In an effort to shed light on the interaction between scientific journals, government and peer review during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, has requested testimony from the editors of three major scientific journals. He sent letters to the editors-in-chief of The Lancet, Science and Nature asking them to testify at a hearing scheduled for April 16.

Wenstrup expressed concern in his letters about the possibility that these journals could give the federal government inappropriate access to the scientific review or publication process. He referred to Freedom of Information Act requests that showed the magazines were in contact with top White House health officials such as Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins. However, Wenstrup did not provide specific reports or studies in his letters to the editors-in-chief.

A search for research articles related to COVID-19 on the websites of three scientific journals yielded nearly 19,000 results. Hill contacted The Lancet, Science and Nature for comment on the matter.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is actively working with officials and experts involved in the response to COVID-19. Earlier in the year, Fauci participated in two days of closed-door interviews with the subcommittee. This ongoing investigation aims to shed light on how scientific journals interact with government and peer review during times of crisis.

By Samantha Johnson

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