CONFLICT OF INTEREST: WHO’s COVID Investigator Is Recipient Of Chinese Communist Cash, Worked With Wuhan Lab For 18 Years.
A high-profile member of the World Health Organization’s recent “investigative” trip to Wuhan to uncover the origins of COVID-19 has accepted research grants from the Chinese Communist Party and runs a controversial U.S.-based organization which collaborates with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Peter Daszak’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party call into question the validity of his and the World Health Organization (WHO) investigative team which concluded that it is “extremely unlikely” COVID-19 came from a Chinese Communist Party lab. Their claims echo Chinese Communist Party narratives, and Daszak himself implored the world to not “rely” on U.S. intelligence for it is “wrong on many aspects” and “politically charged.”
In April 2020, Daszak told the Washington Post he had “no conflicts of interest,” despite working with the Wuhan lab for nearly 20 years. Daszak was Project Leader on a $3.7 million “grant supporting bat coronavirus surveillance at Wuhan Institute of Virology and… bat coronavirus gain-of-function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Peter Daszak – who donated to Hillary Clinton 13 times in 2016 – serves as the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a research organization that has partnered with the Wuhan Institue of Virology (WIV) – the very same lab many count as the source of COVID-19.
The type of research conducted by the group in tandem with the WIV prompted concern among National Institutes of Health officials for its role in COVID-related research, as outlined in a letter by NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research Dr. Michael Lauer.
Dr. Lauer announced the suspension of NIH grants to the group, which saw its studies engineer the “highly specific doorway into the human body” as COVID-19, as a response:
“It is our understanding that one of the sub-recipients of the grant funds is the Wuhan Institute of Virology (‘WIV’). It is our understanding that WIV studies the interaction between corona viruses and bats. The scientific community believes that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 jumped from bats to humans likely in Wuhan where the COVID-19 pandemic began. There are now allegations that the current crisis was precipitated by the release from WIV of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Given these concerns, we are pursuing suspension of WIV from participation in Federal programs.”
Chinese State Media.
While speaking at a conference sponsored by state-run media outlet China Global Television Network (CGTN), Daszak also revealed that he was a recipient of Chinese Communist Party cash.
He revealed he “has been working in China in collaboration with Chinese scientists and the government of China for over 15 years supported by federal funding from the U.S. and federal funding from China.”
Daszak has praised and attended the Beijing-based World Conference on Science Literacy, which is sponsored by the scientific group China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) that “serves as a bridge that links the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government to the country’s science and technology community.”
He has also appeared on panels at a CGTN-sponsored conference in cooperation with the Chinese Society for Science and Technology Journalism, a subsidiary of CAST.
The zoologist obtained his Ph.D. in parasitic infectious diseases from the University of East London – a college ranked 116th of 130 in the country.
He has repeatedly appeared on CGTN, including praising the network as “fantastic” and “great” and defending scientific collaboration with the Chinese Communist Party as “important”:
The news will cause concern that Daszak is nowhere near being the “independent” arbiter required to get to the bottom of the Wuhan COVID origins.
WHO coronavirus investigator linked to Wuhan lab attacks Biden and defends China
by Jerry Dunleavy, Justice Department Reporter | | February 10, 2021 05:06 PM
A member of the World Health Organization’s coronavirus origins investigative team who previously worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology celebrated the WHO’s findings dismissing the lab leak hypothesis, criticized the Biden administration and U.S. intelligence, and defended China to CCP-linked outlets.
Peter Daszak, a British-born American scientist who runs the New York-based EcoHealth Alliance and had used some of the millions his group received from the National Institutes of Health to fund bat coronavirus studies at the Wuhan lab, spent the 24 hours after the joint China-WHO team released its findings on Tuesday hitting critics of China and the WHO.
“Joe Biden has to look tough on China,” Daszak tweeted in response to a South China Morning Post article detailing how the Biden administration would not necessarily believe the China-WHO conclusions without the United States doing its own inquiry. “Please don’t rely too much on US intel: increasingly disengaged under Trump & frankly wrong on many aspects. Happy to help WH with their quest to verify, but don’t forget it’s ‘TRUST’ then ‘VERIFY’!”
State Department spokesman Ned Price responded to the WHO press conference by saying that “I wouldn’t want to be conclusive yet before we’ve seen the report,” adding that they would be drawing “on information collected and analyzed by our own intelligence community.” He said, “The Chinese, at least heretofore, has not offered the requisite transparency that we need.”
Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the visiting WHO team in Wuhan, announced on Tuesday that the WHO considered four main hypotheses: direct transmission from an animal species to the human population, through an intermediate host species, through frozen foods, and a “laboratory-related incident.” He said that a jump from an animal to another animal to a human was the most likely path of transmission, claimed that an accidental release from a Wuhan lab was “extremely unlikely,” and suggested that it wouldn’t be investigated further.
Chinese state-run television channel CGTN tweeted that Daszak “warned Joe Biden not to rely too much on US intel.” He replied: “Just reporting the facts of the case! No spin, no politics. I’m delighted Joe Biden is our president but am hoping for a bit more ‘reality’ in the way scientific issues are analyzed. Let’s not play politics with the pandemic any more!!”
U.S. officials have “reason to believe” that Chinese researchers at the Wuhan lab caught the coronavirus months before it developed into a pandemic, according to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo said Tuesday that “not a thing” has changed his suspicions, implying that the Chinese government could seek to distort findings from the WHO’s inquiry.
Daszak weighed in again Wednesday, saying, “Let me be clear. I’m disappointed that a statement came out that might undermine the veracity of this work even before the report is released. Again — as the sole U.S. citizen on this team, I’m happy to talk with White House re: findings of WHO mission.”
Matthew Pottinger, a former Trump deputy national security adviser, said in December 2020 that “there is a growing body of evidence to say that a laboratory leak or accident is very much a credible possibility” and that “even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story.”
Of particular concern has been the biosafety level 4 lab in Wuhan that researches bat coronaviruses.
Last February, Daszak helped organize a letter in the Lancet, which stated, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.” The letter defended China’s “remarkable” coronavirus response, saying that Chinese scientists and health professionals “have worked diligently and effectively to … share their results transparently with the global health community.” Daszak told Science magazine that month that “we have a choice whether to stand up and support colleagues who are being attacked and threatened daily by conspiracy theorists.” Emails show the key role that Daszak played in drafting and circulating the letter.
Last April, it was revealed that between $3.4 million and $3.7 million in grants from the NIH had gone to EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to 2019, which in turn helped fund more research at the Wuhan lab, including research into “the risk of future coronavirus emergence from wildlife using in-depth field investigations across the human-wildlife interface in China.”
Daszak conducted interviews with CGTN and the Global Times (a Chinese state-run newspaper) on Tuesday and retweeted the latter outlet as it claimed, “Aside from China, global experts are looking at Southeast Asia, including Cambodia for potential origins of coronavirus.”
He told the outlet that “there was a virus from Thailand close to the SARS-CoV-2, and also Japan and Cambodia” and “Ecohealth Alliance is already starting our work in tracing their origins.”
He also went on CGTN’s World View and argued that “the cold chain hypothesis — we know that it’s controversial, but there is good evidence from the outbreaks in Beijing, Qingdao, and Dalian.” The Chinese government has been pushing this line for months.