A routine case of a bad paper attracting a lot of criticism and then getting retracted.
The one thing that I wanted to comment on was one of the authors trying to defend their work.
We are happy to concede that the data we used… are far from perfect, and we said so in our paper. But we did not use them incorrectly. We used imperfect data correctly. We are not responsible for the validity and correctness of the data, but for the correctness of the analysis. We contend that our analysis was correct. We agree with LAREB that their data is not good enough. But this is not our fault(.)
My head is kind is spinning from this argument. If you know the data are bad, you could, you know, leave it alone and not write an entire academic paper that depended on it. Especially when it concerns an ongoing public health crisis.
The data may not be your fault, but that does not mean you are without fault.