Senate Defunding Wuhan Research Already Defunded in 2020
Be aware, this post is choppy. My first point is when was the the Wuhan project defunded. The second point asks why are four Senators then passing bills to defund a project already defunded? And finally I am giving some history such as this research not being gain-of-function. This is Republicans being bad actors and deceiving the public.
I am not sure if you remember my post called the Wuhan Readings from the Fauci Files? In it you will see a series of articles taken from March/April 2020 time frame. Several senators are attempting to pass bills to defund research being done in China which White Coast Waste Project is claiming to have discovered in 2021. Except it was defunded in 2020. It appears to be another Republican led attempt to confuse voters into thinking the Research still going on.
In the beginning of this post you will find articles talking about the Wuhan labs, stopping the research, and defunding its activities in 2020.
- The Newsweek article was written in April 2020. It discusses the stopping of the project and suspension of funding in 2014 and its restart in 2019.
- Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, reported that a visiting U.S. delegation warned about safety issues at the institute in 2018. April 19 NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Mike Lauer directed EcoHealth Alliance to stop all payments to WIV.
- NPR Trump continued that erroneous depiction, answering, “I understand it was a number of years ago, right?”
Then he added, “2015? Who was president then, I wonder.”I
n fact, while the first grant for the project was indeed given in 2015 (for $3.25 million over five years, of which nearly $3.1 million was ultimately disbursed), the $3.7 million was approved last year (2019) as a five-year renewal.
Also, only about 10% of the grant — about $76,000 per year — was slated for the Wuhan Institute.
Hmmmm, I wonder who was the Pres then?
- A grant to a New York nonprofit aimed at detecting and preventing future outbreaks of coronaviruses from bats has been canceled by the National Institutes of Health, Politico reports, apparently at the direction of President Donald Trump because the research involved the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The virology institute has become a focal point for the idea that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from the laboratory and caused the current COVID-19 pandemic, a scenario experts say is not supported by evidence. Instead, virologists The Scientist has spoken to say the virus most likely jumped from infected animals to humans.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended U.S. funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a program “to protect American people from labs that aren’t up to standard” in a Fox and Friends interview on Wednesday.
- The National Institutes of Health, which oversees the NIAID, shut down all funding to the lab last week. April 29, 2020
Fast forward to May 26, 2021.
Senate Votes to Defund Wuhan, Changing America, Christian Spencer, May 26. 2021
White Coat Waste Project claims it was the first to point out that U.S. taxpayers fund were being used to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology.,
There are any number of articles (above) on this post as well as another which detail the shutdown (taxpayer funding) in 2020 a year earlier than White Coat reports.
Two amendments which were passed by the Senate defund the Wuhan Institute and gain-of-function experimentation. Tis is all show and no substance. The project was defunded in 2020.
What we have here are three of the more nuttier Senators [Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)]stirring the pot with bills 1507 and 2003 on something which was already defunded in 2020.
A bit of pot stirring here in an attempt to mislead the public.
I am not sure why the two amendments were needed as all work in Wuhan was shut down a year earlier as note. It was also specified and declared this was not “Gain of Function” research.
Some Other History
One of the US scientists who collaborated on the 2015 research on bat viruses with the Wuhan institute, Dr Ralph Baric from the University of North Carolina, gave a detailed statement to the Washington Post.
He said the work they did was reviewed by both the NIH and the university’s own biosafety committee “for potential of gain-of-function research and were deemed not to be gain-of-function”.Coronavirus: Was US money used to fund risky research in China? – BBC News
Coming out of the Ebola Epidemic, a task force was created under the Obama administration to be the lead in the reaction to a pandemic such as Covid.
An anti-science administration
On the morning of Jan. 22, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration, the PCAST website was taken down and all of its reports vanished from the White House website (though they can be found in the Obama White House archives).
For two years, the directorship of OSTP was vacant, the longest in its history. The staff was reduced by two-thirds. The current director, Kelvin Droegemeier, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma whose appointment was confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 2, 2019, isn’t an assistant to the president and is unable to directly communicate with the president.The art of the pandemic: How Trump walked the U.S. into the Covid-19 era (statnews.com)
Global PCAST staffing created and directorship created under after Obama and his administration created a plan on how to react to Ebola or other pandemics.
