This will the the first of two stubstack articles that I will be sending out today regarding the NYT article recently authored by Davey Alba. Ms. Alba, previously from Buzz Feed News, apparently has left the New York Times to work for Bloomberg, but previously the NYT described her desk and portfolio as “technology reporter covering disinformation and all of its tentacles”. Wish we had known that before we let her into our home and spent two days being interviewed by her. Lesson learned. So much for Mattias Desmit’s advice that we need to try to engage with all sides.
For the record, sticking to the facts, as most of you know I have never claimed to have invented the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. In fact, I have very actively distanced myself from them. I have claimed to have invented the core technology platform. That claim is supported by patent disclosures from the late 1980s, nine issued US patents in which I am a named inventor, and highly cited peer-reviewed publications.
Here are the quotes upon which author Alba (who has unusually precise information concerning the current status of Dr. Michael Callahan’s employment status with the CIA) based her statements:
- The idea that he is the inventor of mRNA vaccines is “a totally false claim,” Dr. Gyula Acsadi told me, a coauthor of your 1990 paper showing that injecting RNA into muscle could produce proteins. He also said that none of the other authors on the paper would claim that they invented the vaccine.
- Dr. Alastair McAlpine told me that the coronavirus vaccines are “the result of hundreds of scientists all over the world.” He said that the vaccines are not the result of one pioneering individual.
- A spokeswoman for Penn Medicine said in a statement, “We have been excited to witness the deployment of the vaccines in the global fight against the virus and the well-deserved global recognition for Drs. Kariko and Weissman’s decades of visionary basic science research.”
- Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, told me that there is good faith disagreement about how to translate fast-moving science into policy, and acknowledge that health agencies have adjusted guidelines over time, as new information is collected. The guidance, she said, is “only as reliable as the evidence behind it, and thus it should change when new evidence is obtained.”
- Dr. Rasmussen also told me that some of your statements have exploited “the fact that data-driven course correction is inherent to the scientific process to spread disinformation.”
Lets take these potshots by scientific malcontents one by one, starting with Dr. Angela Rasmussen