Dozens of experts demand retraction of COVID natural origin paper heavily shaped by Fauci
The authors of the article "did not believe the core conclusions of the paper at the time it was written," the scientists wrote.
Dozens of scientists and policy experts signed a letter demanding the withdrawal or retraction of a paper written in March 2020 by researchers heavily influenced by then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.
The scientific journal Nature Medicine published the paper, "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2," which argues that COVID-19 "is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus," but that it came from a natural origin, such as an animal.
Emails and messages published by the Republican-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic earlier this year show that Fauci and then-National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins played a significant role in drafting the paper.
The authors of the article "did not believe the core conclusions of the paper at the time it was written, at the time it was submitted for publication, and at the time it was published," the dozens of scientists and policy experts wrote in a letter last week published by Biosafety Now, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing lab-generated diseases.
They called the article, which is one of the most-read science papers ever, "misleading and damaging," and said: "The authors’ statements show that the paper was, and is, a product of scientific misconduct."
Signatories range from Alina Chan, a researcher at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, to former Clinton administration official Jamie Metzl to Oxford molecular immunology professor Anton Van der Merwe.
The FBI and the Energy Department concluded earlier this year that COVID likely resulted from a lab leak in Wuhan, China. U.S. Five U.S. intelligence agencies stated that COVID likely originated from an animal, while the CIA and another unnamed agency said they were unable to determine the origins of the virus, according to a report from the intelligence community.