Covid-19: Lancet investigation into origin of pandemic shuts down over bias risk
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: October 24th, 2021
The work of a task force commissioned by the Lancet into the origins of covid-19 has folded after concerns about the conflicts of interest of one its members and his ties through a non-profit organisation to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Task force chair Jeffrey Sachs ... told the Wall Street Journal that he had shut down the scientist led investigation into how the covid-19 pandemic started because of concerns about its links to the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organisation run by task force member Peter Daszak. The decision came as evidence continued to accumulate that Daszak had not always been forthright about his research and his financial ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. EcoHealth Alliance has been given millions of dollars in grants by the US federal government to research viruses for pandemic preparedness. The alliance has subcontracted out its research ... to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Shortly after the pandemic began Daszak led a February 2020 statement in the Lancet alleging that it was a “conspiracy theory” to argue that the pandemic could have started from a laboratory leak in Wuhan. “I have no conflicts of interest,” Daszak later told the Washington Post. But Daszak’s story began falling apart last November when the non-profit group US Right to Know published emails ... that showed he had orchestrated the Lancet statement without disclosing that he was funding Shi Zhengli through grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).