Prominent scientists are calling for the retraction of a paper on the origins of COVID-19 that downplayed the possibility of a lab leak. The paper, titled "The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2," was published in March 2020 in the journal Nature Medicine and stated that the virus did not come from a lab. However, emails from early 2020 have since revealed that the authors had doubts about this conclusion.
A total of 47 scientists and STEM professionals have signed an open letter to Nature Medicine calling for the paper's retraction. They argue that the paper is a "scientific fraud" and a result of scientific misconduct. Richard H. Ebright, one of the signers and a professor at Rutgers University, stated that the paper falsely claimed that science showed COVID-19 did not have a lab origin.
Neil Harrison, a professor at Columbia University, also signed the letter and stated that there is no evidence to support the paper's conclusions about the virus's origin. He believes that this will not be the last call for retraction, as scientists have been arguing against the paper since its publication.
The emails also revealed that the authors agreed to downplay the lab leak theory due to concerns about the Chinese government's potential reaction. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who praised the paper, had a call with one of the authors that concerned him enough to suggest potentially notifying the FBI.
The researchers struggled to find conclusive evidence for a natural evolution explanation and ultimately decided to publish the paper that downplayed the lab leak theory. Fauci cited the study as evidence that the virus jumped from animals to humans.
This recent revelation adds to the ongoing debate about the origins of COVID-19 and raises questions about the integrity of the scientific process. The release of the unredacted emails came after a year of litigation involving Freedom of Information Act requests.
In summary, prominent scientists are calling for the retraction of a paper on the origins of COVID-19 that downplayed the lab leak theory. The emails from the authors and the praise from Dr. Fauci have raised concerns about the paper's conclusions and its scientific integrity. The ongoing debate about the origins of the virus continues to unfold.