions to end masking. Plenty of science shows that masking in hospitals saves lives.

1. Upgrading staff (not even patients & visitors) from surgical to FFP3 masks reduced hospital acquired infection 33% during Delta wave:…

🧵 2. FFP3 respirators provided 52-100% protection from infection for health care workers working on covid wards.

Apr 17 16 tweets 4 min read
Many people have "forgotten" there were mass graves in NYC in 2020, and without public health measures that would have happened everywhere.

Our new piece in @CMAJ is about a kind of historical negationism @CaulfieldTim and I call "lockdown revisionism."🧵… Image Lockdown revisionism involves false reimaginings of the pandemic where effective public health measures are wrongly reframed as discriminatory in intent and worthless. It can involve projection of already incorrect present beliefs onto a totally different context in the past.

Apr 16 8 tweets 2 min read
It hurts my brain and heart to see some MDs advocating for policies of minor convenience - ending universal masking in hospitals - that are 100% guaranteed to kill more vulnerable patients. Have they forgotten the purpose of their profession? Their oath? Their codes of ethics? 🧵 For example, the Canadian Medical Association code of ethics is here:…

Under "Fundamental Commitments of the Medical Profession:"
-"Commitment to the well-being of the patient"
-"Commitment to respect for persons"
-"Commitment to justice"

I can go on
Mar 23 9 tweets 3 min read
Long Covid & other SARS-COV-2 sequelae are underreported in the US.

1. ~55% of Americans believe they've had covid

2. IMHE estimates 98% of Americans have actually had covid

People who don't believe they've had covid won't attribute new health conditions to it. /1 🧵 About 5% of ALL US adults have activity limitations from their long COVID. This is obviously only counting people in the 55% who believe that they have had COVID. That means the real number will certainly be more. /2
Mar 23 7 tweets 3 min read
1. 55% of Americans believe they've NEVER had covid (up from 40%)

2. IMHE estimates 98% of Americans have had covid

Long Covid & other SARS-COV-2 sequelae are underreported in the US.

People who don't believe they've had covid won't attribute new health conditions to it. 🧵 /1 ImageImage About 5% of ALL US adults have activity limitations from their long COVID. This is obviously only including people from the 45% who believe that they have had COVID. That means the real number could easily be double or more, or less than double. But it will certainly be more. /2 Image
Mar 16 4 tweets 2 min read
@jljcolorado is correct, and this is a huge deal.
Shifting evidentiary standards for NPI's to cumbersome, confounder-ridden evidence-based medicine standards can be intentional.

That's because it is incredibly easy to manipulate data to manufacture and merchant doubt with EBM.🧵 Some EBM experts still don't accept that masks work. This is because they have fallen into the trap of believing their area of expertise is the only true lens of knowing.

Engineers modelled & tested masks, just like they modelled spaceships before sending people into orbit.
Mar 14 6 tweets 2 min read
"High prevalence of breakthrough infections are evidence of us failing in our war of attrition against the virus... increased caseload, hospitalisations... lost days from work, chronic disability symptoms, & an inability to simply return to normal life."🧵… Essay from @Daltmann10 & @BoytonRosemary.

"If we now appreciate that even hybrid immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection is (differentially, depending on previous immune experience) poorly durable and annual debates on booster strategy are required, how should we move forward?"
Mar 7 13 tweets 3 min read
There have been many reports of people going out knowing they are positive for COVID, denying a known infection is COVID, etc. This is a very interesting essay on some possible mechanisms by which SARS-COV-2 may manipulate infected people's behaviour. /1🧵… These are potential mechanisms and are not proven to my knowledge (paper is 2021). Some of them are based on known potential effects of specific biological interactions. Social factors are likely more powerful than biological ones for explaining behaviour that transmits COVID. /2
Feb 26 4 tweets 2 min read
Francois Balloux criticized me today for pointing out problems with the Cochrane masking review.

He said that Cochrane reviewers shouldn’t contact authors of the studies they are reviewing. The problem: that’s exactly the opposite of what the official Cochrane guide says. My tweet thread here, which he was attempting to discredit, showed the Cochrane reviewers didn’t seem to be aware of the existence of the publicly available raw data from a key COVID-era masking trial, and didn’t contact the authors to ask for it.
Feb 25 5 tweets 2 min read
An anonymous parrot on Twitter somehow knows more about research ethics than many dominant medical voices. There is no equipoise to respirator RCTs.

