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Wuhan Institute of Virology authorized to receive U.S. taxpayer funding: NIH

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirmed Tuesday that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is authorized to receive U.S. taxpayer funding for animal research through January 2024, The Daily Caller reported.

The WIV is under fire for allegedly causing the COVID-19 pandemic through a suspected accidental lab leak.

The WIV has already received $600,000 in U.S. taxpayer dollars between 2014 and 2019 for research purposes.

EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization, received a $3.7 million grant from the NIH in 2014 to research bat-based coronaviruses in China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The grant was terminated by the NIH in April because of EcoHealth Alliance’s relationship with the WIV.

In a letter, the NIH said EcoHealth Alliance’s work in China did not align with “program goals and agency priorities.”

In July, the NIH told EcoHealth Alliance they would restore the grant only if EcoHealth Alliance would allow them to arrange an independent team to investigate the WIV to determine if the COVID-19 virus was present in the lab prior to the first known cases in December 2019, as suspected by the U.S. State Department.

The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, told NPR that the NIH’s conditions were “preposterous.”

“I’m not trained as a private detective,” Daszak said. “It’s not really my job to do that.”

Fox News “The Next Revolution” host Steve Hilton revealed evidence last month that linked EcoHealth Alliance to the WIV.

Hilton reported that the president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, sub-contracted an EcoHealth Alliance project to the WIV.

The WIV then began to genetically engineer new viruses from the feces of bats and infected human cells with the virus.

“The genetic changes they made in the lab, unlocked a highly specific doorway into the human body. The virus that causes COVID-19 uses that same exact doorway,” Hilton said.

Daszak was the only U.S. member in the World Health Organization delegation who investigated the origins of COVID-19 in China. The WHO delegation has yet to release a report on its findings.

Daszak told the White House it should accept the delegation’s conclusion and said it’s highly unlikely the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan lab.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

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