Covid-19: Misinformation & Politics

[22nd April 2020: while I firmly believe that politicians should be held accountable for their actions and decisions during this crisis, it’s clear that this site and page are not receiving nearly as much attention as the site did when it was purely security-focused, so it’s unlikely that I’ll continue to update it in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there are lots of other voices in this particular wilderness. I will still maintain the Covid-19 resources information page when it seems appropriate.]

So often the same thing…

I make no apology if you detect a certain leaning to the left in my choice of links here. The government gets plenty of exposure of its viewpoint on the Covid-19 resources information page, the right-leaning media, and the BBC…

19th April 2020

18th April 2020

16th April 2020

15th April 2020

14th April 2020

  • Before you take Trump’s advice and rush over to the surgery demanding chloroquine…  Ciinical study into the safety/efficacy of chloroquine (CQ) and/or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of COVID-19: Chloroquine diphosphate in two different dosages as adjunctive therapy of hospitalized patients with severe respiratory syndrome in the context of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection: Preliminary safety results of a randomized, double-blinded, phase IIb clinical trial (CloroCovid-19 Study) “In conclusion, the high CQ dose scheme (12g), given for 10 days, was not sufficiently safe to warrant continuation of that particular study arm. We therefore strongly recommend that this dosage is no longer used anywhere for the treatment of severe COVID-19, especially because in the real world older patients using cardiotoxic drugs should be the rule. No apparent benefit of CQ was seen regarding lethality in our patients so far, but we will still enroll patients in the
    low CQ dose group to complete the originally planned sample size.”
  • Independent: The government claims it’s been ‘led by the science’. So why has it led to a place far worse than elsewhere? – “To be “led by the science” means one thing, which is to be led by the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, better known as Sage. […] So it is particularly unfortunate when a member of Sage, the director of the Wellcome Trust, Professor Jeremy Farrar, appears on national television on Sunday not only to say that the UK may well be the “worst affected country in Europe”, but also to heap yet more praise on the markedly different German approach, which has yielded significantly superior results.”
  • Guardian Long Read: How coronavirus almost brought down the global financial system – “The crisis has brought the economy to a near halt, and left millions of people out of work. But thanks to intervention on an unprecedented scale, a full-scale meltdown has been averted – for now.”
  • Guardian: Revealed: how Britain missed three chances to bulk-buy protective kit

13th April 2020

12th April 2020

11th April 2020

Reuters: “Special Report: Johnson listened to his scientists about coronavirus – but they were slow to sound the alarm”

The Independent: “Coronavirus: Lack of PPE ‘shocking indictment’ of government’s handling of crisis, doctors’ leaders say – Nurses reject Matt Hancock’s claim that overuse of ‘precious’ facemasks and gowns is fuelling shortage”

BBC: “Coronavirus: NHS workers’ lives at risk over PPE shortages, says BMA” [includes responses to Matt Hancock’s claims]

The Guardian: “NHS workers angered at Hancock’s warning not to overuse PPE – Health secretary says protective equipment should be treated like ‘precious resource’ ”

Ad Sinistram: If your politics lean to the right, you’ll hate this page, but some very interesting links and resources.

A Pandemic Puzzle – article by me on another blog about what I sometimes call a semi-hoax relating to a poem by Kitty O’Meara. That is, there is some misinformation around, but it’s not exactly security-critical.

10th April 2020

The Guardian: ” ‘We won’t see coronavirus here’ … and other gems from Trump’s new press secretary – Kayleigh McEnany, who replaces Stephanie Grisham, has embraced birtherism and claimed Democrats were rooting for the pandemic”

The BBC:” Coronavirus: Call for apps to get fake Covid-19 news button”

The Independent: “Coronavirus: Government rejected advice on NHS protective equipment three years before epidemic”

The Guardian: “Tech giants struggle to stem ‘infodemic’ of false coronavirus claims”

Washington Post: “No, coronavirus is not a ‘false flag’ event or linked to 5G cell towers. That and more news literacy lessons.”

Daily Sound And Fury: “MSNBC Cuts Into Briefing So Doctor Can Refute Trump’s “Mystifying” Claim That Zinc Can Treat Covid-19”

The Guardian: “Coronavirus is the greatest global science policy failure in a generation”

David Harley