The F.D.A. Commissioner’s Fuzzy Math
On Monday night, Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, addressed inaccurate and misleading remarks he made in a news conference the previous evening. Dr. Hahn had initially claimed that plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients — what’s known as convalescent plasma — could save 35 out of every 100 people who contract the disease.
As he has since explained on television and Twitter, his initial assessment conflated two different things: relative risk reduction (that is, how much a treatment reduces the risk of death in one group of patients compared to a different group) and absolute risk reduction (that is, how much a treatment reduces the risk of death in a group of patients compared to the …continued .
[Source: New York Times]