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

Congratulations to ScienceMag

Instead of covering this up or ignoring until people forget, they’re actually running an article exposing the story behind the bizarre rushed studies and subsequent retractions. And they even call it a scandal.

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.

It’s a detailed story and examines the three participants in detail.

The first author for both retracted papers was cardiac surgeon Mandeep Mehra, an eminent Harvard University professor who works at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and is known internationally for cardiovascular medicine and heart transplants. He provided the kind of gravitas that can fast-track papers to leading journals. In a statement provided by BWH, Mehra said he had met another of the trio, cardiac surgeon Amit Patel, in “academic and medical circles,” and that Patel had introduced him to Sapan Desai, a vascular surgeon and founder of Surgisphere, the tiny company that supplied the data. Journal disclosures, however, also indicate Mehra received compensation from Triple-Gene, a gene therapy company Patel co-founded to develop cardiovascular treatments.

It breaks down their stories individually.

Sapan Desai

Desai had a history of convincing respected researchers of his skill and integrity. One of them, Gilbert Upchurch, department of surgery chair at the University of Florida, wrote last year in a journal commentary that he had only brief encounters with Desai but had nonetheless mentored him remotely and developed an online friendship with him. Upchurch placed the scientist in a group of “amazing and talented young vascular surgeons.”

Amit Patel

Before and after his stint at the University of Miami, which appears to have started in late 2016 or early 2017, Patel’s academic home was the University of Utah. He started as a full-time faculty member at Utah in 2008 and kept that position until he left for Miami. The website for Foldax, a heart valve company that he serves as medical adviser, describes him as a “Tenured Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering at the University of Utah.”

Mandeep Mehra

In contrast, Mehra—author of more than 200 scholarly articles, editor of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, and head of the cardiology division of the University of Maryland before moving to BWH in 2012—enjoys considerable support even after the unraveling of the recent studies. “Obviously, you don’t rise to the position he’s risen to without being ambitious, but I’ve never had any indication whatsoever that he would do anything unethical,” says Keith Aaronson, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who collaborated with Mehra on several studies, including a clinical trial of a mechanical pump for heart failure patients.

Mehra, the first author on both retracted papers, was the only one to issue a personal statement of apology, for failing “to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use.”

The ScienceMag story expands on the backgrounds and stories of each of these researchers in detail. It’s well worth a read.

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

    • I also note the ScienceMag story reports, Patel recently tweeted that he is “related to Dr. Desai by marriage”

  1. At the end of the ScienceMag article it says, “Given the amount of data that was in the [Surgisphere] database, it’s just hard to believe someone would [fabricate] something like this.” Does this mean that there was a lot of data or not very much at all?

    • It takes an enormous amount of effort to identify data sources, then introduce oneself to the powers in charge; selling oneself as a solid respectable company worthy to host highly protected personal information.

      i.e. these databases do not occur overnight. Especially with companies that have minimal history and nonexistent experience.

      Yet surgisphere, within a few weeks with very few personnel negotiated, collected, stored and verified massive amounts of data unavailable anywhere else besides the individual hospitals, treatment centers and medical practices.

      An unbelievably huge complex database, data analysis and data conclusions were suddenly available, ready for publishing…

      Bringing us to whom is crazy enough to fabricate the shell companies then to fake data to provide the illusion of a massive database.
      Experienced epidemiologists were aghast at the irrational claims of this research. Their comments and their attempts to see the base data exposed this fraud.

      • Notice the names of the three involved. Now tell me, which country do you think they originated from. Now tell me the name of the same country that has the largest number of sc@m call centres on the planet.

        I am no one bit surprised I deal with fakers like this all the time.

        • Great, let’s just generalise about what people might be like based on the sort of names they have.

        • I didn’t see any mention that these guys were involved in actually treating infectious diseases. I should think that is the biggest red flag. Or involved is statistics.

        • The Indians that I know are great people. No doubt the telemarketers from India are a nightmare, and our telecom companies could do something overnight if they wanted. But it is not fair to generalize a billion people.

          • Indeed, and maybe people should look at who owns,manages and runs most of those call centers. Putting the blame on the low paid people that work in them, often under great pressure to get results and terrified for their livelihood, it is unsurprising they do exactly as they are told.

      • Off-shore a small cadre of very industrious Indians to populate the data into the db.
        We should call it the Bangalore Torpedo. T

        Slips in from a ways away, and carries a big impact. Buyer beware though.

      • Yes most well connected French MD, the ones who are often on TV news programs, found the Lancet study extremely convincing. I don’t know of one known/”seen on TV” French MD who wasn’t already in the pro Didier Raoult or pro HCQ pro AZ camp that didn’t praise the study at first.

        • Exactly. This dubious paper was accepted without question because it fitted the narrative they had been trying to push all along: HCQ is a fake cure.

          WHO barely let the ink dry on the new paper before declaring that all tests on HCQ should stop world wide.

          Particularly in France and EU studies on HCQ has been designed to fail by refusing to use the protocol recommended by Raoult in the tests: ie only using in seriously ill patients or testing without any antibiotic.

          The medical establishment are in cahoots with big pharma which has a massive treasure chest to keep them onside.

          • of course some 100+ vaccines underway/creating
            billions handed out to fasttrack anything that they say is promising
            oppossed to a cheap off patent widely used know side effects mass producible NON huge profit making wonderdrug
            not hard to figureout is it?
            reckon deeper diggin will bring out some interesting funding or job offers that would have followed..maybe not if they were really cautious about leaving tracks but someone somewhere knows

          • They need to include zinc. Zinc is the actual element that stop replication of the virus. Without zinc it will always fail.

        • Interesting. Every time I saw Lancet referred to, I saw red flags. Part of it was their slanted conclusions.

      • But they wouldn’t be able to verify which CONTINENT or WORLD REGION many hospitals were in?

