Corruption in Science Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Corruption in Science Media Articles in Major Media
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Scientific misconduct does not happen only at Stanford and Harvard. Of the nearly 5,500 retractions we catalogue in 2022, and the thousands of cases we have reported on since launching our watchdog website Retraction Watch in 2010, the vast majority involve researchers at institutions without anywhere near Stanford and Harvard’s pedigrees. The number of retractions each year reflects about a tenth of a percent of the papers published in a given year – in other words, one in 1,000. Yet the figure has grown significantly from about 40 retractions in 2000, far outpacing growth in the annual volume of papers published. Retractions have risen sharply in recent years for two main reasons: first, sleuthing, largely by volunteers who comb academic literature for anomalies, and, second, major publishers’ (belated) recognition that their business models have made them susceptible to paper mills – scientific chop shops that sell everything from authorships to entire manuscripts to researchers who need to publish lest they perish. These are not merely academic matters. Particularly when it comes to medical research, faker hurts real people. The truth, however, is that the number of retractions in 2022 – 5,500 – is almost definitely a vast undercount of how much misconduct and fraud exists. We estimate that at least 100,000 retractions should occur every year. Journals and publishers ... fail to do their part, finding ways to ignore criticism of what they have published, leaving fatally flawed work flagged.
Note: Back in 2015, the editor-in-chef of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, wrote that much of scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. According to a revealing article by Nature, a leading science journal, medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. Who can we trust? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.
National Institutes of Health scientists raked in more than $325 million in royalties from Chinese and Russian entities — as well as pharmaceutical companies — over more than a decade, according to a new report. Former NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and former National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci were among the thousands of government whitecoats who took the cash between September 2009 and October 2020, the taxpayer watchdog OpenTheBooks.com revealed. Several of those royalties came from companies that in turn received federal contracts and grants, prompting concerns about conflicts of interest. Unredacted documents obtained by the group through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show at least 34 Chinese companies are licensing NIH technologies initially funded by US taxpayers. Some of those licensing fees came from the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese government-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, which produced a COVID-19 vaccine. In 2016, the biological products company moved its headquarters next to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where risky “gain-of-function” research funded by the US government may have led to the outbreak of the pandemic. The late Dr. Robert Chanock, the former head of the NIAID’s laboratory of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, his successor, were just a few of the virologists on the take from the Wuhan-based company.
A leading US scientist expects academics who played down the idea Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory, despite their private doubts, will face criminal prosecution for fraud. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist [said] the "preponderance of evidence" available supported the notion the new virus emerged from research-related activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, before rapidly spreading throughout the world in early 2020. Professor Ebright, a long term advocate for reducing the risk of biological weapons programs, said the arguments over the origin of Covid-19 was "moving out of the scientific community arena, into the congressional arena, and ultimately it will move into the judicial arena". "There will be referrals for prosecution of violations of law, including, based on what we know already, very clear evidence for criminal fraud, for criminal conspiracy to defraud or criminal misuse of federal funds," he said. Professor Ebright's comments came days after Republican Senator Rand Paul ... referred Dr Anthony Fauci, a former top US health bureaucrat, to the Department of Justice for prosecution over allegations he lied to Congress over the extent of US funding that had been directed to the Wuhan lab. "There's no question in my mind that [Tony] Fauci committed a felony on each of those three occasions, and ... he has not been held accountable," Professor Ebright said. "Lying to Congress is a felony and the penalty is five years in prison; there have been at least three instances".
A months long investigation into a rural California warehouse uncovered an illegal laboratory filled with infectious agents, medical waste and hundreds of mice bioengineered "to catch and carry the COVID-19 virus," according to Fresno County authorities. Health and licensing said Monday that Prestige Biotech, a Chinese medical company registered in Nevada, was operating the unlicensed facility in Reedley, California, a small city about 24 miles southeast of Fresno. The company, according to Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba, had a goal of being a diagnostics lab. "They never had a business license," Zieba [said]. "The city was completely unaware that they were in this building." The Fresno County Public Health Department launched its investigation into the facility in December 2022 after a code enforcement officer saw a garden hose attached to a building that was presumed to be vacant and had no active business license, Zieba said. Hundreds of mice also were found at the warehouse, where they were "kept in inadequate conditions in overcrowded cages" with no food or water, according to court documents. An associate with Prestige Biotech told investigators the mice were "genetically engineered to catch and carry the COVID virus." The city seized the mice in April and euthanized 773 of them. Zieba said officials called in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after about 30 freezers and refrigerators were found, with some set to minus 80 degrees. The CDC detected at least 20 potentially infectious agents.
