François Sully (1927–1971) is an underreported figure in the critical period of U.S.-South Vietnamese relations between 1960 and 1963. As one of the earliest journalists the First Republic of Vietnam expelled in 1962, his reporting introduced Vietnam to American readers, and his journalism influenced a generation of Western reporters covering the intervention of U.S. forces in Vietnam. However, despite his extensive reporting for Newsweek and other outlets, little is known about Sully or how his contentious relationship with President Ngo Dinh Diem of the Republic of Vietnam contributed to political turbulence before Diem’s assassination on 2 November 1963. This is the first article to focus exclusively on Sully’s reporting on Vietnam and the first to assess his efforts using primary sources. It argues that Vietnamese Studies and Vietnam War scholars have underestimated or overlooked his journalism due to the “Vietnamese turn” in their scholarship. In supporting this argument, this article places Sully in the broader context of the media’s coverage – both in the East and the West – of the Vietnam War, and it focuses on Sully’s role in the political divisions between Diem and U.S. authorities. As the first article to provide a historical account of Sully’s journalism, it provides a basis for a more informed understanding of his writing. Such understanding is a precondition for analyzing his biases and perceived contributions to orthodox interpretations of the Vietnam War.
This article revisits the Cutter Incident in the United States in April 1955 when mass-produced doses of polio vaccine containing insufficiently inactivated (killed) live polio virus were released to the U.S. public. The Cutter Incident also affected subsequent vaccine development and these lessons remain relevant in the international quest to create a rapidly developed vaccine for COVID-19. The Cutter Incident shows how things can go wrong when a vaccine is manufactured in haste and without adequate safety precautions during mass-production. In the article’s later section, liability without fault, among other consequences resulting from the incident, are also assessed in the context of current vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed, the public-private partnership funded by the U.S. government to develop a remedy for COVID-19.