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CONFLICT OF INTEREST: WHO’s COVID Investigator is Recipient of Chinese Communist Cash, Worked With Wuhan Lab for 18 Years.

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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.

EcoHealth.

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:

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“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.

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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. 

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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.


Raheem Kassam and Natalie Winters

Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of the National Pulse. Natalie Winters is a Senior Writing Fellow.