EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #11

Reports that are of interest for the week

Biden task force to investigate science manipulation under Trump
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is investigating “improper political interference” that may have let to the distortion of scientific data presented by the Trump administration. 

Factors that may predict next pandemic
The University of Sydney did a research study regarding pandemics and zoonotic diseases and found that as the population grows and humans spread into wild areas for homes, they have more interactions with animals causing a higher likelihood of contracting diseases from them. 

Scandal over COVID Vaccine trial at Peruvian Universities Prompts Outrage
A clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccines ended in giving President Martín Vizcarra, his family, and other scientists or politicians who were not originally in the study. There are some ethical problems with this especially with the lack of transparency that occurred. 

Surprising Nuggets From the WHO Report: Our Science Correspondent Digs In
This article goes into some of the interesting aspects of the WHO’s report on their investigation in Wuhan, including the spread of the disease in Wuhan and human interactions with wild animals. 

Why restricting AstraZeneca vaccines in Canada means balancing ‘vaccine risk vs disease risk’
The 3rd wave of the COVID-19 virus is affecting people in younger age groups more so scientists are trying to distribute vaccines quickly and with what is best in mind for everyone. 

The ‘covert tactics’ used to scare Britons into staying at home: How SAFE document called for increase in ‘perceived threat’ of Covid using ‘hard hissing emotional messages
Many Britons believe that they have been the subject to an experiment in which the government used a fear tactic by saying the virus was a lot worse than it was to keep people inside. SAGE will be looking into this. 

EPA head removed Trump-era science advisors
Michael Regan, the EPA Administrator, is currently clearing out the Science Advisory Board and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to try to restore “scientific integrity”. 

Significant vaccine distrust found among incarcerated populations, increasing risks
The University of Washington and the CDC did a study of inmates in jails and prisons and found that fewer than half of them were willing to get the virus and young people and black people were the least likely to say they would get it. 

Where science meets politics: policymaking in the pandemic
The UK government is working towards having better collaboration between policymakers and scientists after the pandemic. There is a link in the article to an online event in which a panel of experts talked about the lessons learned from the pandemic hosted by the University of Cambridge. 

White Evangelical Resistance Is Obstacle in Vaccination effort
A mixture of religious faith, wariness of mainstream science, a cultural distrust of institutions, and gravitation to online conspiracy theories is causing 45% of 41 million white evangelicals in the US to not get vaccinated.