Dr David Tuller: Guardian Columnist George Monbiot Is Causing Long COVID, Says Professor Michael Sharpe (APRIL: CROWD FUND MONTH FOR DAVID TULLER)


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Trial By Error: Guardian Columnist George Monbiot Is
Causing Long COVID, Says Professor Michael Sharpe


(Prof Michael Sharpe is one of the authors of the PACE trial. )

6 April 2021 by David Tuller 20 Comments

By David Tuller, DrPH

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In a remarkable display of—well, I’m not even sure what to call it–Professor Michael Sharpe has blamed Guardian columnist George Monbiot and Long COVID support groups, among others, for the wave of people reporting prolonged symptoms after acute bouts of COVID-19. And during the same February presentation in which he made those observations, Professor Sharpe warned viewers of “poor quality research” while still citing his beloved but discredited PACE trial as if it offered meaningful evidence. The event was an “Expert Forum on secondary COVID-19 impacts” organized by Swiss Re, a major reinsurance company.

Monbiot himself has experienced what he has referred to as a mild case of Long COVID. He has expressed empathy and support for those who have been whacked by this much, much worse than he has. And the situation has brought to his attention the years-long neglect of the ME/CFS patient community. Here’s part of what he wrote in January in a compelling column:
“In some cases, long COVID could mean lifelong COVID. The effects can be horrible. Among them are lung damage, heart damage and brain damage that can cause memory loss and brain fog, kidney damage, severe headaches, muscle and joint pain, loss of taste and smell, anxiety, depression and, above all, fatigue. We should all fear the lasting consequences of this pandemic.”

That passage apparently didn’t sit well with Professor Sharpe. In his presentation, he cited it—if I understand his argument–as the sort of thing likely to trigger other people into reporting exaggerated or imagined symptoms they insist are manifestations of Long COVID.