Chair of COVID Subcommittee Requests Top Science Journal Editors to Testify on Connection with Federal Government

COVID subcommittee chair (Credits: The Hill)

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), leading the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, reached out to the editors of three prestigious scientific journals on Tuesday.

He requested their presence to discuss the dynamics between their publications, the federal government, and the peer review process during an upcoming hearing. The session, scheduled for April 16, is named “Academic Malpractice: Examining the Relationship Between Scientific Journals, the Government, and Peer Review.”

Wenstrup’s letters targeted the top editors at The Lancet, Science, and Nature. He expressed concerns over the potential undue influence of the federal government on the scientific review and publication processes of these journals.

COVID Subcommittee (Credits: The Nation)

Highlighting connections between the journals and key health figures in the White House, such as Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins, Wenstrup cited information requests that suggest communication between these parties. However, his letters did not specify any particular reports or findings that prompted his concerns.

The inquiry comes amid broader investigations by the select subcommittee, which has been actively reviewing the actions and decisions of officials and experts during the pandemic. The committee has engaged with Anthony Fauci, conducting in-depth interviews behind closed doors earlier in the year.

COVID-19 (Credits: Agusto)

As the hearing nears, the subcommittee aims to explore the complex relationship between influential scientific publications and government oversight, especially concerning the vast amount of COVID-19 research documented by these journals, totaling nearly 19,000 articles.

The Hill has contacted The Lancet, Science, and Nature, seeking their response to the subcommittee’s inquiries. This signaled the revealing of a critical examination into the interplay of science, governance, and the dissemination of knowledge during one of the most challenging public health crises of the century.

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