        And yet there were people in France who would give them the benefit of the doubt, after that fact was exposed. They considered the mistake on the place of an hospital a very small detail.

      • My suspicion is that Surgisphere may have had access to a few patient history records that they treated as ‘specimens’. Then to achieve their awesome ~100k patient desired result they created an model for the specific study result they wanted to report…that backfilled the matrix with bogus data.

        I coined a new term for this, “cloud grifters”

        • It is, after all, the same as with global climate models. Take a few grid cells with data, and infill all the empty surrounding cells with your preferred extrapolation. Then process it all and call it data.

    • John MacDonald

      Different articles I’ve read mentioned patient counts around 90,000 in Surgisphere database; unclear how many patients were included in withdrawn studies.

      Those same articles mention patient data came from about 126 hospitals in several different nations.

  2. And here it is where you have to become cautious. Every principal investigator has to some extent believe the data of his affiliated researchers. But if the data is just fraud the only way to figure that out is to let other people repeat exactly the same experiments. In case you are dealing with data from a third parties you have no chance to validate it directly.

    Whoever was not affiliated with the company that claimed to have the data should not be accused in aby way.

    • I am not so sure, Ron. They presented themselves to have data that they could not possibly have been able to obtain so quickly.

      If I wrote a paper and said I had temperature and pH data covering all of the oceans from the surface to 3,000 meters for the time period from 1500 to the present, would you believe the conclusions of my paper?

      • They presented themselves to have data that they could not possibly have been able to obtain so quickly.

        A decade or so ago I would have said the same but given the digitalization of patient data it would not have been impossible.

        Patient data has to be anonymized for scientific use so all you would get is an excel sheet as “primary” data anyway.

        • That data showed incidences of side effects many magnitudes larger (10^3 & up) than known from very large multi-year post-marketing reports & trials of a drug with literally billions of patient hours.

          That should have made the authors pause & think, and then check the data.
          Because there can only be two explanations for such an effect: the data is a total fake OR there is something special with the disease that causes the side-effect to become very common instead of extremely rare.
          And the latter is not a reasonable explanation when there are more than a single side-effect which all of a sudden is reported as being common. And the latter is also suspect when there is no rational pathway, no reasonable conjectured mechanism, by which the disease can somehow cause the side-effect to occur 10’s of thousands time more often.

          I do not see how the authors of that study, the reviewers and the editors of the Lancet could have missed this.
          And that is concerning.

          • Azithromycin could theoretically increase the arrhythmia effect of HCQ as this is a common side effect for macrolides. In addition, ARDS is known for pulmonary artery hypertension and exhaustion of the right ventricle that can contribute to arrhythmias.

            So just seeing an increase in side effects compared to healthy people taking HCQ is not a red flag on its own. It is actually more like something you want to figure out with the data and the other things happening in the disease like ARDS.

          • I do not see how the authors of that study, the reviewers and the editors of the Lancet could have missed this. And that is concerning.

            Like most everyone else now days, ….. the primary interest of most authors, reviewers, editors, publishes, politicians, educators, etc., is to become famous and be paid millions in salaries and benefits.

            It really takes a sick minded person, verging on that of insanity, …..to acquire their millions or billions off the backs of the American populace, ……. and then spend their millions and billions to prevent other Americans the chance to accomplish what they did …….. and/or expend their millions or billions in far away places that accomplish nothing other than world news “printed publicity” for the donor$.

            Andrew Carnegie. ….. gave back to ….. from which it came.

            Carnegie said: “the man who dies rich dies disgraced,” he reinvented himself as a philanthropist and spent his later years using his fortune for the betterment of society. Carnegie funded retirement pensions for teachers, established the Carnegie Institute of Technology (later Carnegie-Mellon University), and set up scientific research centers and organizations devoted to world peace. He also furnished towns across the globe with everything from music halls and swimming pools to church organs.

            From a few early locations in Pennsylvania, he eventually underwrote the construction of 2,811 libraries around the world.
            https://www.history.com/news/andrew-carnegies-surprising-legacy

            Now, compare the acts of billionaires Bill Gates and George Soros, etc., etc., ….. with those of Andrew Carnegie

          • Hi Ron,

            I’m aware that Azithromycin is sometimes prescribed as well, but normally one would go easy on the antibiotics, because an antibiotic only works against bacterial pneumonia, not viral pneumonia. Antibiotics often have a negative effect on the natural immune system, a.o. via the gut (by causing diarrhea by killing of useful bacteria).
            https://www.rxlist.com/zithromax-drug.htm

            Proper treatment would be HCQ + Zinc, because it has been shown to be effective in vitro years ago in the presence of sufficient Zinc. As the majority of COVID_19 patients are obese, most will also be zinc-deficient. Can’t harm to add Zinc.

            But starting off a treatment by adding Azithromycin without first establishing a reasonable suspicion that the patient ALSO has bacterial pneumonia (quite common when a person has viral pneumonia) does not seem to be standard of care.

            Ergo: there would be (or should be) many patients who are just on HCQ, without Azithromycin.
            So if the data had been real, you should see a (small) difference between the two groups (HCQ+Azithromycin vs just HCQ), with the HCQ have negligible side-effects. If not then we have the same issue as above: we do not expect a massive highly significant side effect profile which we can attribute to HCQ (alone).

            Same for the ARDS/COVID-19 common additional disease symptoms. You should compare like with like, both groups with the disease (and similar set of symptoms/severity), who are then split (if only after the fact) into two groups: treated or not treated with HCQ.
            Their claims were based upon patient dossiers, which implies comparing treated with HCQ versus not treated with HCQ.
            There shouldn’t be any significant side effect profile, otherwise there must be some special interaction between the disease (& all related symptoms) and HCQ via some unknown (& remarkable) mechanism that I have a hard time imagining.

