The physician behind Surgisphere, the company at the center of two now-retracted COVID-19 papers, has inactivated his medical license in one state and received one in another, The Scientist reports.
Surgisphere and its founder Sapan Desai drew attention over the summer in the wake of the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine each retracting a COVID-19 paper due to concerns about the data that was used — data that was from a Surgisphere database. In their retraction notices, the researchers said they could not vouch for the veracity of the data.
Former colleagues of Desai's from his medical training further told the New York Times in July that they could not trust his accounts of patients' statuses or treatments, with one colleague saying they had to "verify everything that he did." The Times noted that Desai resigned from Northwest Community Hospital in Illinois toward the start of the pandemic and because offering his database of electronic health data around that time.
The Scientist adds that Desai's resignation followed the filing of a number of medical malpractice suits against him. Desai told it over the summer that the suits were unfounded and that he left Northwest for personal reasons. It now adds that Desai has inactivated his Illinois medical license and obtained a new one in Ohio.