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Fauci’s NIH gives another $3.5 million to EcoHealth despite dangerous past of coronavirus research

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Just before he retires, Dr. Anthony Fauci has pushed through a new five-year grant for EcoHealth.  EcoHealth Alliance, is the U.S. nonprofit that Fauci and the National Institute of Health’s funds, “to conduct dangerous coronavirus research in partnership with China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic” reports National Review.

Over the next five years, the troublesome EcoHealth will receive over $3.25 million; their first check comes this year for $653,392. The grant is one of four concurrent NIH grants that EcoHealth has; three of the grants were awarded after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The description of the grant on the NIH RePORTER website is to analyze “the potential for future bat coronavirus emergence in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.”

“This is high-risk research that involves going into remote, often inaccessible areas, and sampling bats and bat excreta, and then returning those samples to laboratories in population centers where they attempt to isolate the virus … and then seek to characterize the threat level posed by the virus,” said Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University. “This is one of the kinds of research that may have been directly responsible for the current pandemic.”

The term gain-of-function research has become very controversial since the global Covid-19 pandemic, and National Review reports on the subject:

This newest EcoHealth project wouldn’t qualify as gain-of-function research, Ebright said. Gain-of-function research involves extracting viruses from animals and engineering them in a lab to make them more transmissible or dangerous to humans. But Ebright said two of EcoHealth’s grants do involve gain-of-function research and enhanced potential pandemic research on coronaviruses. And even if the current description of the new project doesn’t involve gain-of-function research, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t later.

From securing funding to completing the research, it is a six-year process, Ebright said, and the project is bound to change over those six years. “If researchers robotically followed what they proposed six years ago, they would not be taking into account developments in their own labs and in the field at any point along the way,” he said. “You have to have this flexibility. That also means you need oversight to make sure the flexibility isn’t going into forbidden areas.”

Going into forbidden areas is exactly how EcoHealth and its president, Peter Daszak, previously got into trouble. Starting in 2014, the U.S. government temporarily paused funding for gain-of-function research due to concerns over biosafety and biosecurity. When some of EcoHealth’s research – involving infecting genetically-engineered mice with hybrid viruses – seemed to cross that line, NIAID staff and EcoHealth leaders crafted work-around guidelines to allow the nonprofit to continue its work.

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COVID-19

Internal docs show Amazon censored books on vaccinations due to pressure from Biden White House

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Vaccine

Recently released internal Amazon emails reveal the company caved to pressure from the Biden White House to suppress available vaccine information.

Provided to the House Judiciary Committee, the emails light on the extent of the Biden White House’s influence over the retail giant regarding vaccine-related content. The emails disclose a concerning narrative of pressure from government officials to suppress information deemed unfavorable to their agenda.

Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio took to Twitter to disclose the findings, stating that the emails reveal direct pressure from the White House on Amazon to censor books expressing views contrary to those endorsed by the administration. One email, albeit redacted, explicitly poses the question of whether the administration requested the removal of certain books, to which the answer was affirmative.

National Review highlights the successful efforts of the Biden administration in persuading Amazon to limit the visibility of titles skeptical of vaccine efficacy. White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response, Andrew Slavitt, expressed concerns about Amazon’s role in propagating what he termed as “misinformation” regarding vaccines. His emails illustrate a push for action to address what he perceived as a proliferation of dissenting views.

In response to Slavitt’s inquiries, Amazon initially hesitated to take overt action, fearing backlash from conservative media outlets. The company’s internal deliberations reflect a concern for public perception and the potential amplification of the issue if intervention were too conspicuous.

Despite initially refraining from manual intervention, Amazon eventually succumbed to pressure, engaging in discussions with White House officials. The company’s internal documents reveal deliberations on whether the administration sought outright book bans or alterations to search results. Amazon’s stance, as expressed in their meeting with the White House, emphasized the provision of diverse viewpoints and the distinction between online retail and social media platforms.

 

 

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