Standing up for Science

A doctor enters a laboratory at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine. Jammu, India. May 8, 2020. Image: Nitin Kanotra/Hindustan Times/Getty
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A doctor enters a laboratory at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine. Jammu, India. May 8, 2020. Image: Nitin Kanotra/Hindustan Times/Getty

The Indian Academy of Sciences pushed back on its government's plans to release its homegrown vaccine in mid-August, calling the timeline “unreasonable and without precedent,” according to Science.

The government granted permission for 2 vaccine candidates to launch phase I and II trials just week—which, even when expedited, should take a minimum of 5 months for proper safety testing, says Indian virologist Thekkekara Jacob John, who emphasized “Clinical trials cannot be rushed.”

Officials are under mounting pressure to get the virus under control as India approaches 700,000 cases—edging out Russia for the third-highest count behind the US and Brazil, Reuters reports.

In the US, meanwhile, where cases are barreling toward 3 million, a bipartisan group of former officials stepped up to demand a science-based approach the US response, The Washington Post reports.

57 former Trump, Obama and George W. Bush administration officials all signed a statement expressing concern over the Trump administrations  response, and calling for data-informed production and allocation decisions for PPE and ventilators and the sharing of data on new cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

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