            Now odd findings with this disease are not unknown.
            Both the Chinese studies as well as a recent UK study found a negative hazard ratio for active smokers! Imagine that. In the CN studies we have about 66% males and 34% females. Of the average Chinese, the prevalence of smoking is about 2/3 for males and just a few percent for females. Yet of all the CN COVID-19 patients, there were just 7% active smokers.
            The large UK study (more focussed on disease progress AFAIK) showed a less stark effect, but still a clear and statistical significant negative ratio (even when the former smoker group of course had slightly increased risk, due to lung damage from the earlier smoking).

            So odd & unexpected things are found with new & unknown diseases, but this dramatically changed side-effect profile for a simple & very common drug should have send all alarm-bells ringing.
            HCQ & CQ have been used by hundreds of millions of people (billions?) as a prophylactic and by many millions for the treatment of acute malaria, for many decades. That includes many old people from temperate zones who went on holiday to Mexico, the Carribean, Afrika & Asia (although now no longer effective nor used in most places except Mexico I think).
            The claims of that Lancet article simply deviated too much from that earlier experience.

          • Hi Jaap,

            you forget the confounding factor of age that would is not addressed in the studies of HCQ side effects in healthy people. You would expect that that alone could increase the likeliness to see arrhythmias in the COVID-19 patients as they are older.

            Then you add ARDS and the described cardiac component of the COVID-19 through blood clotting on top and you are way less suspicious about data that amplifies a known side-effect.

            Actually, that is not uncommon. That is where contra-indications arise from.

    • Ron

      Absolutely untrue.

      If the guy(s) writing the paper aren’t responsible, you don’t really have much more than a fiction writing contest.

      Real data is NEVER EVER nice, clean stuff. People working with it need to understand the data integrity. Any fool not understanding this is nothing more than a “climate scientist”.

      • They got the data from an independent source. The people who wrote the paper made only the analysis. They neither generated nor collected the data. An analysis can only be as good and true as the data is.

        There are a lot data bases out there that scientists use for data mining without ever have seen the raw data for themselves. Common practise.

  3. Isn’t proving Trump wrong supremely important? Mis-analyzing data does not in itself kill people immediately. Only in the long run.

    • Science Mag editors and the Lancet editors wanted to believe it because it fit their own anti-Trump bias and countered his HCQ advocacy.

      The best way to run a any hustle to to use data and surrounding narratives that fits with the people you are trying to dupe preconceived biases.

      The climate scammers do this in spades.
      The cancel culture is now doing this too. to gain followers.

    • Being motivated to prove Trump wrong will bias you thinking just as much as being motivated to prove him right. And is just as stupid a reason to do research. Be motivated to find out the truth, nothing more or less. (Yes, sometimes Trump actually says something true, whether by accident or because he doesn’t care one way or the other.)

      • Your statement was good except for your unfounded statements and bias against Trump. So I will discard your biased comments about Trump.

        • It doesn’t seem to occur to reporters that Trump has informed advisors who watch various spaces. HCQ or CQ is an ionophore that has been known to be helpful in treating SARS-Cov since 2004-ish. When recently it proved useful in Korea, India and NY City, others noticed, for example in France where the trial was run and published in Nature in the first week of March. It was covered here at WUWT within a few days. Trump was a latecomer, but did mention it looked as if it had promise. The Hasidic doctor in NYC had by then worked out his regimen and was treating hundreds of patients successfully (no deaths he said).

          We have since learned about the important role of vitamin D (see MedCram lectures on line) and today I saw the first mention of “vitamin D poisoning” which I presume is a Big Pharma attack on self-medication with vitamin D in hopes that it will become a prescription “drug”. Watch that topic. The high death rate in BAME patients is related to vitamin D deficiency, at least partly.

          There is little doubt in my mind that the attack on HCQ was in part motivated by an anti-Trump bias but that it is secondary to getting Remdesivir approved and some trials completed showing at least some benefit. It is hundreds of times more expensive.

          That part is not going so well. According to numbers quoted on MedCram HCQ is about twice as effective as Remdesivir and neither help once you are really sick. The treatment for really sick people is molecular hydrogen and vitamin D plus zinc, antibiotics as appropriate. See the Molecular Hydrogen Institute video and note its great similarity with the molecular level descriptions on MedCram.

          I agree with the observation above that some HCQ trials are being run without zinc meaning they have not been following the molecular science on how and why it works. I

          It has been a tough road for Remdesivir maker Gilead, but they did manage to get Fauci to say HCQ was a dangerous drug requiring hospitalization to take it (in spite of 2m Americans already doing so) at the critical time when Remdesivir was applying for emergency approval to be used for anything at all. That took a month so the CDC hype about dangers had to last that long, which happened.

          How many Gilead associated people are there advising, running or assisting the CDC? I hear it is 3, and I also heard it is 4. Is there any association between these three heart and blood doctors and Gilead? Is Gilead supplying the databases?

          Why this extraordinary effort to discredit HCQ+zinc as a treatment for coronaviruses? It has been know for years that ionophores help. It seems to be a weird form of cancel culture – delete the past.

          • “Why this extraordinary effort to discredit HCQ + zinc?”
            Well, because it DOESN’T WORK and is a waste of time to study further…now six months of many hospitals in-house programs, mostly abandoned, proving that it’s addition to the normal treatment regimen of steroids, fluids, antibiotics for secondary infections, and oxygen… has no credible benefit. Now just administered as a placebo for patients with psychologically desperate relatives.
            Besides, why is a good sceptic like yourself not being more sceptical of such “magic bullet” claims from studies where both the test and control groups have essentially the same nearly 100% recoveries ?

          • “MOLECULAR HYDROGEN” – have to get my tinfoil hat out. Looked at the slick webpage for the “Institute”. Seems to be related to studies of bubbling H2 into perfusion fluids of various kinds. But how you put H2 in tablets beats me – from Dr Mercola you get 30 tabs for $39.30, each supplying “8 ppm of Hydrogen”.