America's top infectious diseases adviser, Anthony Fauci, deliberately decided to downplay suspicions from scientists that Covid-19 came from a laboratory to protect his reputation and deflect from the risky coronavirus research his agency had funded, according to his boss, one of the most senior US health officials during the pandemic. In an exclusive interview, Robert Kadlec – former assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the US Department of Health – [said] that he, Dr Fauci and National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins privately discussed how to "turn down the temperature" on accusations against China in the early days of the pandemic. The National Institutes of Health and other US agencies funded 65 scientific projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology over the past decade, many involving risky research on bat coronaviruses. "I think Tony Fauci was trying to protect his institution and his own reputation from the possibility that his agency was funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers who, beyond the scope of the grants received from the National Institutes of Health, may have been working with People's Liberation Army researchers on defensive coronavirus vaccines," Dr Kadlec said. "We think vaccine research resulted in the pandemic – that vaccine research was the proximate cause." Dr Fauci has denied his agency funded gain-of-function research, but Dr Kadlec said this wasn't true.
Anthropologist Orisanmi Burton has blown the lid off a dark chapter in CIA history. Classified Agency files, recently obtained through Freedom of Information laws, expose shocking ties between the infamous MKULTRA program and nightmarish experiments on prisoners of color within the United States. Burton's findings expose MKULTRA's sinister mission to develop psychological warfare and behavioral manipulation tactics specifically aimed at people of color under the guise of "counterinsurgency." [In] 1968, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders underwent an alarming update, adding "hostility" and "aggression" as prominent symptoms of schizophrenia. The implications were profound: civil rights activists daring to resist were at risk of being diagnosed and institutionalized. Prisoners refusing to bend to oppressive jail regimes could be conveniently labeled as "criminally insane." In August 2022, MintPress News revealed how Black Americans were disproportionately targeted by the CIA's monstrous mind control machinations. Many MKULTRA trials appeared to have been expressly conducted to gauge potentially varying reactions to psychedelic drugs in Black and White participants. The CIA had a specific – or greater – interest in the effect of certain substances on people of color, rather than the general civilian population. The CIA did indeed seek to determine optimal drugs for targeting Black Americans, if not other ethnic groups.
Note: The MKULTRA program was also used to create mind-controlled assassins. Government and business interests have a long history of experimenting on human beings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
Key researchers who testified before the House subcommittee investigating the origin of Covid-19 virus last week misled Congress about the nature of a multimillion-dollar grant that was pending at the time they joined a critical conference [call] with Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci in February 2020. On the call, the scientists suggested they leaned toward a lab escape as the most likely scenario, but they made a U-turn later that day when they began drafting it. The paper eventually ran in Nature Medicine under the headline "The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2." Fauci and Collins were kept in the loop on the preparation of the paper, and Fauci highlighted it to the public in order to dismiss the notion of a lab escape. House Republicans convened a hearing last week on the conference call and the resulting paper, and one of the major sources of contention was the extent to which Fauci and Collins held financial sway over the scientists, who also had a grant application pending before the NIH. Democrats repeatedly characterized the argument in terms of a "bribe" being paid in exchange for a paper that exonerated a lab in Wuhan, China, that the NIH had been funding to do the kind of risky research that could spark a pandemic. Rather than a bribe, though, the question is one of leverage. "I hate when politics is injected into science – but it's impossible not to, especially given the circumstance," [said scientist Kristian Anderson]. "We should be sensitive to that."
How many clinical-trial studies in medical journals are fake or fatally flawed? In October 2020, John Carlisle reported a startling estimate. Carlisle, an anaesthetist who works for England's National Health Service, is renowned for his ability to spot dodgy data in medical trials. He is also an editor at the journal Anaesthesia, and in 2017, he decided to scour all the manuscripts he handled that reported a randomized controlled trial (RCT) – the gold standard of medical research. Over three years, he scrutinized more than 500 studies. For more than 150 trials, Carlisle got access to anonymized individual participant data (IPD). By studying the IPD spreadsheets, he judged that 44% of these trials contained at least some flawed data: impossible statistics, incorrect calculations or duplicated numbers or figures, for instance. And 26% of the papers had problems that were so widespread that the trial was impossible to trust, he judged – either because the authors were incompetent, or because they had faked the data. Carlisle called these 'zombie' trials. Even he was surprised by their prevalence. "I anticipated maybe one in ten," he says. The issue is, in part, a subset of the notorious paper-mill problem: over the past decade, journals in many fields have published tens of thousands of suspected fake papers, some of which are thought to have been produced by third-party firms, termed paper mills. "It ... has the potential to amplify a wrong result, suggesting that treatments work when they don't," he says.
