“Facts do not cease to exist, just because they are ignored” ~ Aldous Huxley

On the eve of the US elections, I’ve often been asked why scientists have suddenly become “political”. As if to say, “stay in your lane”. Scientists and medical professionals are used to working under no pretenses, their very job is defined by seeking the truth about reality. Whether it’s trying to diagnose what is wrong with a patient, or trying to understand the underlying causes of illness. We know that nature doesn’t care about politics or what you think about science. So, when a con artist…

This is a letter of concern that was sent to Mark Zuckerberg Saturday June 6th. Currently there are signatures from 277 scientists, of which ~120 are principal investigators who are direct awardees of CZI or CZ Biohub funds, as well as CZI employees — including over 107 professors at leading US research institutions, with 2 Nobel Laureates. Signatures from CZI-funded scientists will continue to be collected.

Co-organizers are Dr. Martin Kampmann, UCSF and Dr. Debora Marks, Harvard Medical School.

Dear Mark,

We are a group of concerned scientists currently or previously funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) or the…

A fruit-eating bat (Artibeus watsonii). Image credit: Stephen Rossiter

I am seeing a ton of new efforts to blame Chinese researchers for the COVID 19 pandemic. Much of this is propaganda. So what is true and what isn’t?

What do we know?

  1. SARS-COV-2 came out of China.
  2. The first infected individuals were identified in Wuhan China (https://nextstrain.org/ncov/global).
  3. Sequencing of the new virus was done by Chinese researchers

4. The identification that SARS-COV-2 is the infectious agent that causes COVID was made by Chinese researchers (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2012-7).

5. The sequence of SARS-COV-2 is most related to bat coronaviruses (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9).

What don’t we know?

1. How SARS-COV-2 jumped from an animal host to humans.

2. Whether this jump occurred from…

(Translated into Spanish by Dr. Yasmin Escobedo Lozoya)

El aislamiento ha llevado a muchos a profundizar en las teorías descabelladas que van desde la idea de que los coronavirus son ‘artificiales’ hasta que la propagación de infecciones ocurre a través de las torres de teléfonos celulares 5G. Ahora, aquellos que son cabales y razonables ya se están haciendo las preguntas correctas y buscando fuentes legítimas de información … pero cada vez más personas están perdiendo la cordura por el aislamiento. Los invito a tod@s a tomarse la libertad de usar la información contenida en esta historia para educar a sus…

Self Isolation has led many to delve into crackpot theories that go from man-made viruses to spread of infections via 5G cell phone towers. Now, those that are rational are already asking the right questions and seeking legit sources of information…but more and more people are losing it. Feel free to use the information in this story to educate your friends. This pandemic is stressful enough without people confabulating nonsense!

UPDATE 4/29: If the information below isn’t enough for you. If you believe I have some sort of agenda because of my affiliations or funding, I encourage you to read…

Jason Shepherd

Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology and holds the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair at the University of Utah. @jasonsynaptic www.shepherdlab.org

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