Thursday, September 06, 2007

How Bad Can It Get for the Truthers?

It just keeps getting worse. First, the History Channel drops the bomb on them, then Truth Burn turns out to be Truther Burn, then they release a poll that shows MIHOP levels at 4.6%, then Bin Laden announces he's going to release a new video on 9-11-07.

And now the New York Times is announcing that the much ballyhooed health statistics may be hopelessly contaminated.

But six years after the disaster, it is clear that while the center’s efforts have been well meaning, even heroic to some, its performance in a number of important areas has been flawed, some doctors say. For years after 9/11, the clinic did not have adequate resources or time to properly collect detailed medical data on workers exposed to ground zero dust.

The clinic’s doctors presented their findings in what other experts say were scientifically questionable ways, exaggerating the health effects with imprecise descriptions of workers’ symptoms and how long they might be sick.

The "Truthers" have been presenting the statistics as "7 in 10"; apparently this clinic is the source for that figure, which does not agree with other studies as we can see in the Times' piece:

In fact, the 69 percent figure — though it deals with symptoms, rather than actual diseases — suggests a more alarming picture than other studies. For example, a report by the city health department released last week showed that about 4 percent of 26,000 ground zero workers reported developing asthma after working on the pile. And the Fire Department’s sarcoidosis study focused on 26 new cases of the disease since 9/11.

Let me stipulate here too that I don't have a dog in this hunt. I certainly hope and pray that working on the pile did not lead to longterm problems for a large number of the people involved, but that's just hoping for the best for them, not the best for us. Medical professionals will certainly be tracking this situation, and eventually we will know the truth.

But am I surprised that a number that the Truthers have bruited about turns out to be wrong?


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