Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sen. Roger Marshall Demands Pentagon Probe All Tax-Funded Gain-of-Function Research in China; US Government Suspends Funding for Virus Research Group at Center of COVID-19 Origin Controversy, and other C-Virus related stories

Sen. Roger Marshall demands Pentagon probe all tax-funded gain-of-function research in China:
Sen. Roger Marshall pushed the Pentagon’s inspector general in a Friday letter to probe all US taxpayer-funded gain-of-function research in China — as well as “undisclosed, unpublished pathogen and biospecimen collections” potentially critical to uncovering the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marshall (R-Kan.) wrote to Department of Defense Inspector General Robert Storch to request the expansion of a current investigation into more than $50 million in Pentagon grants more than $50 million in Pentagon grants that Chinese institutions received for pandemic pathogen research between 2014 and 2023.
In his letter, the Kansas Republican said his office’s investigation into COVID origins unearthed thousands of lab samples that the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases bought “secretly” from Chinese entities between October 2014 and March 2020.
The samples — including potentially fatal pathogens such as Ebola and the Marburg virus — initially came to the US through an agreement with the University of California, Davis, which along with the disgraced Manhattan nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance used millions of taxpayer dollars to aid China’s “risky pandemic pathogen collection and research.”
That research took place at the now-debarred Wuhan Institute of Virology now-debarred Wuhan Institute of Virology, Wuhan University and the Chinese Academies of Science Institute of Microbiology, among other places.
“The federal government has not been forthcoming in revealing information related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the dangerous pathogen research it offshored to China,” he wrote.
“I hope your efforts to unmask all [Department of Defense] funding of gain of function research, can remedy those errors.” --->READ MORE HERE
SOURCE: Gerry Broome
US government suspends funding for virus research group at center of COVID-19 origin controversy:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday suspended funding to EcoHealth Alliance, a virus research organization tied to controversy about the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19. The agency also proposed the group be blocked from receiving federal funds in the future, possibly for years.
Before COVID-19 emerged, a U.S. government grant to EcoHealth had funded studies into bat coronaviruses at the lab in Wuhan, China. Although U.S.-funded research at the lab has not been linked to the pandemic, the U.S. suspended funding to EcoHealth in 2020. The grant was later reinstated it. U.S. funding to the Wuhan lab has since been blocked.
In a new letter to EcoHealth Alliance and its president, Dr. Peter Daszak, HHS lists 30 pieces of information, some dating back to 2013 to support its decision. HHS said in a memo that EcoHealth failed to “adequately monitor” virus growth in experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, notify the National Institutes of Health that viruses studied there “appeared to grow beyond permissible thresholds” laid out in a grant or provide requested information in a timely manner.
“HHS believes there is adequate evidence in the record for this debarment cause and that immediate action is necessary to protect the public interest,” Henrietta Brisbon, an HHS suspension and debarment official, wrote in the letter.
In a statement, a spokeperson for EcoHealth Alliance said the organization is “disappointed by HHS’ decision today and we will be contesting the proposed debarment. We disagree strongly with the decision and will present evidence to refute each of these allegations and to show that NIH’s continued support of EcoHealth Alliance is in the public interest.” --->READ MORE HERE
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