Just when Americans are fed up with dangerous scientific research, a lesser-known government agency is allocating funds for more virus research. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb turns the microscope on this new initiative.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Tuesday it is launching a $125 million project to "strengthen global capacity to detect and understand the risks of viral spillover from wildlife to humans that could cause another pandemic."
The hunt for new viruses is simply an extension of research that has been ongoing since before the first SARS coronavirus appeared in 2002. And the best hunting is in southern China, the birthplace of many bird flu outbreaks and all the SARS coronavirus variations.
Josh Rogin, a Washington Post columnist, expresses the concern:
Our own government announced they are going to pour another $125 million of U.S. taxpayer money into hunting viruses, including SARS-CoV-2-related viruses, all over the world for the next 10 years with no additional safeguards, no additional scrutiny, no accountability, no oversight and no idea how we got into this mess.
Not surprisingly, the new project does not specifically mention gain-of-function research, but it does promise the development of "vaccines for new viruses."
The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have come under fire for underwriting dangerous virus research, so they've turned to a more obscure agency to funnel money to the virologists.
Also this week, we learned, months before they announced an outbreak at the end of December 2019, the Chinese purchased a record number of PCR tests that identify SARS-CoV-2.