Molnupiravir is mutagenic for mammals too
Although the Ingelfinger rule seems to have dissolved into dust with the coming of COVID-19, I was a little disappointed that your Journal appears to have mirrored Merck's press release concerning molnupiravir without substantial critical markup.
It is clear that molnupiravir induces intense mutagenesis in SARS-CoV-2,  and it is this that accounts for its efficacy.
It may be worthwhile noting the evidence that β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine, the active metabolite of molnupiravir, is not only cytotoxic but also mutagenic in mammalian cells. The drug may damage DNA.
There is a certain irony that vaccine-shy individuals who have believed the untruth that vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 alter DNA, seem poised to reach for a perceived 'alternative' that may indeed alter their DNA adversely. This worry is borne out by the rise in the Merck share price and Moderna's corresponding drop, as reported by Reuters.
 Badrinath P. Have we abandoned the Inglefinger rule in the COVID era? BMJ. 2020 Jun 9;369:m2279. URL: https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m2279/rr-1
 Kabinger F, Stiller C, Schmitzová J, Dienemann C, Kokic G, Hillen HS, et al. Mechanism of molnupiravir-induced SARS-CoV-2 mutagenesis. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2021 Sep;28(9):740-746. doi: 10.1038/s41594-021-00651-0
 Zhou S, Hill CS, Sarkar S, Tse LV, Woodburn BMD, Schinazi RF, et al. β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Through Lethal Mutagenesis But Is Also Mutagenic To Mammalian Cells. J Infect Dis. 2021 Aug 2;224(3):415-419. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiab247
 Krauskopf L, Maddipatla M. Merck COVID-19 pill success slams Moderna shares, shakes up healthcare sector. URL: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/merck-covid-...
Competing interests: No competing interests