          • DMackenzie,

            The government of India recommended its use for health care workers.

            https://www.livemint.com/politics/policy/govt-expands-hydroxychloroquine-as-prophylactic-for-healthcare-workers-11590170414019.html

            Other studies have found that it doesn’t work as prophylaxis, ie prevention, but some have found that it helps treat the disease, shortening its course and saving lives, if started soon enough.

            Some of the negative studies are as dubious as Surgisphere’s.

          • https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/4/lancet-renowned-medical-journal-backtracks-celebra/

            I have followed this debacle about the effectiveness of HCQ for months. Science had again been politicized. I suspect that HCQ plus Zn plus antibiotics has a positive effect on early-stage Covid-19, but I am not certain.

            I AM certain that this HCQ question has become highly politicized.

            I recently wrote this note to my physician friend:

            “There is so much politicized BS about HCQ that I think we will need a full unbiased study to get any solid answers – if that ever happens. If Trump took two Aspirin it would be banned by now – horrible side effects, y’know – heart attacks, suicidal tendencies, toenail fungus, the heartbreak of psoriasis, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”

            He replied:

            “Absolutely. Trump taking HCQ was the kiss of death for that drug. The comment section of the medical journals are containing more and more opinions of how science is politicized to the point of… uselessness. Just like CAGW. Just like media, in which professional pride used to require printing opposing points of view.

            More and more intelligent people are seeing this, and that the Left simply wants to tear down the establishment, and the cozy lefty elite can take their anointed places high above the rabble.”

          • DMacKenzie:
            I have no strong opinion on the effectiveness of HCQ to combat early-stage Covid-19 because I have not done the many hours of research necessary to reach a strong conclusion.
            Be honest now, hove you? How many hours? What credible sources of information? What is your educational background? Any track record of successful analyses?
            Or is it just your opinion based on reading the popular press?

          • DMacKenzie: In response to your non-skeptical claim:

            “Well, because it DOESN’T WORK and is a waste of time to study further…”
            ________
            There is plenty of evidence to understand why and how taking a powerful Zn ionophore and adding Zn will have the effect that is claims (interfering with RNA viral replication within alveolar cells infected with Covid 19). There is simply tons of factual evidence that the mechanism is proven. To deny what I just wrote is fool hardy.

            Because my statement is not in dispute, the argument comes down to:

            1) arguing about the situations in which the treatment was used counter to it’s claimed use. e.g. As a last resort with people who are next to death or already past the stage where stopping replication can help. That the treatment not working when it is applied in a scenario that there is no claim of efficacy is certainly not proof against the evidence that the mechanism works.
            It’s proof that using it wrong does not have a good outcome. Duh?

            2) Using it without Zn. Really? That’s not a test of the treatment what-so-ever.

            3) Using fake data to draw conclusions. Do I need to explain this to you?

            So DMacKenzie: You skip being skeptical when it serves your position. That is not what a skeptic does, unless you claim to be a selective skeptic. But that automatically changes the meaning of skeptic to something else. Perhaps you simply have confirmation bias because you do not understand how to use the word skeptic in a sentence.

            So please amuse me with a response.

    • Its not just Trump, the establishment must crush all non conformists. Its the only way their lucrative positions can be secured.

  4. If you have not noticed. Harvard always have been at the center of world wide media collusion.

    They are nothing but a tax exempt brokerage disguised as a university. Time and again, Harvard with there financial interests hidden in the background drive big pharma and the FDA to the detriment of the people of the world. Harvard and media buddies spin, the FDA jumps, and big pharma pulls in the money.

    • Very appropriate here:
      “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty,”
      – Mr. William F. Buckley

      • Joel

        IF I repeat. IF
        The Donald had a Harvard in his resume he would at present be walking on water

  5. “Mandeep Mehra, an eminent Harvard University professor …
    cardiac surgeon Amit Patel, in “academic and medical circles,”
    and that Patel had introduced him to Sapan Desai, a vascular surgeon and founder of Surgisphere,

    Journal disclosures, however, also indicate Mehra received compensation from Triple-Gene, a gene therapy company Patel co-founded to develop cardiovascular treatments.”

    Shades of climate pseudo science practices…

    Such experts should have realized that the alleged results were contrary to the experiences of experienced international epidemiologists; i.e. massively failing a common sense sniff test.

    Both Mehra and Patel should know what it takes to locate, negotiate, collect and verify

    Anyone, or their family, who has been harmed by these self glorifying doctors should sue them.
    Hopefully, ensuring these doctors have to work Wednesdays the rest of their lives.

    • From the link for the Sciencemag story
      “Surgisphere’s initial products were medical guides and textbooks, although Desai has said he was working on big data projects for the company from its birth. In 2010, under the firm’s auspices, he founded the Journal of Surgical Radiology—whose editors included researchers with well-established publishing records. It folded in January 2013. Articles from the journal were cited only 29 times in its history, according to Scimago, a journal rating service. Yet an undated Surgisphere web page, no longer accessible online, said the online-only publication had 50,000 subscribers and nearly 1 million page views monthly—which would have placed it in elite company in academic publishing.

      So clearly his foray into medical publishing was a a dead end but he made it out to be one of the top journals.
      Im sure this Surgisphere is vastly over inflated as well. The real problem is the ‘prestige’ journals were hoodwinked. I think we can guess how they jumped in something too good to check

  6. Surgisphere is an American healthcare analytics company established in 2008 by Sapan Desai. Originally a textbook marketing company, it came under scrutiny in 2020 after it had provided large datasets of COVID-19 patients which were subsequently found to be extremely unreliable. link

    This reminds me of a series of Doonesbury cartoons about a company that supplied facts to support any political position.

    In this case, somebody needed to squelch CQ and HCQ and magically, this company provided the facts to do so. It reminds me of … somebody needed to squelch the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and magically somebody produced a MWP squelching hockey stick.

    I’ve always believed the reason the third world remains as such is corruption. If something is going to bring America to its knees, it is corruption.

