32 minutes | Feb 10, 2022

Eric Topol || Public Service Announcement: Separating Facts from Myths in the Pandemic

It's important to recognize that when we're dealing with a very new or rapidly changing phenomenon, like we have been with the pandemic, even the "scientific consensus" can easily be wrong because there's not been much time for the rigorous replicability studies to be conducted or even sometimes to accurately measure the proper effect sizes. 

However, I also believe it's important that we don't create a false equivalency between very fringe ideas that are unsupported by the current evidence base and a scientific consensus that is grounded in rigorous methodology. 

This is why I sought out the counsel of Dr. Eric Topol on today's show. Despite being one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine and being extremely well regarded in his field of cardiology, he's also been a bright light on social media, shining a light on the best available evidence in the pandemic. He thoughtfully considered all my questions and was very careful to make clear what the current evidence base says without ruling out alternative possibilities in the future in light of new evidence. 

In this episode, we cover a number of hot button issues surrounding the pandemic including the potential use of ivermectin to end the pandemic, the potential for increased risk of myocarditis among certain populations after vaccination. We even discuss the role human psychology and human behavior have played in this pandemic. Ultimately, Dr. Topol is optimistic about the future of the pandemic and outlines things coming down the horizon that should give us hope. But as we discussed, the major problems tend to be human problems. 

Bio

Eric Topol is a cardiologist, scientist, and author. He is the Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, Professor of Molecular Medicine, and Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research.

As a researcher, he has published over 1200 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 290,000 citations, elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine. Dr. Topol has been voted as the #1 most Influential physician leader in the United States in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare. Besides editing several textbooks, he has published 3 bestseller books on the future of medicine: The Creative Destruction of Medicine, The Patient Will See You Now, and Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.

Website: drerictopol.com

Twitter: @EricTopol

 

Topics

05:51 What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

08:21 COVID-19 vaccines are humanity’s greatest medical achievement

12:05 Infection acquired immunity

13:47 Vaccine and COVID induced myocarditis 

16:56 The efficacy of booster shots 

20:20 Ivermectin studies: what does the data say? 

25:15 How to improve pandemic response

30:02 Hope for the future of the pandemic

 

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