Good news: There are trustworthy coronavirus-tweeting scientists and journalists to follow online — amid a sea of notorious misinformation in the Twitterverse.
Researchers have already grasped a lot about this pernicious microbe, yet infectious disease experts acknowledge they still have much to learn about the new coronavirus and the resulting respiratory disease, COVID-19. That’s because this virus leapt from animals and began infecting people just some five months ago. It’s brand new, as far as pathogens go. This means big, weighty questions about immunity, the number of infections, and potential treatments still loom large.
“We are standing on the shore and we’re looking out at the water ahead of us,” Dr. Vince Silenzio, an M.D. and professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health, told Mashable earlier this week when describing the knowns and unknowns of the virus. “We can see the horizon, but we don’t know what’s over the horizon.”
As our understanding of this new coronavirus continues to emerge over the coming year and beyond, here’s a list of reliable, smart, and credible experts to follow on Twitter.
This list will be updated — as there’s no dearth of valuable scientific minds out there.
Caitlin Rivers, PhD
Caitlin Rivers, an expert in disease outbreaks, is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
If experts tell you something is unknowable, don’t keep asking new people until you get a straight answer. Because in doing so you haven’t found the truth, you have found someone who wants your ear. 1/
— Caitlin Rivers, PhD (@cmyeaton) April 17, 2020
Natalie Dean, PhD
Natalie Dean, who researches emerging infectious diseases and vaccine study design, is an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.
Very thoughtful summary of what our new “normal” could look like.
Suggestions include more public health hotlines, workplace temperature screening, more telework, and flexible schooling. https://t.co/cQfYJyMakj
— Natalie E. Dean, PhD (@nataliexdean) April 24, 2020
Helen Branswell, journalist at Stat
Helen Branswell is a senior writer in infectious diseases at Stat. She first reported on a “mysterious and growing cluster of unexplained pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan” on Jan. 4, 2020.
A couple of weeks ago, @sxbegle reported some doctors were worried too many #Covid19 patients were being put on ventilators. Today a new analysis & @NIH treatment guidelines concur. https://t.co/htTAH4zIxb
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) April 21, 2020
Florian Krammer, PhD
Florian Krammer is a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai whose Twitter bio, appropriately, reads “Viruses, viruses, viruses and vaccines.”
LOL, just found one of my tweets from December 31st 2019…..I was right, it wasn’t good. https://t.co/3z9fW8xG61
— Florian Krammer (@florian_krammer) April 19, 2020
Akiko Iwasaki, PhD
Akiko Iwasaki is a professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the Yale School of Medicine. She urged robust social distancing measures early on, before most states and cities instituted shutdowns.
It’s high time we practice social distancing measures.
– Cancel in person seminars, meetings, conferences.
– Enable remote conferencing.
– Stop traveling & stay home.
– Protect the vulnerable (elderly, immunocompromised).
– Stop handshakes, high fives or hugs.#COVID19
— Prof. Akiko Iwasaki (@VirusesImmunity) March 8, 2020
Trevor Bedford, PhD
Trevor Bedford researches viruses and immunity at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He tracks the evolution of the new coronavirus around the U.S.
There have been hundreds of viruses sequenced from infections in the USA. We can use these sequences to date the arrival of the epidemic. Doing so, we see that there were multiple introductions driving the US epidemic and the earliest was in Jan. https://t.co/gbqIAFTkgc 11/18 pic.twitter.com/r2uylqcH2D
— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) April 12, 2020
Caroline Chen, journalist at ProPublica
Caroline Chen is a health care reporter at ProPublica who is excellent at slogging through a deluge of new research and identifying what we know — and don’t — about the new coronavirus.
There are many folks on Twitter/TV who sound like they know all the answers, but the more I report, the more I’m struck by how many things we still don’t know, like:
– how many ppl are infected
– how many ppl have died
– i.e. how deadly #coronavirus is, exactly
— Caroline Chen (@CarolineYLChen) April 17, 2020
David States, MD, PhD
Dr. David States is the chief medical officer at Angstrom Biotech, an innovative biotech company. He gives realistic insight into how challenging it will be to make and test effective vaccines for coronavirus.
If you’re hoping a vaccine is going to be a knight in shining armor saving the day, you may be in for a disappointment. SARSCOV2 is a highly contagious virus. A vaccine will need to induce durable high level immunity, but coronaviruses often don’t induce that kind of immunity 1/
— David States (@statesdj) April 21, 2020
Ashish Jha, MD, MPH
Dr. Ashish Jha is currently the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. He emphasizes the need for a robust national testing plan. There isn’t one.
Comments about shining lights into people, injecting disinfectants are meant to outrage & distract
So we spend time talking about that and we don’t talk about stuff like:
Not enough testing
No real national plans to support contact tracing
How to prevent resurgence in the fall
— Ashish “I’m still focused on testing” Jha (@ashishkjha) April 24, 2020
Soumya Karlamangla, journalist at the LA Times
Soumya Karlamangla reports on health care in California for the Los Angeles Times, bringing critical reporting about the coronavirus from the most populous state and biggest economy in the U.S.
lots of takeaways from the antibody study, but a big one is that there are probably a lot of people infected with coronavirus who have mild symptoms or no symptoms, so social distancing remains super important. you could have the virus and not know, officials warn.
— Soumya (@skarlamangla) April 20, 2020
Scott Gottlieb, MD
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the FDA, is an active tweeter and commenter on the latest coronavirus research and how to responsibly reopen shutdown parts of the nation.
THREAD: There’s risk a second wave of #COVID19 in Fall 2020 will coincide with flu season; and surging covid infections will confound ability to ramp testing, make full use of syndromic surveillance, preserve hospital capacity. What can we do to prepare? https://t.co/LrTZDKEVQP
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) April 21, 2020