The Burden of Proof for Pandemic Treatment

We hear time and time again that one inexpensive COVID-19 treatment or another should not be used because there is not enough evidence for it. In hindsight, these arguments did not deserve serious consideration. For those who demand “evidence” behind a working treatment for a pandemic disease, no evidence would ever be enough.

Medical practice is like engineering in that both use science. I could make an analogy between the COVID-19 early antiviral treatment and airplanes 100 years ago. Opponents to airplanes would have had many more arguments against them than the opponents of ivermectin today. They would have made a long list of deadly airplane accidents, something that opponents of ivermectin for COVID-19 cannot do. They would have argued that the combustion engine is for cars, not for planes.

Most importantly, they would have shown the paucity of academic papers in favor of airplanes. A meta-analysis of published studies would find out that a typical aircraft design was not flyable, and sometimes led to the death of the test pilot. Such meta-analysis would not have to cherry pick studies as Cochrane under new management has done. The aircraft opponents would have paraded...

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