Engineers do not run experiments where people are sent into chemical-laden vessels with & without respirators to see what happens. Nor do they compare fit-tested P100 elastomeric respirators to surgical-style masks with far worse lab filtration rates & giant gaps in the fitment. There is NO NEED. It is unethical and pointless. We know respirators work. See also: international industrial safety standards.
Feb 24 7 tweets 5 min read
Tweets wherein a @cochranecollab masking review author misrepresents the Yale Bangladeshi masking study & data as opaque, then the Yale first author points out the raw data have been publicly posted the whole time, & the Cochrane review team never saw it nor emailed them once.🧵 The conversation started like this. @GidMK points out the three COVID-era masking studies included in the review showed clear and consistent benefit from masking. @paulglasziou ADMITS there was an effect from masking in COVID-era studies. Then wrongly frames Yale study as opaque.
Feb 23 19 tweets 4 min read
This essay by @n_hold has many intelligent insights into living in a world where there is an ideological ending to the pandemic but it continues biologically. It speaks to the many levels of loneliness and grief that accompany the new "pseudo-normal." 🧵… "The pseudo-return in the 'new normal' means social life and community appear to be more available, but for many of us, they aren’t, really - no more than a meal someone spat on is really available as food."
Feb 22 8 tweets 3 min read
Would journalists present the results of the flawed Cochrane masking review as favourably if they knew that the first author Tom Jefferson recently said that reporters during the pandemic were reminiscent of "German generals and physicians at the Nuremberg trials"?🧵 This is, of course, a dogwhistle to the rather sizeable group of unhinged people calling for journalists and public officials to actually be tried and hanged for crimes against humanity in a "Nuremberg 2.0." We are studying this online discourse at the Health Law Institute.
Feb 21 8 tweets 2 min read
I've decided to support TV/movies over sports for now. Mostly because I can't watch 20k people party in a stadium anymore without getting angry and thinking of people down the chain of COVID super-spreading transmission that are going to die as a direct result of these events. 🧵 I know I'm going to get some hate for this. And I do like the sports themselves. It's just that the sports model is broken right now. At least on sets, Hollywood etc have had some of the best precautions out there in terms of stopping the spread. Art wins over sports for now.
Feb 19 4 tweets 2 min read
More vague commentary ignoring the statistical methods.

When powerful platformed people use weak arguments to selectively discredit research in a way that precisely allows them to acknowledge long COVID & also justify status quo “normalcy” mass reinfection, it’s questionable. 🧵 IMO the giveaway is here: it’s absolutely key to defend at all costs the notion that young people will be fine with continual reinfection. This motivates the arguments. It is the narrative justifying the return to normalcy - which is eugenic in its policies and outcomes.
Feb 17 11 tweets 3 min read
I've had columns rejected specifically for citing @zalaly et al's Nature study, which is still the best research we currently have on reinfection risk. Zeynep Tufekci and others have worked to discredit it. This is easy because people do not understand the statistical methods.🧵 Some health journalists upset I cite it have said that it's irrelevant to the broader public because the study is of unhealthy older men. (Frail seems to be Tufekci's favourite word to describe certain disadvantaged groups). Nobody mentions covariates.…
Feb 15 11 tweets 10 min read
My latest article. We are currently engaging in a policy of mass continual reinfection of children with a mutating virus that can broadly damage the body and which has a significant rate of subsequent disability. Children's health is at risk.… The purpose of this piece is to break through the illusion that we can continue down this path without changing anything and not pay an immense toll in children's health. We have no evidence indicating that periodic COVID reinfection will end.
Feb 2 6 tweets 2 min read
COVID Hegemony, coined by @BlairWilliams26, explains manufactured consent for COVID infection:

"Our governments & mainstream media have persuaded [people] to accept increasing morbidity, mortality, and the erosion of our public health systems using four key strategies:"

🧵1/6 "1. Adopting and promoting myths about the virus which downplay its severity – “it’s mild”, “it’s just like the flu”, “we’re all going to get COVID” and, more recently, “the pandemic is over”. As such, we perceive the pandemic as less risky & [protections as overreactions]."