The Lancet is facing controversy after a report by the Covid-19 Commission suggested that the disease may have escaped from a laboratory in the United States.
The paper, published on Wednesday, said it was “possible” that Sars-Cov-2 came from a natural spill or a laboratory event and called for more safeguards to be put in place to reduce the risk of an outbreak.
But the report The result of two years of workHe also pointed out that American researchers may be responsible. In addition to citing facilities in Wuhan, he said “independent researchers have not yet examined the US labs” and said the National Institutes of Health has “resisted detailing” the work.
The report came as the controversy rocked the commission’s chairman, economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs.
At a conference in Madrid earlier this year, he said that he was “very sure” that Sars-Cov-2 “came from an American biotechnology laboratory, not from nature” – a claim widely circulated by Chinese diplomats. .
In August, Professor Sachs appeared on a podcast hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – one of the world’s most prominent anti-vaccine commentators – to discuss his beliefs, days after Instagram and Facebook stopped sharing Mr. Kennedy’s account. The forums spoke about the misinformation of Covid, especially around vaccines.
‘Embarrassing moment’ for Lancet
Experts say Professor Sachs’ actions overshadowed much of the strong research and recommendations in the 58-page report, and the Lancet has criticized calls for his removal.
“Sachs’ appearance on RFK Jr’s podcast completely negates the weight of the Lancet commission’s mission,” said Professor Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Canadian Institute of Immunization and Infectious Diseases.
In what could be one of the Lancet’s most embarrassing moments in its role as a steward and leader in communicating critical findings about science and medicine, she said she was appalled at how the report ignored key evidence on Covid. Origins.