Note: Back in 2015, the editor-in-chef of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, wrote that much of scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Who can we trust? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.
House Republicans on the subcommittee probing the origin of the Covid-19 virus appear to have inadvertently released a trove of new documents related to their investigation that shed light on deliberations among the scientists who drafted a key paper in February and March of 2020. The paper, published in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020, was titled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” and played a leading role in creating a public impression of a scientific consensus that the virus had emerged naturally in a Chinese “wet market.” The paper was the subject of a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, which coincided with the release of a report by the subcommittee devoted to the “Proximal Origin” paper. The scientists believed one thing in private — that lab escape was likely — while working to produce a paper saying the opposite in public. Much of Tuesday’s hearing focused on a critical few days in early February 2020, beginning with a conference call February 1 that included the eventual authors of the paper and Drs. Anthony Fauci, then head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Francis Collins, then head of its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health. Later minutes showed that the consensus among the experts leaned toward a lab escape. Yet within days, they were circulating a draft — including to Fauci and Collins — that came to the opposite conclusion, the first draft of which had been finished the same day of the conference call.
Note: Read more about the leaked documents that reveal high level covid science manipulation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Scientists in Wuhan working alongside the Chinese military were combining the world's most deadly coronaviruses to create a new mutant virus just as the pandemic began. Investigators who scrutinized top-secret intercepted communications and scientific research believe Chinese scientists were running a covert project of dangerous experiments, which caused a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and started the Covid-19 outbreak. The US investigators say one of the reasons there is no published information on the work is because it was done in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese military, which was funding it and which, they say, was pursuing bioweapons. The investigators' report was published in early 2021. It made two assertions: that Wuhan scientists were conducting experiments on RaTG13 from the Mongolian mine, and that covert military research, including laboratory animal experiments, was being done at the institute before the pandemic. Dr Steven Quay, a US scientist who advised the State Department on its investigation ... believes Covid-19 was created by inserting a furn cleavage site into one of the mine viruses and then serial passaging it through humanized mice. He submitted a statement to the US Senate explaining the process. "You infect the mice, wait a week or so, and then recover the virus from the sickest mice. Then you repeat. In a matter of weeks this directed evolution will produce a virus that can kill every humanized mouse."
Note: Don't miss this article by Michael Heisenberg titled "First People Sickened By COVID-19 Were Chinese Scientists At Wuhan Institute Of Virology, Say US Government Sources." And this article sheds more light on the pandemic's origins. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
In 1953, a paper developed for cigarette maker RJ Reynolds detailed possible cancer-causing agents in tobacco, but the document would remain hidden from public view for decades. In the interim, the industry told the public: “We don’t accept the idea that there are harmful agents in tobacco.” The chemical industry, it seemed, took note. Just a few years later, DuPont scientists found PFAS enlarged lab rats’ livers and likely caused birth defects in workers. Still, the company told its employees the cancer-linked compounds are “about as toxic as table salt”. Like the tobacco industry before it, the chemical industry managed to keep PFAS’s health risks hidden from the public for decades. A new peer-reviewed study dissecting PFAS producers’ public relations strategies provides a smoking gun timeline composed of industry studies and comments from DuPont and 3M officials showing they knew the dangers, but publicly insisted the chemicals were safe. Between 1961 and 2006, the authors identified dozens of instances where DuPont or 3M scientists discovered or acknowledged PFAS toxicity internally, but did not publish the findings or report them to the EPA, as required under federal law. DuPont’s chief toxicologist in 1961 found rats’ livers enlarged at very low doses of exposure, a health impact recognized as “the most sensitive sign of toxicity.” The report recommended PFAS be handled “with extreme care” and that “contact with the skin should be strictly avoided.”