In June 2009, the recently inaugurated Obama had given his PCAST advisors their first assignment: What does the president need to do to prepare for an influenza pandemic? Five weeks later, on Aug. 7, they gave him their answers at a meeting in the White House’s State Dining Room.The art of the pandemic: How Trump walked the U.S. into the Covid-19 era (statnews.com)
The difference? A take down by the Trump administration from 47 people to 14 with Bolton piloting the dismantling of the plan put in place by Obama, a Black President. Trump dismantled much of what Obama put in place. A number of those people were based in Wuhan. The last person left Wuhan months before the pandemic broke out in Wuhan.
According to the White Coat Waste Project, 77 percent of U.S. taxpayers want an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
I would like to see the investigation also and along the lines of what I have pointed out in my detail above. What is the last thing many people remember? Whatever is told to them whether true or not. Republican are investing in this hoping people remember just this and not what I have explained.
Johnson and Paul both made insider trades on pandemic information, which might make it reasonable to ask whether they’re relentlessly attacking some of the world’s foremost experts on zoonotic pathogens and preventing their spillover because they’re looking forward to the opportunities afforded by the next one.
“Josh Rogin, reported that a visiting U.S. delegation warned about safety issues at the institute in 2018”
Rogin’s characterization of the cables was highly misleading. Switzer’s cables to State 1/19/2018 and 4/2/2018 say nothing like “the lab’s work … represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic” or that it was “also dangerous”. Rather they talk about how the lab’s work could prevent a new SARS-like pandemic and far from warning that the lab’s work is dangerous complain that the Chinese government was exercising too much caution, “they are precluded from studying human-disease causing SARS” until they get permission from the NHFCP.
You are correct on this. I had read the same:
– This project was defunded in April 2020 as reported by multiple sources. I know of no refunding efforts in 2021. This is Republicans and their agencies stirring the pot. Unless someone knows of a refunding effort in 2021?
– Also and around 2017/18 Bolton under trump reduced the numbers of personnel assigned to the NSC directorate of global health and security
– Supposedly, the last person in and around Wuhan and also Beijing left months before the pandemic in Wuhan broke out. This comment assumes it did happen here. I probably have a source for this also. It is somewhere in my files on Covid.
– The Directorate was created after the Ebola epidemic to handle situations such as Covid as an early warning, and to allow the US to be prepared to assist and prevent migration. Obama put this in place and trump removed it.
Thank you for adding information. My post is sloppy and choppy.
“the last person in and around Wuhan”
You might be thinking of the Australian researcher who was at WIV when that same dishonest reporter Josh Rogin claims from anonymous intelligence sources that three WIV researchers sought medical care for COVID-like symptoms the September before the pandemic, and she directly denies the implication that there was any cover-up going on.
I think it’s interesting that for all the crying about China’s non-cooperation (which started with Trump accusing them of engineering the virus, right around the time he severed the NIAID funding for the institution accused now of being uncooperative) that Shi Zhengli is still at large providing interviews with the press, sounding quite reasonably very annoyed. You devote your whole life to stopping something and to suddenly have a segment of the American foreign policy blob (the Atlantic Council is out there organizing letters promoting this stuff) accusing you of starting it for no apparent reason other than to score cheap points.
If I can find the article, I will share it. This stuff was from March/April 2020. This is why I find these accusations by Repubs surprising. They think no one knows. Furthermore, Repub followers will take this as truth.
I could be wrong on Wuhan and it was Beijing I was thinking of. Here is one link of similar story. Trump administration ended pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses
April 2, 2020
The Trump administration ended funding for the international PREDICT effort of global zoonotic disease surveillance in October 2019 just before the pandemic started.
And before that, in May 2018, the White House dissolved the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. Established in 2014, the Directorate was responsible for monitoring and coordinating the federal response to global health risks
And before that, in February 2018, Trump cut funding for another international surveillance program through the CDC, the Global Health Security Agenda, which was started in 2014 like the NSC DGHSB in response to the Ebola outbreak. More than 60 countries participated in that effort, and had been promised funding through 2024 by the WHitehouse just the previous fall.
All reported out at the time with experts being quoted left and right about how dangerous it was.
Your time line just add to the story. It is appreciated.
Origin of Virus May Remain Murky, US Intelligence Agencies Say
DECLASSIFIED ASSESSMENT ON COVID-19 ORIGINS
Much of this is supportive of assumptions being made. It points in a direction which needs more analysis much like LSS Sigma would do. If the team Obama had in China had still been there, we might have had a better analysis. And taken earlier actions to prevent.
It seems that would require a significantly different
relationship (better) than the one we have, which is
of course unfortunate.