Under the leadership of World Health Organization COVID-19 investigator Peter Daszak, his EcoHealth Alliance group organized a China-based conference that counted various Chinese Communist Party-controlled entities as sponsors.
The news of the CCP-backed conference follows National Pulse reporting highlighting Daszak’s involvement with other Chinese government-sponsored conferences and promotion of Chinese state-run media outlets on his social media.
The October 2012 event – “Sustaining Ecosystems, Supporting Health” – was held in the Chinese city of Kunming, in the Yunnan province, about 2 hours flight from Wuhan.
Daszak is listed as a member of the conference’s Steering Committee and an ex-officio board member of the organizer: the International Association for Ecology & Health. Daszak also served as Editor-in-Chief of EcoHealth, a publication associated with the conference’s sponsor. The journal’s website now displays “OOPS! THAT PAGE CAN’T BE FOUND” on pages relating to the 2012 conference, including the event’s schedule, presenter abstracts, and concluding statements.
Archived versions of the site, however, reveal Daszak chaired two sessions at the conference on “USAID-PREDICT: Developing a global early warning system for emerging pandemics” and “OneHealth, and Emerging, Re-emerging and Resurging Infectious Diseases.” He also delivered a presentation on “mapping global vulnerability to pandemics and an economic approach to their prevention.”
“In this symposium, the participants will discuss the investments and issues involved with moving towards a global surveillance and response system for emerging zoonotic diseases, and lessons learned the past 3 years of the Emerging Pandemic Threats program. This will include an EcoHealth or ‘One Health’ strategy for wildlife pathogen discovery, risk determination through the use of geo-temporal models, and strengthening local laboratory and field capacities for investigating and responding to disease outbreaks,” an archived summary of Daszak’s panel reads.
Also speaking at the conference were several academic from Chinese state-run universities and think-tanks, including a former Deputy Director-General of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the conference organizers – the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) – counts researchers who admit to editing scientific encyclopedias to better the “construction of socialist culture with Chinese characteristics” and operate “under the direct leadership of Communist Party of China.” KIB researchers have also included honors such as “Excellent Communist Party Member” on their resumes.
Another sponsor was the state-run Kunming Medical University, whose scientific journals have included articles entitled “How to cultivate socialist core values in University Freshmen” and “Serving the people is the fundamental purpose of the Communist Party and the pursuit of value.”
The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), which “implements works entrusted by the State Council and relevant governmental administrations,” also served as a sponsor.
The state-run foundation describes its formation as “under the loving care of comrade Deng Xiaoping” and continues to be “guided by President Xi Jinping’s Socialist Thoughts with Chinese Characteristics for the new era, earnestly implementing the spirit of the Party’s 19th National Congress.”
The state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences, which describes itself as the “linchpin of China’s drive to explore and harness high technology and the natural sciences for the benefit of China and the world,” and Partnerships for Community Development, which is “registered with the Beijing Public Security Bureau and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment,” were also sponsors.
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