      • Yes.

        In this case, the data itself was bad. No statistical finagling required. Given the badness of the data, even good and honest researchers would reach the wrong conclusion.

        Again, as with Dr. Mann’s (admitted by him due to adverse inference) fraudulent hockey stick, I don’t understand why jail time isn’t appropriate. The damage to the world economy is in the trillions of dollars.

    • CommieB

      I was watching a video just now pointing out that every investigation into HCQ investigation done publicly is designed to fail.

      At MedCram it was asked what would you like to see and he replied, “I’d like to see a test of HCQ investigation done with zinc.”

      Why would such a thing still not be on the agenda? Don’t they read?

      • Hi Crispin: “Don’t they read”?

        Let me try to one-up that good question. I think a follow up question is, “Legally, can they claim they didn’t know Zn was in fact the most important ingredient besides HCQ for the treatment.” I do not believe there is any plausible deniability here. That’s how strongly I feel about the political hate out there.

  7. When “klimate activists” write smelly papers using shoddy data
    they are considered great scientists and given awards.
    I’m stunned, I tell you! Stunned!

  8. RE: “but I’ve never had any indication whatsoever that he (Mandeep Mehra) would do anything unethical,…”
    Perhaps now you do, eh? Does Mehra have as yet undisclosed motivations that drove his participation?

    • Does it matter if he was complicit or a high-value dupe? Then ask the same of Neil Degrasse Tyson.

  9. “Desai publicly aspired to combine big data and artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that he said can replace randomized controlled clinical trials.”

    Big red flag. AI systems are as subject to data biases as any other model, if anything they are worse – as a black box system its often much harder to pick apart how an AI reached a conclusion.

  10. Only Desai was born in India . Other two are US born though Mehra is listed as Indian. You”d have better argument if you said all American. A lot more incentive to be crooked researcher in the US- having the meaningless journal based Peer Review.

    • Country of birth has no relevance. The culture behind them does. If you have ever had to work with Indian men in the workplace you would know what I mean. Not all of them are devious, fake and fraudulent but most, in my experience (IT), are.

        • That’s your opinion without knowing my experience which, I assure you, isn’t racist crap.

          • Patrick-

            Leaving aside the fact that “racist” is the epithet hurled by the left at anything they disagree with, I must tell you that in 35 years of working with Indians in the engineering and scientific fields I have found that they are knowledgeable, hardworking, honest and dependable colleagues. None of them could ever be remotely described as “devious, fake, and fraudulent.” So your experiences are just that – your experiences. Extending them to include a whole subcontinent of people is, perhaps, a little bit of a stretch.

          • “old engineer June 13, 2020 at 10:47 pm”

            Yeah well, I bet you have not had to interview many for positions and then try to verify their experience and qualifications. In almost all cases they have been fake. So, I agree, my opinion, are exactly that. My opinion is based on my experiences. Which I do believe I stated previously. However, given the article, how fake were the three mentioned given the retractions? Yeah…think on that for a bit!

          • I’ve worked with Asians throughout my career and I have to agree with Patrick MJD, most Asians are devious, fake, and fraudulent, just like everybody else.

        • A reasoned and accurate assessment based on extensive experience with the usual BEHAVIOUR of a cultural group is not racist. Assuming every member of that group is complicit in that behaviour may well be.

          • Richard,
            The population of India is over 1 billion and contains multiple different ethnic and culture groups including Muslims, Hindu, Jains,
            Christians etc. There are 22 different official languages and multiple different dialects meaning people from one part of the country might not even understand each other. Tarring everyone with the same brush because of a few bad experiences is racist behaviour and should be called out as such.

          • “Izaak Walton June 13, 2020 at 10:18 pm”

            Creating excuses Izaak? I have worked with Indian Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Buhddists and
            Christians etc. And most, *MEN*, are ALL the same in my experience (In my industry IT as stated)! Why is that?

  11. This is fascinating. You managed to write two A4 pages, neatly avoiding to mention what the issue is… that is why Youtubers and bloggers are no journalists.

  12. This follow-up by Science is all well and good, but not a word on the Lancet and its editor – without which there would be no ‘scandal’.

  13. I see Izaak is there again, spouting his usual hysterical leftist blathering’s. You have zero idea what Patrick MJD’s experiences in life are, and we don’t give a damn what your latest programmed hate narrative is, go hate somewhere else where you will be accepted as normal…like goofytube, that is about your standard.

    • Bill,
      Patrick is attempting to make negative generalisations about 1 billion Indians based on a few
      negative experiences. That is as unfair as if I made comments about US citizens based on the fact
      that several thousand are members of the KKK. I have been to the US many times and met amazingly helpful and kind people everywhere. That doesn’t mean that everyone is helpful and kind just as not everyone is racist but rather that in any population there is a wide range of people and behaviours. Patrick’s comments are racist and that is not acceptable and should not be allowed to pass without comment.

      • In my career in electronics manufacturing the worst exponants of deviousness , back stabbing, progree blocking and theft of ideas has been by white practicing Christians of various varieties

      • The comment referenced culture, not race.

        If you want to present yourself in an honest manner you need to call him a bigot. Or ignorant. Or an ignorant bigot.

        But, he also qualified his comments to say “… culture behind them (& specifically the IT community) ….”, and “… in my experience….” So, he is honest about his experiences; what better knowledge does a person have but that which comes from their own experiences.

        If I called you a racist for wrongly mis-characterizing him, or some one that I don’t agree with I would be wrong, so I won’t do that. I’ll simply point out that you are an ignorant bigot. The jump to racism is what makes you ignorant … the fact that you are obstinately attached to your biases & emotional opinions is what makes you a bigot.

        • Well written preamble.
          “The comment referenced culture, not race.

          If you want to present yourself in an honest manner you need to call him a bigot. Or ignorant. Or an ignorant bigot.

