Research in the Context of a Pandemic

New England Journal of Medicine
February 25, 2021 Vol. 384 No. 8


Research in the Context of a Pandemic
H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
The current literature on the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is filled with anecdotal reports of therapeutic successes in clinical trials with small numbers of patients and observational cohort studies claiming efficacy with little regard to the effect of unrecognized confounders. For the field to move forward and for patients’ outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies and more studies such as the dexamethasone trial now reported by the RECOVERY Collaborative Group1 in this issue of the Journal…