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Cochrane U-Turn on Masks

Cochrane U-Turn on Physical Interventions


In March 2023, Cochrane stated it was engaging with the authors of the Cochrane review on ‘Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses’ that Tom is the lead author of.

Under pressure from a New York Times social media influencer, Cochrane’s Editor-in-Chief (EIC) posted a communique undermining the review and its findings. 

Cochrane has now published a communique that overturns this statement. 

In the midst of the Covid panic, some lost their heads – Cochrane leaders have recanted from their original position undermining their own review that they approved, and now have mega access figures. However, the damage has been done. 

The confusion led to the then CDC Director misleading Congress, giving false testimony to the US Congress that the review had been retracted. This forced Congressional staff to correct the record of the hearing.

The original communique now contains the following update. 

Learning from this lesson is vital if we are to make improvements in how research is published and interpreted. 

Republished from the author’s Substack

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Carl Heneghan

    Carl Heneghan is Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and a practising GP. A clinical epidemiologist, he studies patients receiving care from clinicians, especially those with common problems, with the aim of improving the evidence base used in clinical practice.

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