Interview expert on survival of SARS-CoV-2 virus on surfaces

March 19, 2020

I called media contacts at NIAID to put me in touch with specific staff scientists. I was told they were too busy to speak with the media and to contact co-authors at UCLA who also have not answered phone calls or emails, at least not yet.

Please describe your experience in as much detail as possible:
The designated media contacts at National Institute of allergy and infectious diseases told me that staff scientists studying the survival time on surfaces of the Coronavirus were too busy working to speak with reporters. They offered no alternatives except to interview study co-authors at outside institutions. I am on a freelance assignment for a food industry publication. The food industry is greatly concerned with the results of a study about the virus published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Type of institution from which you sought information:
Federal government agency
Type of request:
Interview with subject matter expert (including agency staff)
How did you make your initial request?:
Phone
What was the initial response?:
Staff scientists too busy to speak with journalists. Suggestion to call co-authors at outside institutions.
What was the eventual outcome?:
Interview refused
Did you file a FOIA request?:
No

Information access

Please share your experiences trying to get access to scientists or information from institutions, including government agencies, corporations, nonprofits and universities. This database will serve as a way to share strategies and tips, learn from others' experiences, and connect with others around information access issues. We welcome reports on successful, semi-successful, and unsuccessful attempts to gain access to information or scientists. The more entries we get, the more useful the database becomes. We are particularly interested in experiences reporting on SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic and have made the database freely available during this time to collect and share such information.

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