Weekend reads: A deep dive into a problematic study of ivermectin; how journals respond to allegations; prison and now scrutiny

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Our list of retracted or withdrawn COVID-19 papers is up to 154.

Here’s what was happening elsewhere (some of these items may be paywalled, metered access, or require free registration to read):

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8 thoughts on “Weekend reads: A deep dive into a problematic study of ivermectin; how journals respond to allegations; prison and now scrutiny”

  1. I was going to make a donation but when I saw that the deep dive on ivermectin is from Buzzfeed, my CC disappeared.

    1. How much were you going to donate? Maybe someone who believes in judging RW based on the work they do, rather than the name of a website they linked to, will make up the difference.

      1. Maybe the point is that a different organization did the deep dive. If X did the work, the donation should go to X, not RW for just linking to it.

  2. The buzzfeed piece is written with an axe to grind.

    Let me make it clear: the prior probability for any small molecule intervention actually working for a condition like covid is nearly 0. Though definitive RCTs are still coming (Oxford’s PRINCIPLE), I would happily bet lots of money against Ivermectin. Bret Weinstein’s positions are generally carefully stated, but his credibility with me dropped precipitously when his tone on Ivermectin did not reflect the abysmally low prior probability that such an intervention would work.

    But look at the writing in the piece, it is at least as problematic of Bret’s own claims:
    “The fervor has grown ever since. “A near-perfect COVID prophylactic,” tweeted Bret Weinstein, a biologist who is best known for resigning from Evergreen State College in 2017 after he criticized an anti-racism education event. He has declared that the medication renders vaccines irrelevant. “If ivermectin, a drug out of patent, is safe and effective for treating and, more importantly, preventing COVID,” he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson this summer, “then there shouldn’t be vaccines that we’re administering.”

    It tries to smear him as a racist, misrepresents the events at Evergreen (well documented on youtube). His claim was about what was implied from a specific study, he really ought to be more honestly skeptical, but his claim about what was implied was certainly true. He has retracted the claim as of one of his more recent podcasts:
    https://youtu.be/PqjbvBa3XIQ?t=1820

    His claim to Carlson, a conditional statement, is also plainly true.

    I really do doubt in Weinstein’s sincerity, he has a scientific background that really should give him better better predictive powers fo predicting garbage studies and ideas.

  3. As soon as you linked to BuzzFeed I realized I was probably reading a hit piece against Ivermectin written by Democrat political activists. Not because I’m an Ivermectin expert; but because BuzzFeed is Democrat propaganda. For all I know the piece is accurate. But I know Buzzfeed won’t be publishing any research which casts doubt on the official Party line:
    – Take the vax.
    – There are no cheap drugs which are effective against COVID-19.
    – Listen to the establishment experts at: FDA, CDC, AMA, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big News, academia.

    My personal take on Ivermectin is: in a world where there’re no cheap medicines available, I’ll take advice from doctors treating sick patients. If some of these doctors use Ivermectin, then I’ll believe the doctors. I’ll disregard what the establish say; unless they can present me with evidence of fraud (by the doctors). Which, by and large, then can’t. I’ll ignore what CDC, FDA, and AMA tell me when it’s based on ‘expert opinion’ and it contradicts what a practicing doctor says.

    The claims made for Ivermectin are:
    – it is only effective in the first few days (3 to 4) of the disease,
    – it’s an ionophore for zinc
    – it’s the zinc which stops viral replication.

    Therefore: any evidence against Ivermectin should show the combination Ivermectin plus zinc does not work. That makes Ivermectin ONLY studies irrelevant. Since EVERY doctor using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 is using it in combination with zinc.
    Disagree with me?
    – Find me doctors using Ivermectin alone and have them post their evidence here at RW!
    – Refute every single paper making pro-Ivermectin claims; not just one, two, or ten.

    Many doctors treating COVID in the field, believe most of anti-Ivermectin advice comes from agents (knowingly, or as ‘useful idiots’) for Big Pharma, who only want them to use expensive drugs still under patent. This is what happens when agencies give out politically driven advice on masks, lockdowns, treatment, vaccines, medicines, … After a while: no one trusts the ‘advice’.

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