Formal request for the retraction of Zhang et al., 2020.
The scale, scope, and intensity of the issues in this paper and the immediacy of the decisions being made based on its claimed conclusions do not make it amenable to either correction or extended debate within the academic literature. Accordingly, we ask that the editorial board of PNAS retract this paper immediately. Further, the scale of the methodological flaws raise concerns about the publication process. For this reason, we would argue that it may be time for PNAS to reconsider its policies on the Contributed Submissions track under which this paper was published, as this mechanism effectively bypasses editorial decisions and undermines peer review. While these may be painful processes, we believe that they constitute the best way forward in an extraordinary time for the scientific endeavor, and more importantly, for the health and well-being of the public.