USAID Funded EcoHealth Alliance and Wuhan Institute of Virology, Is Withholding Information
Spokesperson Ned Price claims State Dept. is doing all they can on pandemic origins and demands transparency from China. But when questioned pleads ignorance on USAID role and withholding information.
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U.S. Right to Know has used the Freedom of Information Act to try to get information from USAID and other government agencies on the origins of the pandemic. But much information has been “redacted” or withheld or censored.
My article from 2020 for Independent Science News documented USAID funding to EcoHealth Alliance totaled over $64 million. It also shows connections to the Global Virome Project, headed by former USAID PREDICT project head.
When questioned about this, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price pled ignorance. When questioned about funding fund bioweapons-agents discovery research and doing with with China, Price touted the importance of the US government cooperating with China. I noted: “But the stipulation here is that this collaboration could have caused” the pandemic. Price also pled ignorance regarding the former head of PREDICT, Dennis Carroll’s possible violations of law in establishing the Global Virome Project with Peter Daszak, which would constitute a major escallation in dangerous lab work.
NED PRICE: ...We believe in the importance of doing all we can to understand the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the context of the pandemic we’re still emerging from, but also to better prepare ourselves for any future pandemics that are to come.... The other part of this is continuing to impress upon the PRC the importance of transparency....
SAM HUSSEINI: Thank you. China, pandemic origins. Many have reported the NIH role with EcoHealth Alliance and work done to make coronaviruses more dangerous at Ralph Baric’s lab at the University of North Carolina, as well as with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But USAID, which is part of the State Department [USAID is actually described as an independent agency which receives overall policy guidance from State], funded – funneled far more money to EcoHealth Alliance, especially through its PREDICT Program, than the NIH did. I have a couple of questions on this. When will USAID release proposals, progress reports, and correspondence for USAID grants and contracts to EcoHealth Alliance with subcontracts and/or other pass-throughs to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other relevant entities?
PRICE: I’m not immediately familiar with this contract. These are the types of questions you’re welcome to send in to us.
HUSSEINI: Let me – I mean, you did – when you were addressing China, you did say you’re doing all you can to address the pandemic origins issue, and you called for transparency. So if I might get these on the record, why does USAID fund bioweapons-agents discovery research? In particular, why has USAID funded bioweapons-agents discovery research performed in collaboration with China?
PRICE: We have – and again, if we have anything to provide on these specific questions, be happy to provide that. We have an abiding interest in working with countries around the world on issues of global public health. We have had far too many reminders — of course, most notably the emergence of COVID-19 and its spread from an outbreak to an epidemic to a pandemic – of the need to see to it that global health infrastructure is as strong and as – and robust as can possibly be. We have an interest in working with countries around the world on transnational challenges. By their very definition, they are transnational. They do not respect borders. They are not confined to one country or a bloc of countries.
And again, COVID‑19 was as good a reminder as any other illustration that we’ve had in recent years of the imperative of working with countries, even when we have profound differences, profound disagreements with a particular country, working together when we can on transnational threats. Public health, infectious disease, these are transnational issues. Infectious diseases are a transnational threat. It’s incumbent upon the United States, as a responsible country, to do all we can when it’s in our interests, the interests of the American people, but also when it’s in the interest of the global community, as is the case with infectious disease, to work with countries around the world to strengthen this global health resilience.
HUSSEINI: But the stipulation here is that this collaboration could have caused the problems. Specific question, has Dennis Carroll, who headed the PREDICT Program, been investigated and held accountable for unlawfully diverting USAID funds to the Global Virome Project, the private organization he would formally join after leaving USAID?
PRICE: I am not familiar with this individual or with the facts of the case. I’m also not sure these questions have universal interest or applicability, so I would —
HUSSEINI: You don’t think pandemic origins has universal interest? —
PRICE: I would encourage you to send in these questions, and if we have anything, we will get back to you. [to another reporter] Yes, go ahead.
Many thanks to decensored.news for video editing.
Full transcript of Feb. 27 news conference. Full video.
I would love to know how, now it's being reported that 5 other U.S. public universities are possibly involved, UNC was contacted and funded exactly, the channels and to what levels of government this all goes. Very high, it is clear, but also considering when I did a google search yesterday I found the Charlotte Observer claiming, "False Theories Target UNC as part of Covid 19's origin." dated April 16, 2020. The cover-up started a long time ago. Thanks, Sam. UNC means a lot to me and a lot of other people and we'd like to know what the hell is going on and why these universities.
Give ‘em hell, Sam!!! Thank you. We all have a right to know and the reality is that only with intrepid, independent journalism do we have a shot. Frightening times, though we’re not to worry. Just carry on. 😊👏👏👏