“This is not a simple case of going to a market and picking up samples and testing,” says Peter Daszak, the president of the nonprofit research organization EcoHealth Alliance, who leads the Lancet commission task force.
When The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine pulled an influential pair of Covid-19 papers last Thursday, it was a rare event in scientific publishing.Could these be among “the biggest retractions in modern history,” as one observer described the news about the paper in The Lancet?
He and his Tufts colleague, Nina Fefferman, co-authored a 2007 paper published in Lancet Infectious Diseases examining the potential implications of the Corrupted Blood incident for refining existing epidemiological models, since they would be able to draw on hard data showing how players actually responded during an outbreak.
“We have no idea what that looks like from a public health perspective, but we know it is catastrophic,” said Nick Watts, executive director of Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change, during a press conference announcing the findings.
Pollution concern also lay in the shadows, says Landrigan, because “all the attention was on climate change.” But several recent efforts have raised pollution’s status on the global agenda, with not just the Lancet report but also the work of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the World Health Organization’s first global conference on air pollution last year.