2020 in the scientists’ own words

W.We can slow it down by stopping all of these events, which we should be doing entirely. But it will still spread to most places.

– –Maciej Bonuses, a biologist at Penn State University talking to The scientist How the high number of undetected cases makes it difficult to track the spread of viruses using confirmed infections (March 12)

It is important to screen patients for neurological symptoms early and late in the course of COVID-19. . . This could be lifesaving in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

– –Abdul Mannan Baig, a researcher at Aga Khan University in Pakistan, in conversation with The scientist on indications that SARS-CoV-2 can attack the nervous system (March 24th)

It is definitely scary when someone is looking for another postdoc, or possibly applying for a faculty job, to have this threatening situation.

– –Kishana Taylor, a postdoctoral fellow in microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of California, Davis, interviewed The scientist on pandemic hiring freezes in the academic sector (March 26)

We all need to remember: people are more important than projects. Our safety and that of our wider community are currently more important than the work of our individual laboratory.

– –Kathleen Millen, a neuroscientist at Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute, in an email to The scientist How pandemic laboratory shutdowns affected the scientific community (March 27)

A cryogenic electron microscope-based visualization of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein helps researchers understand precise molecular interactions with antibodies.


This will shape the personality of our nation for a very long time.

– –Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, in conversation with CNNSanjay Gupta on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psyche of his daughters and other Americans (April 1st)

You know, the conspiracy theories have essentially shut down communication between scientists in China and scientists in the United States. We need this communication in an outbreak to learn from them how to control them so that we can better control them. It’s sad to say, but it will likely cost lives.

– –Peter Daszak, President of the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, in conversation with “60 Minutes” about the ongoing politicization of science with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic (May 10)

Our previous studies have shown that blocking receptor binding is a surefire way to neutralize the virus and develop a protective antibody.

– –Erica Ollmann sapphires, an immunologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology, in conversation with The scientist on the promise of antibody candidates that could prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells (June 2)

I wanted to do that with my life – study viruses – and then be at home and not have a laboratory [during a pandemic]. . . . It’s like seeing a ship go by and you really want to be on it.

– –Jillian Carmichael, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of virologist Benhur Lee at the Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Sinai The scientist on the lack of research results during the pandemic due to the closure of daycare centers and schools (June 25)

At the beginning of an epidemic, it is extremely difficult to get an accurate R0.

– –Nelly Yatich, Epidemiologist in Nairobi, Kenya, in conversation with The scientist the challenges in determining the base reproduction number R0, which describes the initial spread of infection in a fully susceptible population (July 13)

I’ve been sick for three months, which sounds so ridiculous to so many doctors.

– –Hannah Davis, a Brooklyn-based artist he speaks to The scientist about memory loss, sporadic vision problems, a racing heart, difficulty breathing, insomnia, and various aches and pains she had for months after testing positive for COVID-19 (July 17)

Ravinder Sehgal is holding one of the birds he studied in a location in southwest Cameroon.


Any school that fails to meet these minimum screening standards or cannot maintain uncompromising control over good prevention practices must wonder whether a business will reopen.

– –A. David Paltiel of the Yale School of Public Health in conversation with UPI via his paper, which indicated that masks, social distancing, and bi-day college student testing could limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 on campus this fall (July 31st).

We don’t want to spread the coronavirus, but it’s also kind of a catch-22 because we’re not now looking for exactly the problem that brought us here.

– –Ravinder Sehgal, a biologist at San Francisco State University, interviewed The scientist How a pandemic-related university travel ban restricted its field research on infectious diseases (Aug. 20)

I understand the public is frustrated. Even my family says, “Can’t you find out?” . . . We are [learning] much faster than ever before in history where we had a major illness [outbreak] like that. So I’m confident that the months ahead will be extremely informative.

– –Miriam Meradwho directs and speaks to the Precision Medicine Institute on Mount Sinai The scientist on the rapid pace of COVID-19-related research this year (September 16)

Rick Bright (center) with Anthony Fauci (left), Director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (left), and Marilyn Serafini, former President and Co-CEO of the Alliance for Health Reform

Now people are so confused about what science can give you – whether hydroxychloroquine works, it doesn’t work, it’s wrong, it’s not wrong – that it is going to be very difficult for us scientists to come up with any type of article or publication use. Now that they know scientists can lie, who will believe us again?

– –Patricia García, an investigator of the solidarity process and former Minister of Health of Peru, in conversation with The scientist after the Surgisphere scandal (October 1st)

The federal government pays Dr. Bright, a premier pandemic preparedness and response expert and an internationally recognized expert in vaccine and diagnostic development, for sitting on his hands during a global pandemic that has killed one million to date to people worldwide and over 210,000 people in the United States.

– An amended whistleblower complaint from agents Rick Bright, an immunologist who stepped down from the National Institutes of Health on October 6

It’s a great day for science. It’s a great day for humanity. If you find that your vaccine is 90 percent effective, that’s overwhelming.

– –Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, in conversation with CNBC After the company announced preliminary results of a Phase 3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed in partnership with BioNTech, it suggests it is 90 percent effective at preventing the disease (Nov. 9).

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