          But, he also qualified his comments to say “… culture behind them (& specifically the IT community) ….”, and “… in my experience….” So, he is honest about his experiences; what better knowledge does a person have but that which comes from their own experiences.”

          My 2 cents:
          I will add that incorrectly painting people with the term racist, harms the value of the word, such that it becomes arguably ambiguous. When language loses precision, people often times do not even know what they are debating or arguing about. So we need to distill arguments down to facts which we agree upon and then debate on what we agree are the debatable terms.

  14. I guess these three Indian/Americans got a grant from George Soros/Bill Gates or some other scumbag. Par for the course with this Coronagate.

  15. Was this the 7th or 8th failed attempt at inventing a lie upon which to impeach President Donald J. Trump? Blaming Trump for the brutal killing of an Afro-American by a rogue policeman must be the 8th or 9th.

    Where I live our main hospital is administering Hydroxychloroquine to Covid-19 patients, but please don’t tell anyone. We have had 9 deaths out of a population of half a million.

    • Alex: Could you tell us more? Are they using Zn? Any indications of successes and bad outcomes with details, I would interested in knowing about even if annecdotal.

      • I am from Malta, Europe. The island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Population ~460,000. Medical services quality rating from 0 to 10: 8 (my opinion). We have a top rated medical school originating from the times of the Knights of Malta whose original scope was attending to the sick and wounded pilgrims in the Holy Land.

        The medical authorities had ordered a quantity of HCQ earlier on during the pandemic. That was still in ordering stage and is a fact. I don’t know if the order was received. But for sure the hospital pharmacy was stocked with some of it for Lupus sufferers.

        A very close relative of mine, a doctor, was informed by doctor friends working a the general hospital that HCQ was being administered, but I don’t know at what stage of the disease.

        A friend of a friend of mine, let’s say F1 is my friend and F2 is his friend; F2 ended up in the general hospital with CV-19. When F2 was discharged he phoned F1 informing him about it and told him ‘they gave me the malaria pill’

        When asked by reporters about medicines used for CV-19, our version of Dr. Fauci, a PhD whose surname is Gauci, who deserves praise actually, was somewhat evasive about the subject, and our local supposed journalists did not chase the subject any further.

        Malta has one of the lowest death statistics. Fully isolating old people’s homes very early on was a great help. Also, we had a Maltese doctor on the WHO team with boots on the ground in Wuhan.

        I don’t know about zinc, but as for me, I’m on zinc+VitC daily. I’m close to 70 years old.

        HCQ is not available in pharmacies in Malta. due to the low incidence of lupus in a small population, and no malaria, HCQ is only stocked by the general hospital’s pharmacy which makes it available upon a prescription. But now I don’t know if it is still available for the public upon prescription.

        • Thank you Alex. I appreciate your experience on this. By the way, if you can get green tea or green tea extract, or quercetin supplements, they are also Zn ionophores. So I take them as a supplement. Interesting side effect for me is that my chronic sinus and lung inflammation for the first time in my life has quelled for about 2 months now, while adding quercetin to my regimen.

          Anyone who has chronic bronchitis or asthma should consider trying about 1.2 grams a day of quercetin for a few weeks and see what happens. That dose is what the doctor from MedCram takes daily in 2 x 600mg doses as part of his supplemental Covid-19 recommendations.

    • Yes, it was fraud. The swamp can’t afford another four years of Trump. Their 30 years of ‘hard work’ would be neutralised forever. Hence, accepting that HCQ actually works would have made Trump a saviour and that is not acceptable. SO they preferred watching people die unnecessarily rather than Trump taking credit for saving lives. Actually, they wilfully caused the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands, making their crime one against humanity, and should be indicted for that.

      • Alex
        June 14, 2020 at 4:15 am
        ———-

        If I may add.

        The bigger problem of HCQ, is one towards the medical establishment, and their lies and their deception.

        If HCQ actually effective against “COVID-19” disease, that of hospitals, then the hospital disease is not caused by the novel corona virus, as the main problematic condition there,
        the very cause of high severity and fatality in hospitals is “blood fever” which no influenza or flu virus causes it in it’s own, naturally.

        People always die of flu and influenza, but outside the clause of “blood fever”.
        HCQ is a very good efficient drug for treatment of the “blood fever” condition,
        usually caused by infection diseases of the blood itself.

        cheers

  16. I see I am being pounced on for my experiences and opinions. I don’t work in an industry that lives depend on, so I can fake as much as I like. However, my “fake doing” will not kill anyone.

  17. The Lancet is to blame. They are professional reviewers of medically related science papers.

    This foul excuse for a study fooled nobody. The Lancet published a document they knew to be unworthy of publication.

    The Lancet should be roundly criticized for this extreme breach of scientific propriety and the editorial staff should be forced to resign. That will not happen, and sadly, BECAUSE THE LEFT HAS CORRUPTED SCIENCE, The Lancet will retain its respectability without taking actions commensurate with the offense.

    The left corrupts everything they touch.

    • What happened to the concept of having professional statisticians review papers before publication?

    • Of course. Science is a leftist conspiracy, right? If you are a physician, i hope you are not taking care of patients, for the sake of humanity. Only a brainless fox news viewer would say something as absurd as what you say.

