KIITG Activists Tout Harvard Researchers’ Thin Claims Linking COVID-19 and Air Quality

Oil and natural gas companies have gone beyond providing needed energy and the resources required to make life-saving medical equipment by donating time, money and supplies in their communities – even while facing unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19 and the state of the oil market. Meanwhile, “Keep It In the Ground” activists have repeatedly attempted to use the pandemic as a tool to attack the oil and natural gas industry.

Most recently, KIITG groups have been touting a yet-to-be peer-reviewed Harvard University article on small particulate matter (PM2.5) and COVID-19 – that has nothing to with oil and natural gas – as a new reason to oppose fracking. In fact, the server hosting the article even includes guidelines about these types of articles, which they call preprints – articles that have not been peer-reviewed and “may contain errors” – for journalists and others who may cite them. MedRxiv, the server hosting the article, explains:

“We also urge journalists and other individuals . . . to consider this when discussing work that appears on medRxiv preprints and emphasize it has yet to be evaluated by the medical community and the information presented may be erroneous.”

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