Beginning in early 2020, the Covid-19 virus as it was named, was subject to a plethora of multitudinal data being released by a team of American and Chinese scientists that displayed critical information regarding aspects such as the spread of the virus and the effects already being felt in the early stages of the pandemic.
The globally controlling Covid-19 pandemic was a phenomenon that swept through the human world, gripping the attention, daily activities and the physical health of hundreds of millions of people.
The effects of which will be ever prominent most possibly for the remainder of the lifetimes that experienced it.
The study in question was cited and referenced in health warnings around the world and was emerging as an inspiring model of international collaboration as a sensational reaction to a crisis.
Peculiarly, however, the paper was withdrawn mere days after its publication and replaced by a message aggressively suggesting, or ordering the abstention of citation towards the study.
This tellingly deviant move was conveniently forgotten in the incongruent frenzy that the pandemic induced across the globe.
It has since transpired that the solidity of the research is unquestionable, the study was in fact subject to removal at the behest of Chinese health officials amid a widespread crackdown on scientific research and the implicated evidence.
The reasons and intentions, though easily speculated upon, are extremely muddy waters. One of the authors of the study, Ira Longini from the University of Florida, described the story in a recent interview.
“It was so hard to get any information from China, There was so much cover up, and so much hidden”
It is widely known by most of the western world that China has an unfriendly relationship with the dissemination of information, most prominent in internal communications and scientifically driven data. However, in recent years, not least due to this very instance, this misinformation and data omission has spilled over and spread into the wider world in a big way.
This is not the first time this has happened though unfortunately our apparatus to defend from such damaging miss directed information remains disappointingly ineffective.
Now well documented, the Chinese have continuously prevented and stymied the communication of scientific evidence related to the Covid-19 virus and the ensuing pandemic and continue to do so to this day.
This new information related to this initial study, conducted in 2020, has shown that incredibly it is not just scientists that have been muzzled. The censorship campaign has spread into international journals and scientific databases. This is far more damaging than simply misplacing some facts.
These actions set a precedent whereby the shared foundations of scientific knowledge can be dislodged and dismantled.
Crucial details in journal submissions and genetic sequencing have been withdrawn from public databases as well as a mass withholding of scientifically garnered data. Journal editors in the West can also share some of the guilt for this by complying with these edits and withdrawals for suspicious and unclear reasons.
This censorship project has been confirmed by entities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), who have given credence to claims of muddled data and inaccurate timelines.
Scientific data and investigative studies have long been retracted, rescinded, edited and amended, which is how the methods employed by the Chinese government have been and continue to be so effective. Confusing data and analysts just enough to off put their dissemination of information and the action in lieu of it.
Timeliness in circumstances such as these is of utmost importance and only a slight manipulation by malevolent forces can change the course of proceedings and potentially pose an inadvertent or even purposeful risking of life.
This is why, although not a universal success with much of the data retracted now available in some form or another including the February 2020 paper, the damage has already been done and the impact has been profound and widespread.
Emaciating doctors and policy makers of indispensable information regarding the virus at vital moments during the pandemic.
Breeding not only further infection but a damming mistrust of science that has penetrated deep, poisoning communities across Europe and the United States. The effects still propagate their dangerous effects today.
A consequence that many organisations worldwide has deemed as unforgivable and inexcusable.