Is John Campbell a good source of covid information?

I’m sure that most of you will have seen YouTube videos by John Campbell, a retired nurse teacher and A&E nurse who posts a lot of videos about covid-19. Most of them seem fairly well researched and well cited, and he seems to avoid the most egregious nonsense (he is very much pro-vax), but I have seen one or two of his videos flagged by Facebook as “partly false information.” (Specifically, those talking about ivermectin, which he seems to be in favour of.) There also was a video in which he talks about omicron as initially looking like it’s a whole lot milder than the previous versions of covid, and I wondered whether he was jumping the gun on this:

What’s the general consensus here? A useful source of information, “proceed with caution,” or unreliable?


There has been a lot of conjecture about Omicron, but the verdict is still out. It may be milder, but is so much more transmissible that it will still result in a lot of deaths, We will know more after everyone gets together at Christmas.
As for ivermectin, there is a possibility it may have a bit of a positive effect, but studies are still out on that too, but should be coming out soon. I think some countries like India that used it extensively, looking for something low cost and available, were not impressed and no longer recommend its use routinely. So, my opinion is it is premature to recommend.

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So basically, Christmas Day is going to be to medicine what this is to computer programming:


I’d say proceed with caution. I’ve only seen one of his videos, which was fine, but if he’s already reached a conclusion that ivermectin works or that omicron is intrinsically much less severe, then his judgment is suspect.

Oddly enough, Twitter is currently one of the best sources of information about covid, provided you follow the right people. Trevor Bedford (@trvb) and Eric Topol (@EricTopol) are good places to start. See who they retweet. See who Carl Zimmer (@carlzimmer) and Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) retweet – and read what they write, too (in the NY Times and Stat News, respectively). See Derek Lowe’s periodic pieces on drugs in his blog at Science.


Why does anyone consult a non-scientific, non-academic, non-medical, non-governmental source? I don’t understand?

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Because it’s on YouTube, and so it must be trustworthy, no matter what it says. Besides, why trust the gummint?

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Also, I can’t say that the government (at least the US government) has been particularly good at providing up to date information on the latest developments and their implications.


For that you need the BBC.

Regarding ivermectin, here is a good summary on what is going on, and while still not definitive, it is becoming clear that it does not work, Best review of ivermectin I have seen:


Is this accessible to most everyone? Otherwise I can copy and paste:

    NYT Coronavirus Briefing

The " Less severe but more deadly?" is notable.

I have heard versions of this with caveats from multiple news sources, and it seems to be based on some initial studies. But some experts are also cautioning that those studies were limited in some ways in how applicable they are to every situation in the US and that we still don’t know how omicron will affect populations where there are a large number of people not vaccinated and not recovered from other variants and we don’t know whether mild omicron infections will lead to long haul COVID.

As Phil mentioned, in all the reporting on the milder nature I have heard, experts have mentioned that the transmissibility is a problem. The incidence of hospitalization and death appears to be much lower than Delta, but it’s not nothing, and small percentages can lead to large numbers when you have huge numbers of people getting infected.

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Yes, a significant question.

Right – that was the point of the “less severe but more deadly” apparent oxymoron some may not have picked up on if they didn’t read it.

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A little while back, the BBC had a news article reporting that critical examination of the reports of ivermectin being helpful against COVID were turning up some serious flaws. But the full formal report was not yet available. In other words, someone could reasonably have been impressed with the information available previously, but by now ivermectin does not look like it’s any good for COVID.

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That was what I gathered from the article I referenced above.

It never did. Unless you’re your own folk expert.

Not quite. Some initial observational studies (i.e., not random-controlled trials) seemed to indicate a possible benefit. The WHO, for example, indicated in March 2021 that ivermectin was not proven, but had enough possible benefit to justify higher quality RCTs.

Two things happened since then:

  • Some of the observational studies were shown to have poor if not fabricated results.
  • The RCTs showed no benefit.

Of course, the advocates of IVM will not reveal these new developments. Instead, they pretend that the earlier trials were all good and the best available evidence.

I know this from trying (unsuccessfully) to convince family members not to pay good $$ to an unscrupulous doctor who is feeding them lies and IVM injections.



Your sources Chris?


In Contagion it was Forsythia.

I think the grand rounds article I posted gives a lot more detail, and is a little more up to date with the info, Klax. As I recall, several of the RCT’s pending should be out shortly.


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