Note: These chemicals have contaminated 41 percent of US tap water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
A recent Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods article examines internal pharma industry documents, primarily obtained through litigation. The study finds that the pharmaceutical industry employs numerous ghost management strategies to corrupt research, circumvent and undermine regulations, manipulate consumers, and protect its interests. The authors write: “The scientific literature using internal documents confirmed widespread corporate influence in the pharmaceutical sector. While the academic literature used internal documents related to only a handful of products, our research results, based on ghostmanagement categories, demonstrate the extent of corporate influence in every interstice of pharmaceutical markets, particularly in clinical research and clinical practice.” Analysis of the articles revealed several common ghost management strategies the pharmaceutical industry utilizes. Ghost management is a system of behind-the-scenes processes by which the industry corrupts researchers, clinicians, and regulatory agencies with gifts and bribes and determines what research will be funded, what scientific journals can publish, and how physicians, etc., will present their product. The present research reveals eight broad categories of ghost management: scientific capture, professional capture, regulatory capture, media capture, market capture, technological capture, civil society capture, and others. Scientific capture was the most commonly analyzed ghost management strategy.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
For the past decade, the White House and Congress have relied on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a renowned advisory group, to help shape the federal response to the opioid crisis, whether by convening expert panels or delivering policy recommendations and reports. Yet officials with the National Academies have kept quiet about one thing: their decision to accept roughly $19 million in donations from members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug OxyContin that is notorious for fueling the opioid epidemic. The opioid crisis has led to hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths, spawned lawsuits and forced other institutions to publicly distance themselves from Sackler money or to acknowledge potential conflicts of interest from ties to Purdue Pharma. The National Academies has largely avoided such scrutiny as it continues to advise the government on painkillers. Institutions that more publicly examined their use of Sackler donations include Tufts University, which released a review of possible conflicts of interest related to pain research education funded by Purdue Pharma. Concerns noted in the report included a senior Purdue executive’s delivering lectures to students each semester. The World Health Organization in 2019 retracted two guidance documents on opioid policy after lawmakers aired concerns about ties to opioid makers, including a Purdue subsidiary, among report authors and funders.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Inside the high-security Influenza Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, two experienced scientists were pulling ferrets out of their HEPA-filtered cages on a Monday in December 2019. Another researcher, still in training, was also in the room to watch and learn. This particular experiment involved exposing the animals to a highly controversial lab-engineered strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus. Scientists had taken an avian influenza virus that was mostly dangerous to birds and manipulated it in ways that potentially increased its threat to humans. The research was supported [by] Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. On that December day, two experienced researchers from Kawaoka’s team were helping train a colleague as they collected samples from ferrets. One of their most important pieces of personal protective equipment was the air-purifying respirator that each wore. As one of the senior researchers prepared to start collecting samples from the next round of ferrets, the trainee realized there was a problem with their respirator. The powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) hose had somehow disconnected from the unit. The detached hose dangled loose in the lab’s potentially contaminated air. In the end, the trainee apparently didn’t become infected. But how the university and the lab oversight system handled the incident should be cause for concern.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.
Trust in public health has been shattered—half of America has lost faith in the scientific community altogether. Our current government is doubling down on World Health Organization (WHO) decrees that directly circumvent public oversight. The WHO has drafted a new global Pandemic Accord. The U.S. ambassador to the WHO, Pamela Hamamoto, on February 27 imprudently promised "The United States is committed to the Pandemic Accord." This comes immediately after the exposure of yet another disgrace undermining trust in public health institutions. It turned out the February 2020 Lancet article calling the lab origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus a "conspiracy theory" was itself the true conspiracy, contrived behind closed doors contemporaneously with a March 2020 publication in Nature. If that coordinated media campaign was designed to conceal malfeasance by Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci—who, as leaders of America's National Institutes of Health, reportedly sent American tax dollars to fund China's dangerous gain-of-function research and circumvent Obama administration-introduced restrictions—we may be witnessing the deadliest cover-up scandal in history. News media are also beginning to acknowledge facts that refute the original reasons behind lockdowns. Despite protestations to the contrary, all signers of the Pandemic Accord clearly relinquish critical autonomy to the WHO. Most ominous is that WHO defines "public health emergency" on its own terms.
The Lancet medical journal this month published a review of 65 studies that concluded prior infection with Covid—i.e., natural immunity—is at least as protective as two doses of mRNA vaccines. “Immunity acquired from a Covid infection is as protective as vaccination against severe illness and death, study finds,” NBC reported on Feb. 16. The study found that prior infection offered 78.6% protection against reinfection from the original Wuhan, Alpha or Delta variants at 40 weeks, which slipped to 36.1% against Omicron. Protection against severe illness remained around 90% across all variants after 40 weeks. These results exceed what other studies have found for two and even three mRNA doses. This comes after nearly three years of public-health officials’ dismissing the same hypothesis. But now that experts at the University of Washington have confirmed it in a leading—and left-leaning—journal, it’s fit to print. The Lancet study’s vindication of natural immunity fits a pandemic pattern: The public-health clerisy rejects an argument that ostensibly threatens its authority; eventually it’s forced to soften its position in the face of incontrovertible evidence; and yet not once does it acknowledge its opponents were right. The concept of natural immunity isn’t scientifically controversial, yet it was disparaged by public-health officials who associated it with opposition to lockdowns and the Great Barrington Declaration in autumn 2020.
