COVID-19 journalism/communication

Things you should think about when you hear “vaccine by end of the year” | – Health Article

On July 27, 2020, the Washington Post reported, Two coronavirus vaccines begin the last phase of testing: 30,000-person trials, wrapping it in historical terms: Getty Images At 6:45 a.m. Monday, a volunteer in Savannah, Ga., received a shot in the arm and became the first participant in a massive human experiment that will test the effectiveness of an experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate. The vaccination marks a much-anticipated milestone: the official launch of the first in a series of large U.S. clinical trials…

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HealthNewsReview.org in the news about COVID-19 | – Health Article

July 24, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. I’ve been asked to do more interviews in the past six months than in any recent comparable time span.  COVID-19 is almost always the reason for the requests. Some of the more recent requests were spawned by the JAMA Viewpoint article, Communicating Science…

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JAMA: Communicating Science in the Time of a Pandemic – Health Article

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One day of COVID-19 drug & vaccine news provides cautious reminders – Health Article

July 21, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. Before I even turned on my computer yesterday, the BBC had blared this headline about a trial of the protein interferon beta:The sub-headline read: The preliminary results of a clinical trial suggest a new treatment for Covid-19 reduces the number of patients needing…

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Criticism of NY Times’ Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker – Health Article

Yesterday on Twitter, several clinician-researchers urged me to weigh in on the New York Times’ introduction of a new Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker. They were troubled by it. I was, too, when I saw it. But I had no time to address it yesterday and – more than 24 hours later – I still don’t have time to do anything more than post the criticisms that some other smart observers have made. (For anyone who has not read the…

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Avoid single patient, single source COVID-19 stories – especially on “cures” – Health Article

This is a lesson for news readers from Fargo to Duluth to Toronto and places in between and beyond.  The lesson is that you can’t jump to conclusions based on news stories about a single patient, or about a single researcher’s belief in a cure. Single anecdote stories There simply isn’t much you can say about apparent treatment results in one person.  Except that it only seems to be apparent. It’s not proof that a treatment worked.  And it’s only…

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Why make international news out of 9 vague patient reports on remdesivir? – Health Article

July 13, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. The Reuters headline blared, “One in three South Korean COVID-19 patients improve with remdesivir.”  The first sentence of the story repeated that number: “One in three South Korean patients seriously ill with COVID-19 showed an improvement in their condition after being given Gilead…

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60 Minutes promotes one hospital’s “promise of plasma” – Health Article

June 2, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. I’m a bit late on this with only a few excuses.  The birth of a new grandson.  Computer problems.  Living in the Minneapolis area and being focused on the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. But this is worth addressing, even…

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Reuters report is another classic case study in how NOT to cover COVID-19 news – Health Article

June 3, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. Reuters: Italian scientist Alberto Zangrillo Four days ago, Reuters reported from Rome, “New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says.” The statement that COVID-19 “has become much less lethal” and that “the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy” caused an uproar in…

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Some global reaction to the news of US mass purchase of remdesivir – Health Article

July 3, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. Canadian physician-researcher James Brophy of McGill University read the news announcing, “US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir.” Rather than reacting with shock and scorn as many observers did, Brophy celebrated the announcement as “good news for the rest of…

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Following the dexamethasone COVID-19 drug news as it unfolds today – Health Article

June 16, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. I’m flying solo while trying to catch up on today’s news on preliminary announcement of trial results of the drug dexamethasone for COVID-19 patients. What follows is a series of tweets in response to what the Associated Press, CNN, the BBC, the New…

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Pharma PR appears as unvetted COVID-19 vaccine news in STAT newsletter – Health Article

June 17, 2020 Posted By Gary Schwitzer is the founder of HealthNewsReview.org and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu. I’ve written about STAT’s Morning Rounds newsletter in the past, and criticized how STAT accepts pharma sponsorship of the newsletter. In the last two weeks, for example, the newsletter has featured sponsored content from: drug company AstraZeneca; the Biotechnology Innovation Organization – whose…

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