Covid-19, il Guardian in un'inchiesta esclusiva punta i riflettori sulla Surgisphere, azienda Usa nel cui staff figurano anche «uno scrittore di fantascienza e una modella di riviste per adulti», che ha fornito i dati necessari alla compilazione di diversi studi sul Covid-19 pubblicati anche su 'Lancet' e sul 'New England journal of medicinè, ma che «fino ad ora non ha fornito spiegazioni sui dati o sulla metodologia» applicata. L'Organizzazione mondiale della sanità e vari governi nazionali hanno modificato le loro politiche di risposta al Covid-19 e le terapie, quindi, sulla base di dati «imperfetti» provenienti da una semisconosciuta azienda statunitense che si occupa di analisi sanitaria.
The data that Surgisphere claims to have acquired legitimately from over a thousand hospitals around the world, the Guardian writes, they have been the basis of scientific articles that have led to a modification of therapies for Covid-19 in Latin American countries. The same data have been used by WHO and research institutes around the world to stop tests on the use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has long been debated for the treatment of coronavirus. Two of the world's leading scientific journals such as Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine, the Guardian points out, have published studies based on Surgispehere data. Co-author of these studies is the CEO of the US company, Sapan Desai. After being contacted by Guardian journalists, who informed them of the results of the investigation, the two magazines expressed "concern". The other authors of the published studies, not affiliated with Desai's Surgisphere, have now commissioned an independent investigation following the doubts raised about the "reliability of the database" used.
The Guardian points out that, following research on publicly available material, many Surgispehere employees have little or no scientific experience. One of the employees, indicated as chief scientific editor, is actually a science fiction writer, while the 'marketing manager' actually turned out to be a model of adult magazines and hostesses for fairs and conferences. The company's Linkedn page has fewer than 100 followers and last week, the Guardian reports, it indicated a staff of six, which then became three in the last three hours. Surgisphere, which claims to manage "one of the largest and fastest hospital databases in the world," notes the Guardian, has virtually no online presence. The Twitter account has fewer than 170 followers, with no posts between October 2017 and March 2020.