Politicians and governments are suppressing science, and when good science is suppressed, people die, argues a senior editor at The BMJ today.
Executive editor, Dr. Kamran Abbasi, argues that COVID-19 “has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health.”
Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement, he writes. So too are scientists and health experts. “The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.”
He points to examples of suppression of science or scientists during the UK’s pandemic response, including inappropriate involvement of government advisers in the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), attempts to withhold information on COVID-19 and inequalities, block publication of a study on point-of-care antibody testing for COVID-19, and instruct scientists not to talk to the media.