Today was a very, very odd day

I testified before @senatehomeland

They held a hearing on hydroxychloroquine.

Yup, HCQ

In the middle of the worst surge of pandemic


It was clear how our information architecture shapes questions of science and medicine of COVID

A thread
There were 4 witnesses.

3 who strongly supported HCQ

They believed thousands of Americans were dying from lack of HCQ

And then, there was me

This split was not a reflection of evidence or the consensus in medicine

It reflected ability of the majority to seat more witnesses
The hearing was a testament to how politicized science has become

I shared evidence of studies that have failed to find benefit of HCQ

3 other witnesses shared personal experiences

And suggested my testimony was reckless because it would deny people access to lifesaving HCQ
There was an attempt to make it personal

I passed

I’m not big on personalizing disagreement

I am more comfortable talking data, evidence, science

Their engagement with data was sparse

And they were horrified that I disagreed
Most shocking?

@RonJohnsonWI, other witnesses essentially argued there is coordinated effort by America's doctors to deny patients HCQ

Why would we do this?

Because we’re in bed with Pharma

A version of the anti-Doctor rhetoric from @realdonaldtrump, his "expert" @scottwatlas
I tried to explain that doctors don’t want to kill their patients by withhold therapy

But evidence matters

They tried to flip the narrative: that evidence was misinformation

And “art of medicine” was what mattered

And most amzing?

That @US_FDA, @NIH, Pharma were all corrupt
On a personal note, it was disheartening to be personally attacked during the hearing

By the witnesses, @RonJohnsonWI

And on @Twitter during and after

But you may be wondering

What is going on?

Why hold a hearing on HCQ in the middle of the worst surge of the pandemic?
Why talk Hydroxy when so many Americans are dying?

Because it was meant to push a narrative

That masks and distancing don’t matter

If you get infected – no big deal – take some HCQ

Its stunning
I'm left pondering a quote from @barackobama

An idea any American, liberal or conservative, would understand

"If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false... the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition our democracy doesn’t work"

You can follow @ashishkjha.
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