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They're trying to discredit the creator of an anti-virus vaccine as a communist confidant - science

They’re trying to discredit the creator of an anti-virus vaccine as a communist confidant – science

Marcelo Nagy Budapest, 2 June (EFE). – The far-right media has accused the galactic biologist who developed the covid-19 messenger RNA technology for BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna from the former communist dictatorship in her homeland, which she denies.

“There’s no point in wasting time with the subject, I have a lot of things to do. I have a clear conscience,” the researcher, who has lived in the United States since 1985, tells Efe in Budapest by email.

trying to distinguish

Far-right portal “kuruc.info” highlighted on May 22 the appearance of Kariko in 2017, identified as a confidant in a book that included the activity of recruiting agents by the security services of the communist dictatorship.

According to US-based electronic media, the biologist at that time had signed an agreement on cooperation in counterintelligence missions.

“I don’t know that the Szeged Biology Research Center (SZBK, where I worked in 1978) had interesting trade secrets for spies, which is why anti-spies were needed,” says Cariko.

“I don’t know why,” he insists, “but I’m not interested to know why they’re bringing it up now. I have a clear conscience.”

In a recent statement, the biologist, whose name sounds like a Nobel Prize winner, denounced an attempt to stigmatize her, that she never reported on anyone and did no harm to anyone.

The director of the National Security Services Historical Archives, Gergo Bendegoz Chih, also confirmed that no report was recorded or signed by Cariko.

Black Buck victim

Kariko, born in 1955, completed her high school and college studies with great results.

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After graduating in 1978 from the University of Szeged (in southern Hungary), he began working as a research assistant at SZBK, with a scholarship from the prestigious Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

In the same year, he blackmailed agents of the security services of the communist regime to force him to sign a conscription document.

On the one hand, they reminded him that his father was convicted of participating in the rebellion against the Soviet Union that was crushed by Moscow in 1956, in addition, they threatened to close his scientific career if he did not sign, says Cariko.

From Hungary to the USA

In 1985, after becoming a doctor of biology, with her position suspended and limited to working as an assistant, the young biologist left for the United States.

There his career took off, and in 2005 he patented, along with fellow American Drew Wiseman, the messenger RNA technology currently used by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna in covid-19 vaccines.

Kariko has been the vice president of BioNTech since 2014, and in 2018 she began developing vaccines that apply this patented technology, which has allowed her company to react quickly to the coronavirus pandemic.

global recognition

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Kariko has been a famous figure globally and in Hungary, the prime minister himself, the ultra-nationalist Viktor Orban, has gone so far as to assert that thanks to the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, a Hungarian vaccine is partially.

Szeged named her “favorite daughter” in May, and on May 25 she was awarded Hungary’s highest medical award, the Semmelweis Prize.

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secret business

In the midst of these confessions, accusations against the world emerged.

Secret service reports with alleged collaborators of the communist dictatorship (1947-1990) in Hungary are frequently used to discredit innocents and to protect genuine informants.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990, no Hungarian government has done anything to publish these lists, so there is only partial research on the subject.

The lead expert in this field, Krisztián Ungváry, stresses that having a cooperation contract signed by a scientist does not mean that she will betray anyone.