Medicine, Money, and Media: A Case Study of How the Covid-19 Crisis Corrupts Disclosure and Publishing Ethics

How to Cite

Walach, H., & Klement, R. J. (2024). Medicine, Money, and Media: A Case Study of How the Covid-19 Crisis Corrupts Disclosure and Publishing Ethics. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 38(1), 122-137.


We present a case study of corrupted discourses in medicine. Medicine is a fallible science. Therefore, it is not surprising that mistakes in the assessment of data and early closure of discourse have led to a highly biased view of the Covid-19 crisis. We present two examples of papers which were retracted following criticisms and republished after a lengthy re-reviewing process. One paper discussed the clinical benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations and the potential risk profile of these vaccinations using the Dutch Adverse Drug Reaction Register. The results of this study were not very favorable. The pressure mounted on the publisher of the journal Vaccines (MDPI, Basel) was huge, and the paper was retracted, although none of the classical reasons for retraction were present. The second paper was about carbon dioxide content in inhaled air under face masks in children, which revealed amounts of CO2 inhaled under masks that violate accepted security norms by a factor of six. This paper was also retracted after criticisms were raised online and after a very dubious re-review process. A closer analysis shows that both retractions were politically motivated. We analyze these case studies and conclude that in the era of COVID-19, politics and financial incentives are increasingly replacing scientific discourse. The profit motive in scientific discourse has opened the floodgates to political influences. This makes obvious what has long been a problem: Financial conflicts of interest continue to distort research and play a major role in evaluations of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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