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Yoni Freedhoff, MD

Yoni Freedhoff, MD

Jan 24
12 tweets

A brief thread on being a media MD & the latest COVID gaslighting. During the pandemic I’ve done my share of interviews, I’ve turned down more requests than I’ve taken choosing instead to steer reporters to those whose training and expertise are more COVID suited than mine /1

PreCOVID bet I’d done between 700-1,000 interviews on topics related to nutrition, obesity, weight loss, & public policy therein. I don’t kid myself about kept getting invited back. It was consequent to my ability to speak in soundbites more than to my expertise or knowledge /2
To that point I can tell you, especially with experience, one learns what resonates and how to powerfully make your points. I can also tell you that while occasionally things may come out differently than you hope, on topics which you’re hugely familiar and seasoned, /3
nothing is said that isn’t carefully thought through for impact and nuance. Which brings me to the latest talking point from the media platformed MD who brought us ‘wavelet’, and ‘old and frail’ - the message that masking alone is unlikely to more than blunt a wave /4
wielded in defence of downplaying calls for essential space masking. It’s the false dilemma or false dichotomy fallacy. No one is suggesting masks alone will see us through. But easier maybe to consider in context of floods. When there’s a flood we never know which sandbags /5
will be the most important, but no one would ever point at a single sandbag and say, “that sandbag won’t stop the flood” to support not filling sandbags. And the media MDs absolutely know that. Nor is anyone suggesting there’s a route to truly #COVIDZero with current /6
therapeutics and vaccines, but to underwrite inaction through fallacious statements made by seasoned interviewees I believe is a conscious purposely driven choice. And though I can’t speculate on what’s driving that choice, it’s so disheartening. /7
As to what actual people are calling for? Yes, masking in essential spaces (with messaging about mask quality and ideally provision of free respirators in those same spaces), but also ventilation and filtration standard improvements and monitoring, /8
robust readily available testing along with test to return and/or 10 day isolation coupled with paid sick leave, installation of germicidal upper room UV in our most vulnerable spaces when possible (need higher ceilings in many cases), and transparency and strong plain talk /9
from public health on both disease burden and vaccination needs. And as to how long we’ll need those things (and I’m sure there are some obvious mitigations I’ve missed)? Well the air stuff forever as they’ll help with any and all airborne communicable diseases. /10
For the masks and tests etc? Until we don’t. When might that be? I don’t know. When we actually find our way to vaccinated sterilizing immunity? When the aforementioned measures lead to simply periodic outbreaks where they need to be reenacted? /11
Not knowing the endpoint doesn’t justify inaction. Nor do fallacious arguments made by credentialed experts on national media platforms who without question know what they’re doing when they’re crafting their messaging. /end
Yoni Freedhoff, MD

Yoni Freedhoff, MD

Assoc Prof Fam Med U of Ottawa/Dad/Jew/Author of The Diet Fix/Co-founder Bariatric Medical Institute & Constant Health/(He/Him)/
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