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The first casualty of an epidemic is evidence.
  • Bjørn Hofmann
Bjørn Hofmann
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Gjøvik
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Abstract

The COVID-19 has posed a wide range of urgent questions: about the disease, testing, immunity, treatments, and outcomes. Extreme situations, such as pandemics, call for exceptional measures. However, this threatens the production and application of evidence. This paper directs evidence production towards four types of uncertainty in order to address the challenges of the pandemic: Risk, Fundamental uncertainty, Ignorance, and Ambiguity. Eliminating ambiguity, being alert to the unknown, and gathering data to estimate risks are crucial to preserve evidence and save lives. Hence, in order to avoid fake facts and to provide sustainable solutions we need to pay attention to the various kinds of uncertainty. Producing high quality evidence is the solution, not the problem.

Peer review status:Published

22 Jun 2020Submitted to Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
23 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
23 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
23 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
25 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
22 Jul 2020Published in Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 10.1111/jep.13443