  18. I bet Dr Fauci was involved. Wont be long and Trump will give him the flick.

    The Corruption of Science. The Hydroxychloroquine Lancet Study Scandal. Who Was Behind It? Anthony Fauci’s Intent To Block HCQ on Behalf of Big Pharma……

    Was the Surgisphere study intended to provide a justification to block the use of HCQ, as recommended by Dr. Anthony Fauci, advisor to president Trump? Upon reading the study (prior to its retraction), “Dr Fauci, … grinned as he told CNN that “the data shows hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment …”Referring to the Surgisphere report: “The scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy for it [HCQ],” said Dr. Fauci. (quoted by CNN)
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-corruption-of-science-the-hydroxychloroquine-lancet-study-scandal-who-was-behind-it-anthony-faucis-intent-to-block-hcq-on-behalf-of-big-pharma/5715568

  19. Lancet’s Frenzy To Prove Trump Wrong on Hydroxychloroquine Backfires

    Lancet’s longtime editor Richard Horton is perhaps most well-known for the twelve-year period that he took before finally retracting the 1998 publication of Andrew Wakefield’s ground-breaking study, linking the measles vaccine to autism. In the meantime, an anti-vaccine campaign was born, playing upon the frustrations of parents of autistic children — one that threatens new outbreaks of measles. Wakefield’s original study purported to show that traces of the measles vaccine would cause toddlers to develop irritable bowel syndrome and onwards to autism. Data was manipulated, as none of the twelve children actually showed any trace of measles virus in the colonoscopies administered.
    A year after Dr. Wakefield lost his license and the article was finally retracted, Horton still defended Wakefield against allegations of alleged research misconduct with the claim that Wakefield had clarified everything. Horton became editor-in-chief of the Lancet in 1995, three years prior to the Wakefield scandal. He came to Lancet from a short period of actual medical practice, at the same London Royal Free Hospital where Wakefield’s operation originated.
    This time, Horton was forced to retract in, not twelve years, but less than twelve days. Perhaps Lancet would do well to investigate the spread, in their own ranks, of the effects of Trump Derangement Syndrome upon their work product.

      • Yes.
        Could it be it pushes Malthus’ agenda? After all that is the Royal Agenda.
        So changing horse saddles is par for the course, what?

      • The whole medical “professional” “community” does. They sign on consensus agreements based on

        1) the fact they admit their own incompetence on the matter
        2) the fact they believe they see a consensus.

        It’s anti-scientific behavior, squared: proof by crowd following another crowd. Made stronger by more following. I call them “sciensuivistes” = (suiviste means lame mindless follower in French).

        The dirty truth, the one there is a real conspiracy of silence against, is that most people are pretty lame, and as you walk up the imaginary social ladder, you find MORE inept people.

        And many scientists who work as civil servants don’t do so because “it’s more interesting” than working in the (real) private sector, they do so because they do so because they aren’t intelligent enough to do really advanced research in the private sector.

  20. If the swamp, the international swamp, actually demonised Hydroxychloroquine just because president Trump had acknowledged its possible use as a cure for Covid-19, then they should be indicted for a crime against humanity

  21. Oddly enough, before the HCQ debacle, Richard Horton, Lancet editor-in-chief, told CGTN Friday May 1 that these conspiracy theories (likely Niall Ferguson’s Wuhan flights debunked fake news) are “destabilizing our response to the virus.”
    He said that the doctors and scientists he knows in China have “done a most tremendous job in advising the government, treating patients, and protecting the lives of Chinese citizens.” He said that after the SARS epidemic of 2002, China conducted a massive build up of public health and scientific research, to prevent a disaster in the future, which served them well against COVID-19. Yet, when the WHO issued a warning on Jan. 30 that the coronavirus had become a “public health emergency of national concern,” the nations of Europe and the U.S. did almost nothing for over a month, and “thousands of people have died as a result.”

    Someone in DC inserted a Lancet reference into Trump’s anti-WHO letter, Richard Horton,immediately issued a letter to Trump: “You cite The Lancet in your attack on WHO. Please let me correct the record. The Lancet did not publish any report in early December, 2019, about a virus spreading in Wuhan. The first reports we published were from Chinese scientists on Jan 24, 2020.”

    It sure looks like TDS virus infecting the hallowed halls of leading establishment institutions.

    • “He said that the doctors and scientists he knows in China have “done a most tremendous job in advising the government, treating patients, and protecting the lives of Chinese citizens.” He said that after the SARS epidemic of 2002, China conducted a massive build up of public health and scientific research, to prevent a disaster in the future, which served them well against COVID-19. Yet, when the WHO issued a warning on Jan. 30 that the coronavirus had become a “public health emergency of national concern,” the nations of Europe and the U.S. did almost nothing for over a month, and “thousands of people have died as a result.”

      That is simply not true. President Trump put a travel ban on China on January 31, 2020.

      • Well, the CDC did nothing for a month.

        During the critical first 3 weeks, before the spread became too widespread to contain, there were only 84 tests performed. The CDC decided to formulate their own test. I agreed with that decision, but other tests SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED in parallel with the development of a better test for tracking as well as diagnosis.

        The epidemic would have been FAR BETTER contained if as many tests as possible had been used for tracking during the early days. Even the early Antibody tests could have been employed for tracking (as Singapore did as early as February).

        It’s almost as if they wanted to make sure the spread got so wide that the whole country had to be shut down instead of being able to employ normal quarantine OF THE INFECTED early enough to secure an effective level of containment.

  22. I’d like to know the politics of these 3 scientists and if they are or have been involved in political advocacy.

  23. Personally I think Horton, the Lancet’s editor, should resign.

    The medical journal has been a bit too hand in glove with big pharma for a while now, (opinion of family members in the medical profession who read this stuff).

    He should have gone after the MMR scandal, people have been shown the door for a lot, lot less.

    To add insult to injury, and before any of the dust has settled on this epidemic, he has the impudence to cash in by writing a book berating everybody involved.

  24. Maybe it’s because I’ve been social distancing for awhile now, but I can’t think of a better use of the FBI’s time and resources than a ruthless, thorough investigation of all parties including Surgisphere and Lancet.

    • Maybe CNN and other media which carried the story should retract it as well. There is no law to force them to do so, so even the FBI would be helpless.

    • I think the FBI is pretty busy right now trying to find out who is funding and orchestrating the Extremists among us. They want to know who is paying the rioters to riot.

      Soros would probably be a good place to start, along with all the other leftwing billionaires. I’ll bet a connection can be found.

