How A Study Linking COVID Vaccines To Cancer Was Forced To Retract By The University

A study by Dr. Hui Jiang and Dr. Ya-Fang Mei linking COVID-19 vaccines to cancer was retracted by Stockholm University amid controversy over the retraction’s reasons and alleged external pressure from concerned scientists and public backlash.

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The co-author of a paper indicating that the spike protein from both the COVID-19 virus and the COVID injections damages DNA repair processes, hence contributing to cancer, stated that the primary author was forced to retract the work.

Newly disclosed emails now put into doubt the intentions behind the retraction, indicating imprecise reasons given in the retraction request, as well as an upset from one scientist about the “social relevance” of the paper, warning that it was “hacked by anti-vaccinationists.”

Dr. Hui Jiang of Stockholm University and Dr. Ya-Fang Mei of Umeå University published a study in the peer-reviewed journal MDPI Viruses in October 2021 titled “SARS-CoV-2 Spike Impairs DNA Damage Repair and Inhibits V(D)J Recombination In Vitro.” According to independent journalist Rebekah Barnett, three days before an investigation into Jiang and Mei’s paper began on November 5, 2021, medical educator Dr. Mobeen Syed, also known as “Dr. Been,” posted a video on YouTube about the implications of Jiang and Mei’s paper for cancer development, which has over 1.4 million views.

“Any cell that has spike protein in it, if it needs its DNA repaired… then spike protein can reduce the DNA repair… Cancer cells are the cells where the DNA has escaped the repair,” Been explained.

Email exchanges from Stockholm University provided to Barnett under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests not only demonstrate backlash from one scientist regarding this video, but they also reveal concerns from a second scientist regarding concerns over “publicity” rather than the lack of evidence supporting a retraction.

Furthermore, co-author Mei informed Barnett that she never consented to the retraction and that Stockholm University practically pushed the lead author, Jiang, to retract the study.

“Stockholm University initially decided to retract the paper without the authors’ consent, a clear violation of academic ethics,” Mei said. “Stockholm University asked the first author, Hui Jiang, to retract it, and they began to formalize the process. This is an illegal retraction. I have reported to the editorial office that the retraction process is incorrect, and I strongly disagree with it.”

FOIA-released emails show that Mei vehemently contested the retraction to co-author Jiang on February 1, 2022, just days before he formally submitted the retraction request:

“I absolutely not (sic) accept this retraction,” she wrote.

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“An improper experimental design with the potential to significantly affect the integrity of the resultant experimental data” was the reason given in a May 2022 retraction notice.

“Both the chosen construct of the spike plasmid that contained a C-terminal fused with 6xHis tag and use of a GFP reporter system under overexpression conditions in the protocol were identified as having the potential to introduce significant ambiguity regarding the nature of the reported observations,” the notice read. 

Mei, however, disagreed with Barnett, stating that the retraction was “unjustified” and that the allegations were “unfounded.”

“I strongly disagree (with the retraction notice), because the experiments have a control sample: Nucleoprotein containing 6Histag and GFP report, which localizes in the cell plasmid rather than in the nucleus. Therefore, the notice contains incorrect information,” said Mei, adding, “I never signed the retraction notice.” 

‘Not clear if public pressure or scientific faults’ led to retraction

Email correspondence reveals that days after receiving a “generic” request letter on November 9, 2021, MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute), which produces open-access scientific publications, contested the retraction.

“We have checked your retraction request… and feel the information provided is insufficient,” Donna Virlan, the MDPI publishing manager, wrote on November 22.

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Gloria Gao, assistant editor at MDPI, seconded the objection, pointing out that the apparent reason for the retraction request was “publicity” and that there was not enough evidence to support it.

“At the moment, the Committee and editors have seen no evidence, and all we hear is that there is some publicity,” she wrote on November 24.

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The academic editor who had first given the go-ahead for Jiang and Mei’s research to be published, Dr. Oliver Schildgen, commented in the same email thread: “The retraction letter was rather generic, and for me it was not clear if the public pressure or scientific faults were the cause for the requests.”

He went on to dismiss “Twitter s****storms as a reason for retracting the article: “If scientific misconduct took place, it is important for the readership to know explicitly what was wrong as also this has a learning effect in the self- clearance process of science. However, I do not care about Twitter shitstorms as the guy who sent the e-mail below, we have to be neutral as scientists.”

Schildgen’s comments followed German scientist Dr. Götz Schuck’s criticism of the paper’s supposed dissemination of “misinformation.”

“I fully understand that after the publication has gone through a peer-review process with five reviewers, you think a detailed justification by the authors is required as to why the publication should be withdrawn. But it is also the case that unusual times call for unusual measures and that the source of scientific knowledge is instrumentalized as a source of misinformation.

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The next day, Schuck emphasized the public’s response to the publication over the paper itself, claiming “anti-vaccine propaganda” and treating the article’s ramifications as an urgent concern.

 “This is a real scientific scandal… the article is spread virally on the internet… You can’t just rely on a scientific investigation of the case. Every day they hesitate enables further dissemination of misinformation,” Schuck wrote to Stockholm University employees.

“I urge you to remove the article in question as soon as possible,” he added.

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Barnett claims that Schildgen informed Schuck that the correct protocol was being followed and advised that any more questions be sent to Dr. Eric Freed, the head editor at the National Institutes of Health, “to whom he formally handed over the case.”

Schuck then objected, arguing that the article’s “social relevance” should be taken into account rather than depending solely on a “purely scientific argument.”

