Sunday, May 15, 2022

NIH Director Confirms Agency Hid early COVID genes at request of Chinese scientists; China’s secrecy on COVID’s origins won’t impact US lifting tariffs, Psaki says, and other C-Virus related stories

NIH director confirms agency hid early COVID genes at request of Chinese scientists:
National Institutes of Health acting director Lawrence Tabak confirmed to lawmakers Wednesday that US health officials concealed early genomic sequences of COVID-19 at the request of Chinese scientists — but insisted the data remains on file.
Tabak told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the NIH “eliminated from public view” the data from the pandemic epicenter in Wuhan, China, before adding that researchers can still access it via an archaic “tape drive.”
Vanity Fair recently reported that the information was hidden in response to a request from Chinese scientists, despite potentially resolving whether the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or passed naturally from animals to humans.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) asked Tabek to explain why US officials would comply with such a request.
“There’s no question that the communication that we had about the sequence archive — Sequence Read Archive — could have been improved. I freely admit that,” Tabek said. “If I may, the archive never deleted the sequence, it just did not make it available for interrogation.” --->READ MORE HERE
Future Publishing via Getty Image
China’s secrecy on COVID’s origins won’t impact US lifting tariffs, Psaki says
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that US officials are looking at repealing tariffs on Chinese goods “separately” from any US pressure on China to come clean about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and whether the virus leaked from a Wuhan lab.
Psaki, responding to a briefing question from The Post, said a review of Trump administration tariffs is focused on consumer prices, and not on the grim approaching milestone of 1 million US coronavirus deaths.
“Can you say where the tariffs question comes into pushing China to be transparent on the [pandemic] origins?” The Post asked. “And can you detail anything that President Biden has done with his levers of power — be it sanctions or tariffs or anything else — to press for transparency from China?”
Psaki replied, “The president has had recent engagements with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping], as we have had at a very high level from a range of national security officials, and we always raise transparency in those conversations.”
The Post interjected, “Are tariffs — I mean, is that part of the pressure?”
“I would look at it separately from the COVID deaths or from Russia,” Psaki replied, referring to China declining to join a US campaign to sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. --->READ MORE HERE
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