      And the FBI should probably indict just about all American Universities for teaching sedition to our young people for all these years. People who didn’t put a stop to this should also be (socially) indicted.

      And then there’s the Leftwing Media constantly lying and promoting leftist criminality.

      The FBI has a lot on its plate. Fraud over HCQ may have to wait.

      • Come on – the FBI will claim it’s the Russians, if Barr’s investigation does not clean shop.
        How about $60 million from Soros “charities” and $100 million from the Ford Foundation to start?

        • I browse Twitter a lot. I read a lot of Chris Hayes like leftist BS. Many times these are from verified users who described themselves as “former X”, X =

          – Watergate prosecutor
          – DOJ something
          – FBI special agent
          – JAG

          I believe most of these really are

  25. If I was in this field, I would be as furious with them as I would be I if I was a police officer at the knuckle head in Minn. All of them are tools to disparage a profession. Until those in those professions speak up and remove them the rest will suffer a credibility problem.

  26. So, all of these guys were biased from a surgery perspective and high on themselves. Anything more?

  27. If conservatives had done something like this to discredit the previous administration the cancel mob would have been setting up guillotines the next day. While what the Lancet did was unarguable murder the real problem is the fact we have now achieved two justice systems, Conservative (Guilty) and Marxist (No crime here) and this could not exist without the support of the MSM or should I say the lack (complete absence) of journalism integrity.
    What needs to be done is hold those that caused people to die accountable, ordering sick people into rest homes, denying medication based on politics, making up facts to cover an agenda (MSM), they all need to stand trial.

  28. How do you do a massive statistical study without a competent statistician on board?

    I am not such a statistician, but still the most devastating critique I read was one that dug into the odds of finding, out of 93,000 control group prospects, a group of 3,000+ to almost perfectly match the HCQ group of 3,000+ patients across TWENTY THREE different characteristics. The person writing the critique claimed this to be nigh onto impossible, plus the matches across all variables was exceptionally close besides.

    I suspect that a statistician working with them would have called a halt to the entire project on first glance at the numbers, which brings up the question, are there no statisticians involved in peer review of studies based purely on statistical analysis of data? That would seem odd.

    Again, I’m not a statistician, so perhaps I’ve misinterpreted what I read.

    • You are correct, they should have let a statistician do a check.

      That is common practice for FDA or EMA, when they check & control actual studies for drug approvals. And the statisticians often find issues which are much less obvious, but quite valid.

      But this wasn’t a drug approval study. Not even close.
      The Lancet should have asked a (bio)statistician to review this study before they published it. Other reviewers are less useful IMHO.
      Yet they didn’t. Despite the fact that the study claimed remarkable findings based on an undisclosed proprietary database, meaning that the actual underlying data couldn’t be verified.

      Claiming that they made this mistake just because they ‘wanted to believe’ will not cut it. Apart from the fact that that’s hardly an acceptable attitude for a scientific journal, the unverifiability of the claimed underlying dataset should at least have prompted some follow-up review into that + a check by a statistician. These kind of journals often do that in similar cases. So why didn’t they do so now?

      • Also the “Science is an honor system” mindset most go. I doesn’t work now, didn’t work before, it was always an elitist hoax. It can’t work because the desire to become famous and the perverse incentives are too high, also the punishment is almost always avoided. You can say that you lost the data.

        Also, an experiment that was correctly and honestly done can still fail to be replicated for a bunch of reasons.

    • Science Magazine deserves no congratulations. It came after the paper have been exposed (the next day after the publication) and retracted.

      BTW, Fake News Media already dissembles. Look at this headline in The Economist: “Hydroxychloroquine is embroiled in yet more controversy” https://archive.is/rndnu

  29. I’ve been an avid browser of WUWT for 10 years.

    This is my first post, so hello sceptical community!

    When I first saw the Science article I reacted the same as the author of this post – ie well done Science for calling out data manipulation and fakery.

    I looked into things a little deeper and when I realised the Guardian was part of the detective work I started to question a little more – after all, the Guardian and Science magazine dont have my trust given their reporting and publication of CO2 based catastrophic climate change.

    Below is a brief summary of an ‘interesting’ sequence of events in this area:

    Science magazine suddenly promotes a view that now (in a complete about turn of apparent scientific ‘consensus’) supports the use of hydroxychloroquine.

    A few weeks ago 20 billion dollars exchanged hands between two companies, Regeneron and Sanofi – giving Regeneron skin in the hydroxychloroquine game.

    A few weeks prior to that Regeneron negotiated price setting and exclusive supply of hydroxychloroquine in the US, based on a science investment process that was largely funded by the US taxpayer not the company itself.

    A few months before that two Regeneron staff were elected to Fellows of the AAAS that publishes Science magazine.

    Thoughts?

    • Welcome to the comment section! 🙂

      I would like to know more about the history of the manufacture of HCQ before I could reach any conclusions about what you have reported.

      You seem to be saying this company is cornering the market. But is that true? I recall reading where there were very many manufacturers of HCQ in the world. So I would need more details before weighing in.

  30. Earlier this month a link to a 2013 Meeting on “Good Evidence” was posted by M. Piney- https://cliscep.com/2020/06/02/lancetgate/#comment-53510

    …: “On Monday 4th February 2013 I went to a seminar entitled “What Counts as Good Evidence?” at the Institute of Physics in London. Richard Horton was one of the principle speakers.” Roger Pielke Jr was a speaker too.

    The recording of the event is here- https://soundcloud.com/politicalscience/good-evidence

  31. Many people are saying that attacks on HCQ in the form of bogus anti-HCQ “studies” are the work of Big Pharma.

    I just can’t believe that. Big Pharma has Big Bucks and really bright minds. They can make bogus data that looks legit at least for the non experts and at least for weeks. That “study” looked bogus even for non experts in the first 24 or 48 hours. (Anyone who took longer to react to the inconsistencies in the “study” should not comment on any other medical or statistical issue.)

Comments are closed.