We are in the middle of a pandemic, or at least the tale end of one. That being said, we are also in the middle of a replication crisis in science. Furthermore, we seem to be in the middle of one social media/mainstream media-driven moral panic after another. One of those seems to be the collective overreaction to Covid-19.
And it appears these things are all related.
You can find the link to Retraction Watch's list of retracted Coronavirus papers here.
Of course, you would expect there to be some, but 15 is a lot. And that doesn't even include flawed or misleading papers, just retracted ones. It would appear the rush to publish during a quick-moving, panic-inducing event like a global pandemic made scientific standards much worse (and they're struggling already). Add in a hysterical mainstream press and an even more hysterical groups of social justice-minded social media users and you have the recipe for really, really bad public policy.
Which just so happens to be what we got.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM