Lancet recuses scientist who signed letter in journal saying Wuhan lab leak was 'conspiracy theory'

The scientist, Peter Daszak, failed to disclose his group gave roughly $600,000 to the Wuhan Virology Lab.

Published: June 22, 2021 9:38am

Updated: June 22, 2021 11:46am

Lancet has recused one of the 27 scientists who signed a letter in the prestigious medical journal declaring the possibility that COVID-19 leaked from a China lab was a "conspiracy theory."

The scientist, Peter Daszak, sent the money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through his group EcoHealth Alliance, which receives federal funding.

The British-based journal in announcing Daszak's recusal Monday also updated the March 2020 letter, titled, "Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19," according to The Epoch Times.

"We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin," reads the original statement. "Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumors, and prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus."

In updating the letter on its site, Lancet acknowledged Daszak's failure to disclose "competing interests."

"In this letter, the authors declared no competing interests. Some readers have questioned the validity of this disclosure, particularly as it relates to one of the authors, Peter Daszak," the update also read.

Daszak's organization had also in the past received $3.7 million in funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of which roughly $600,000 was sent to the Wuhan lab.

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