Who’s to blame? These three scientists are at the heart of the Surgisphere COVID-19 scandal

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E. Petersen/Science

Who’s to blame? These three scientists are at the heart of the Surgisphere COVID-19 scandal

By Charles PillerJun. 8, 2020 , 7:00 PM

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

Three unlikely collaborators are at the heart of the fast-moving COVID-19 research scandal, which led to retractions last week by The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), and the withdrawal of an online preprint, after the trove of patient data they all relied on was challenged. The three physician-scientists never were at the same institution nor had they ever before written together, but they are the only authors in common on the disputed papers, and the other co-authors all have ties to at least one of them. Their partnership, which seized a high-impact role during a global public health crisis, has now ended disastrously.

The first author for both retracted…

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