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You cannot mask this reality |

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It is deeply discouraging for me to think about how many different stakeholders have mis-communicated health information so many times in 2020. In my 47-year career, I have never seen a president, his administration, some federal health authority executives, many elected officials, and so many others distort, deceive and lead Americans on vital health care issues as I have seen in the past year . Some news organizations and individual journalists reached new heights in clarification and analysis to help the public. But other areas of journalism and PR professions have also got to the bottom of the daily drumbeat of dirt – more harm than good.

On this page I post links to each of the 44 articles I published on in 2020. I’ve written all but four; the others were written by Mary Chris Jaklevic, who now writes for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Many of the lessons contained in these posts are as valid today as they were, even if they were published months ago.

January 15: A machine-versus-doctor fixation obscures important questions about artificial intelligence.

Jan 17: How easy it is to be misled by Medicare Advantage marketing

(The two month release hiatus occurred when I thought it was safe to go on vacation. You can see this ended abruptly in March.)

March 19: Flagging press releases to combat a global scourge of exaggerated claims

March 20: Sciatica! How 2 stories reported the same study with different focuses

March 22:

The President and the pandemic: two months of procrastination, deception and distortion

March 26: Federal health authorities block journalists’ access to COVID-19 experts and information.

April 1: Strong reservations are lacking as news reports trumpet preliminary COVID-19 research

April 9: Self-recruiting doctors offer unproven COVID-19 pandemic treatments

April 16: ‘love your lungs’? Exaggerated screening claims seem out of step more than ever

April 17th: Slow down your vertigo on the Gilead News

April 21: The NY Times ‘Well’ column is uncomfortable again – this time on pandemic running tips

April 23: Shed light on coronavirus misinformation super spreaders

Apr 29: The roller coaster of COVID-19 research news is back on: STAT News + Gileads Remdesivir

April, 30th:

What the public didn’t hear about the NIH remdesivir study

May 3: The beginning of a degree is often not newsworthy – even if you include God

May 5: Thanks for missing, but it’s still there

May 5: Mutant coronavirus story upsets scientists over preprint journalism

May 7: Flubs and mistakes in the New York Times’ stories about llamas and coffee

May 19: Warning: Early vaccine trial results don’t always stand the test of time

May 20th:

Journalism in the Pandemic: Online Training for Thousands of International Journalists

May 21: Avoid single patient COVID-19 stories from a single source – especially on “cures”

June 2nd: 60 Minutes promotes the “plasma promise” of a hospital

June 3: The Reuters report is another classic case study of how NOT to cover COVID-19 news

June 12: Same age, same age, with column in NY Times Well – this time bisphosphonates for pneumonia

June 16: Follow the news on the Dexamethasone COVID-19 Drug

June 17: Pharma-PR appears as an unchecked COVID-19 vaccine message in the STAT newsletter

June 30th: Give me 2 observational studies and an anti-irritant for breakfast

July 3: Some global response to news of US bulk purchase of remdesivir

July 13: Why turn 9 vague patient reports about remdesivir into international news?

July 17: Review of NY Times Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker

July 21: JAMA: Science Communication in Times of a Pandemic

JAMA: Science Communication in Times of a Pandemic

July 21: A day of COVID-19 medication and vaccine news offers cautious reminders

July 24: on the COVID-19 news

Jul 28: What You Need To Know About Alzheimer’s Test News

July 30th: What to think about when you hear “Get vaccinated by the end of the year”

August 5th: Influence of the pharmaceutical companies on journalism

Aug 6: A crazy week of PR & Study News should teach us how / what to ignore

Aug 24: Convalescent Plasma: Another controversial clash between politics and science

September 4th: It’s Time: Ignore Animal Vaccines, PR & Pharmaceutical News

7th of September:

Perfect storm of politics, PR, dirty messages to the public

Sep 24: How COVID-19 Drug / Vaccine Decisions Could Be Based On Little Evidence

November 9th: Health report after the election: A time to heal

November 9th: Transparency by pharmaceutical companies, scrutiny by journalists, vital in vaccine news

November 23: “Investigating Health & Medicine” – Global Investigative Journalism Network Our contribution to a new global resource

Thank You For Reading!


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