WAS a deliberately fraudulent “peer-reviewed” “study” rushed into print to score a political win against Donald Trump? It seems that’s part of the story in what has become the latest academic fraud perpetrated on, or by, the Lancet, a once respected medical journal that has become a clearing house for left-wing conspiracy theories and quackery masquerading as medical “studies.” The ABC – successfully hoaxed by a loopy perjurer in the Pell case – was thrilled when the “findings” of a paper dismissing the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine were published less than a fortnight ago. Its coverage focused mainly on President Trump rather than the science. He had not only described the anti-malaria drug as a “game changer” but was taking it personally.
In eager lockstep with the Lancet, the equally disgraced World Health Organisation was even more impressed: it immediately suspended trials of the drug’s usefulness against COVID-19. To its credit, it was The Guardian – not the WHO or the ABC’s sham “fact check” unit – that examined the database provided for the research by shadowy US company, Surgisphere, and found several anomalies and oddities. Among the more colourful of these is that Surgisphere’s “handful of employees” includes a science fiction writer and an adult-content model. As for the company itself, hospitals and other organisations say they have never heard of it. This could be the tip of a huge scandal. Leaving aside President Trump, there are obviously many billions of dollars up for grabs to the pharmaceutical company that produces a vaccine or a proven prophylaxis for the coranavirus. It would therefore be interesting to learn more about the true owners and controllers of Surgisphere.