"I may be naive," said a scientist who co-signed an open letter requesting to investigate the hypothesis of a new coronavirus "laboratory leak". She regretted signing the letter, but did not expect it to be used to promote conspiracy theories.
In May of this year, "Science" published an open letter signed by 18 people, claiming that the China-WHO joint research report on the traceability of the new coronavirus did not balance the two theories of natural origin and "laboratory leakage", calling for serious consideration of "laboratory leakage". "hypothesis.
This letter made conspiracy theorists ecstatic, believing that their clamoring fallacies were supported by the scientific community. Seeing such unexpected consequences, Pamela Bjorkman found herself too "naive."
Bjorkman is a professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology and one of the signatories of the open letter. He has long been engaged in research on how the immune system reacts to virus invasions. After the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, he will focus on research related to the new crown virus.
So she wrote a short letter to the self-media podcast "Virus of the Week" to clarify her original intentions. She said that she participated in co-signing the "Science" open letter because she originally thought that the letter would help raise more funds to find viruses in animal reservoirs.
Full text of Bjorkman's letter to "Virus of the Week"
"I may be naive. I didn't expect this letter to be used to promote the laboratory origin hypothesis," Bjorkman wrote. "Looking back at the wording of this letter, I now think I should have expected such a consequence. Should be more proactive-either not sign this letter at all, or ask for more wording changes to make my position clear."
Bjorkman, through his assistant Marta Murphy, confirmed to Xinhua reporters that she wrote this clarification letter, and emphasized again that she signed the above-mentioned open letter in order to increase funding for research on the traceability of the new crown virus.
"Although she believes that the new coronavirus is more likely to be transmitted to humans from animal sources rather than from the laboratory, she is not an expert in determining the origin of the virus, so (thinking that she should) listen to the opinions of experts in the field and strongly support providing for their traceability research. Funding." Murphy said in an email.
Murphy said that Bjorkman regretted that the issue of the traceability of the new crown virus was politicized.
In addition, Michael Vorobby, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona who participated in the co-signing of the open letter, also clarified on social media that he signed the open letter, making people mistakenly believe that the hypothesis of "lab leak" is more likely, but in reality He believes that the origin of animals is more likely.
Screenshot of Worobbie's tweet
Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin also stated in response to such joint open letters that he believed that some of the co-signers had scientists who did not know the truth and were coerced and used.
"I hope you won't be blinded by the fake'truth', don't be influenced by politicized'science', don't be deceived by rumors and lies, and return to the track of scientific rationality." Wang Wenbin routinely performed on July 5 this year . Said at the press conference.
People have also noticed that many rational scientists in the United States are under siege by some conspiracy theorists and anti-China people. For example, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, has been attacked for disagreements with American right-wingers. Peter Dasak, a member of the National Academy of Medicine and chairman of the American International Eco-Health Alliance, has been continuously threatened and suppressed by American and Western politicians for refuting some false attacks against China. There are also rational scientists who have deleted their social media accounts due to online violence.
Producer: Yan Junyan
Reporter: Yan Liang Lin Xiaochun
Comic author: Ma Zegang
Editor: Liu Yang and Qian Yongwen
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