“It can’t be that you’re just going back on a purely scientific argument here. What is the social relevance? I have seen questions on Twitter from a medical doctor who asks why his patients are asking him about this publication. Look at the reality. This publication was hacked by anti-vaccinationists. That’s what it looks like,” he wrote.

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Retracting the paper ‘did not require evidence of scientific misconduct’

While Neus Visa (who?) wrote to Jiang and the editors to clarify that he conducted the study “without approval for lab’s resources and reagents,” Mei informed Barnett that the majority of the chemicals, antibodies, plasmids, and publication fee for the study came from her lab, meaning that the amount of resources used from Stockholm University would have been “minimal.” Barnett pointed out that it wouldn’t have been enough for a research retraction even if that hadn’t been the case.

This was brought up in an email from Schildgen, who suggested that the work be amended but questioned whether it should have been retracted.

“While I agree that the usage of resources (sic) should have been properly acknowledged and should be subject to a correction, my main question to all of you is if there is substantial scientific misconduct, is there any proof that the data were falsified?” he replied.

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Freed claimed that a retraction “does not require evidence of scientific misconduct” shortly after sending this email.

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Visa went on to say that the writers showed “deviations from good research practice that should be sufficient to justify an immediate retraction of the article,” even in the absence of any wrongdoing.

Schildgen co-wrote with Freed on December 22, 2021, an expression of concern vaguely referring to the “methodology employed in the study, the conclusions drawn, and the insufficient consideration of laboratory staff and resources,” despite replying shortly after that he was surprised “about the entire history of this process.”

having the justification that “improper experimental design with the potential to significantly affect the integrity of the resultant experimental data,” the publication was formally retracted on May 10, 2022.

Hui Jiang’s retraction request

Barnett noted that Schildgen had referred to Jiang’s retraction request letter as “rather generic” after obtaining a copy of it through FOIA. The paper’s central claim—that the data “haven’t been conducted to the greatest scientific quality and the results are not appropriately interpreted”—is somewhat ambiguous because it doesn’t explain why.

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Surprisingly, Mei informed Barnett that she was “forced to do that,” adding that “Stockholm University issued an order,” even though she is documented as having approved the choice. Before examining the lab book and experiment methods, we were instructed to submit the letter within 48 hours.” Mei disclosed that she did not sign the official request for retraction.

The six reasons Jiang listed for asking for the retraction of his article have all been refuted by science blogger and whistleblower Dr. Ah Kahn Syed (also known as “Arkmedic”), who notes that several of the reasons are not grounds for retraction and contends that “the interpretation of the results as described in the paper was correct.”

The fact that “most” of Jiang’s enumerated concerns are not mentioned in the final retraction notice, according to Barnett, “suggests that Jiang was unable to produce evidence to support most of his reasons for retraction.”

Implications for cancer and immune suppression

In a statement to Barnett, Dr. Syed summarized the alarming consequences of Jiang and Mei’s research for immune suppression and cancer:

According to the Jiang and Mei study, p53, a protein known for its function in DNA repair and so-called “guardian of the genome,” is suppressed by spike protein. This helps to prevent the development of cancer.

“The very heavy (90%) suppression of p53 in the study shows that the main cancer repair mechanism in the body can be suppressed by the presence of spike protein which was found in the nucleus of cells consistent with the findings in the preclinical studies submitted to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (FOI 2389 document 6) following application of the mRNA product. 

“p53 suppression is a primary driver of several cancers but in particular pancreatic, breast, ovarian cancer and lymphoma. The biggest effect is seen in women’s cancer where BRCA mutation, which interferes with p53 production, is associated with a dramatic increase in the lifetime risk of breast cancer to around 70% (from 12%) and ovarian cancer to around 50% (from 1.5%). This was seen in Angelina Jolie, for example, whose hereditary BRCA mutation led to her having a double mastectomy to prevent her getting breast cancer.”

Even though viruses do not remain in the body for as long as vaccines do, Syed said that “the study implied that the presence of the COVID virus could have the same effect.”

According to his estimation, “between 20% and 30% of the population were deprived of access to information” as a result of the paper’s retraction, which would have caused them to refuse the COVID vaccine “even in the presence of vaccine mandates due to the potential carcinogenicity risk.”

“A further 20% of the population may have declined the product purely based on the existence of this risk. It could therefore be reasonably estimated that up to half of the excess cancers, as reported in the ABS provisional mortality reports… might have been prevented had appropriate due diligence and pharmacovigilance been applied,” Syed wrote.

Since then, “multiple high-quality papers have now entered the scientific record confirming and building upon” Jiang and Mei’s paper, according to Barnett, has been “vindicated.” One such paper, published last month by two Brown University professors who specialize in cancer, Shengliang Zhang and Wafik El-Deiry, “shows that the spike protein has a suppressive effect on the tumor suppressor protein p53.”

A representative for Stockholm University responded to Barnett’s inquiry on Freed’s involvement in the paper’s retraction, saying:

Stockholm University does not have insight into the retraction process. According to Swedish legislation and academic practice, Swedish researchers are the only owners of their research results (”upphovsrättsliga lärarundantaget”). As a consequence, researchers decide themselves if (and when) results should be published or retracted.

Stockholm University did not take part in the retraction (and did not receive any pressure). The university’s research is truth-seeking, free and unbound. Stockholm University strives for an open scientific system, where everyone has free and open access to scholarly texts, research results and research data.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that Florida doctor Joseph Ladapo, citing a study identifying a high concentration of DNA molecules in mRNA vaccines, claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine causes cancer.

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