Some believe the novel coronavirus probably escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. Others maintain the virus first jumped to people from caged animals at a Wuhan seafood market. Testing either hypothesis would require access to Wuhan lab records, biological samples, and personnel as well as frozen blood samples collected in 2019 by various Wuhan blood banks. The malfeasance of China’s rulers is the primary reason the international community doesn’t have access to these resources and data. But China hasn’t been the only problem. In the early days of the pandemic, a small group of Western virologists came together to consider the pandemic’s origin. Emails that eventually came to light revealed their plan to push the public conversation away from the lab-accident hypothesis and toward the natural-origins explanation. In a now infamous February 2020 letter in the Lancet, and in an equally problematic letter in Nature Medicine the next month, some of these scientists labeled any questions about a possible lab origin as “conspiracy theories.” Some of the same scientists had worked together, along with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, on a 2018 proposal to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Their project? Genetically engineering rare gain-of-function features ... into SARS-like viruses. Scientists who had called the lab-leak hypothesis a conspiracy had failed to disclose that the lethal virus sweeping the world was eerily similar to the one they had wanted to create.
Note: A probing investigation of unredacted NIH emails further reveals how Anthony Fauci and other top scientists played an early role in shaping the debate about the origin of the virus, downplaying or dismissing any type of lab theory despite substantial evidence that favors the plausibility of a lab leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The origin of SARS-CoV-2, the agent that causes the disease COVID-19, remains a mystery. But there are purportedly a few high up in government and scientific communities well aware of its genesis. In “The Truth About Wuhan: How I Uncovered the Biggest Lie in History,” Andrew G. Huff, former EcoHealth Alliance vice president and senior scientist, details his coming forward “as a material witness and whistleblower related to SARS-CoV-2.” “The Truth About Wuhan” [contains] an insider’s view of working for EcoHealth Alliance; a damning critique of models and techniques used to hunt coronaviruses; a reasoned aversion to “gain of function” research; the real COVID-19 timeline; China and U.S. culpability in the virus mayhem; and the multifarious, direct attacks used by the federal government to harass and discredit Mr. Huff. According to the author, “SARS-CoV-2 leaked from the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] laboratory as early as August 2019. The probable cases detected in Italy in 2019 make sense as Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Chinese. By mid-October 2019 the disease was likely already on every continent except Antarctica. The DoD, along with militaries globally, detected the disease in their countries’ service members that attended the Military World Games in Wuhan. Trying to avoid global panic, governments began to implement response plans, which included the U.S. government’s mobilization of the mRNA SARS-CoV-2 gene therapy.”
Note: Before buying this book, you might read this review and the reviews on Amazon. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Last week, the report Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide was published by authors Stacy Malkan, Kendra Klein and Anna Lappé. [In 2012], pesticide and processed food companies spent $45 million to defeat a ballot initiative to label GMOs (genetically modified foods) in California. This campaign was led by Monsanto, one of the planet’s largest producers of GMOs. Monsanto created a PR storm through the mouths of so-called third-party “experts” from across the fields of academia and science. It was later revealed that these allegedly neutral voices were closely tied to Monsanto. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 concluded that glyphosate—the chemical contained within herbicides that most GMO crops have been engineered to resist—is likely a human carcinogen. Thousands sued Monsanto claiming that their exposure of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based product, Roundup, caused their cancers. Monsanto employees ghostwrote scientific papers on the safety of glyphosate and strategized how to discredit journalists and scientists raising concerns about the pesticide. Major universities, including University of California Davis and University of Florida, played a significant role in legitimizing and amplifying pesticide industry product-defense efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) ... also provided essential aid and cover for pesticide industry propaganda.
New scientific breakthroughs make it increasingly easy to identify dangerous viruses in nature, manipulate them in the lab and synthetically create them from genetic sequences. But some scientists have taken it further, adding “gain of function” mutations that make potential pandemic viruses more transmissible. The National Institutes of Health funded two research groups to increase the transmissibility of an earlier strain of avian influenza that had killed hundreds of people but could not efficiently spread from person to person. Both groups created viral mutants that could transmit in ferrets. The Obama administration was so alarmed that it halted gain-of-function work on potential pandemic influenza viruses in 2014, but the N.I.H. allowed it to restart by 2019. In my view, there is no justification for intentionally making potential pandemic viruses more transmissible. The consequences of an accident could be too horrific, and such engineered viruses are not needed for vaccines anyway. Natural viruses that haven’t yet infected humans can also pose a risk if researchers try to find the most dangerous ones and bring them back to the lab for experiments. Suspicions about a lab-accident origin of SARS-CoV-2 have been fueled by the fact that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved in Chinese and international efforts to find and experiment with new high-risk coronaviruses. A final category of pandemic risk involves viruses that used to transmit in humans but became extinct long ago — like the 1918 influenza virus.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.