‘It’s a Straw-Man Argument’: What We Heard This Week

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“We’re not going to get rid of it entirely, globally, so it’s a straw-man argument saying it’s unachievable.” — Deepti Gurdasani, PhD, of Queen Mary University of London, on her interpretation of ‘Zero COVID,’ aiming for elimination, not eradication.

“It’s amazing, and sad, what people will believe,” — Nicole Baldwin, MD, a pediatrician and target of attacks by the anti-vaxxer community, discussing a Miami school’s announcement not to allow vaccinated teachers over concerns of “vaccine shedding.”

“I think we simply don’t have enough data right now to come to a firm conclusion.” — Al Ozonoff, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, discussing cases of facial paralysis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

“While the clinical experience and anecdotes are encouraging and positive, the data aren’t there.” — David Mitchell, myeloma survivor and consumer representative to the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee, explaining his vote against continuing the accelerated approval status of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for metastatic urothelial cancer.

“There is a lot of confusion in the community, stating that if we go outside, there is no way that the virus can affect us.” — Kiran Bhaganagar, PhD, of the University of Texas in San Antonio, on the science behind CDC’s updated outdoor masking guidance.

“I definitely think there’s a lot more work to do in cleaning up the hand sanitizer supply in the United States.” — David Light, CEO of Valisure, whose citizen petition to FDA likely prompted a recent recall of a hand sanitizer product containing benzene.

“I have firm belief — let me just tell you this — in the marketing department of all of these large pharmaceutical companies to get the word out.” — Richard Pazdur, MD, of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence, discussing how oncologists would mistakenly think they have no immunotherapy options for advanced gastroesophageal cancer if the FDA revoked an accelerated approval for pembrolizumab.

“The problem is that we cannot find predictors for good responses yet.” — Elon Eisenberg, MD, of Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, about using cannabis to treat chronic pain.

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