Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet is now being criticized for his long defense and support of the Chinese regime, and is accused of using The Lancet to pursue political causes and stifle scientific debate.
More than a year ago, in February 2020, a group of 27 scientists wrote a letter published in The Lancet condemning “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”1
Although The Lancet — like other medical journals — requires contributors to disclose financial or personal interests that might be viewed as possible conflicts of interests with their submissions, the 27 authors declared they had “no competing interests.”
June 21, 2021, The Lancet published an addendum admitting that “some readers have questioned the validity of this disclosure, particularly as it relates to one of the authors, Peter Daszak.”2
As a result, The Lancet asked the 27 signers to “re-evaluate” their competing interests and to declare any “financial and nonfinancial relationships that may be relevant to interpreting the content of their manuscript.” So far, Daszak has updated his previous claim of having no competing interests to include a 416-word disclosure statement clarifying that, indeed, he had several conflicts of interest.
First, he is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that receives funding from a “range of U.S. Government funding agencies and non-governmental sources.”
Second — and most importantly — Daszak also explained that, although its work with China is currently unfunded, he and the Alliance have collaborated with various universities and organizations on research in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Specifically, this work includes studies of bats and viruses, including “the isolation of three bat SARS-related coronaviruses that are now used as reagents to test therapeutics and vaccines.”
The Lancet Accused of Kowtowing to China
The COVID pandemic has brought attention to any number of problems within the academic arena. Disturbingly, we’ve discovered that scientific journals held in high regard for many decades — The Lancet has been around for 198 years — are colluding to censor important facts and stifle scientific debate. The Lancet statement deriding the lab leak theory as a conspiracy theory to be ignored is a prime example. As reported by the Daily Mail, June 26, 2021:3
“The Lancet letter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that this pandemic might have begun with a lab incident rather than spilling over naturally from animals.
It was even reportedly used by Facebook to flag articles exploring the lab leak hypothesis as 'false information' … Yet it emerged later that The Lancet statement was covertly drafted by British scientist Peter Daszak — a long-term collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was carrying out high-risk research on bat coronaviruses and had known safety issues …
Four months later, The Lancet set up a 'Covid-19 Commission' to assist governments and scrutinize the origins. It was led by Jeffrey Sachs … Incredibly, he backed Daszak to lead his commission's 12-person taskforce investigating Covid's origins — joined by five fellow signatories to The Lancet statement …
Last week The Lancet finally 'recused' him from its commission and published an 'addendum' to its statement detailing some of his Chinese links. Yet critics say the journal has still failed to admit that six more signatories to that February statement have ties to Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance as directors or partners.
'It would have been better for The Lancet to have stated that Daszak's and other signers' previous declarations were untruthful and to have attached an editorial expression of concern,' said Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Now The Mail on Sunday has learned that The Lancet is set to publish a second statement by these signatories that presses the case that Covid probably emerged through natural 'zoonotic' transmission from animals to humans.”
The Lancet also published an entirely made up study claiming hydroxychloroquine was dangerous. This fraudulent paper made the media rounds and led to countries banning the drug’s use against COVID-19.