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So, who’s the psychopath? Trump, who tried to stop this dangerous crap? Or, those who are plotting more? Clearly those spending money to grab poor bats from their caves, test their feces, and risk spreading around diseases that might have stayed in caves are either cruel idiots or psychopaths. Alternatively, they may be pretending that they tested the bats, when the viruses are really bioengineered and they are just bat virus laundering. The second appears easier, and more probable.

Excerpt from the new grant proposal talking about the previous grants. (Yeah, that worked out really well for people wanted more grant monies and for bio-tech pharma but not for the rest of the world): “Established the “proof of principle” that countries can carry out safe capture and sampling of wildlife followed by conventional PCR testing of blood, urine, feces, or oral/nasal swabs for up to 28 families of zoonotic viruses; sampled more than 56,000 animals and identified 815 novel viruses and 169 known viruses, making it the most comprehensive viral detection and discovery effort at that time; identified which animal species (i.e. rodent, bats, and non-human primates) were most associated with spillover of emerging zoonotic viruses; developed a global “hot spots” map for emergence of viral zoonoses. PREDICT-1 final report“: https://ohi.sf.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk5251/files/files/page/predict-final-report-lo.pdf.

Not everyone thinks that discovering viruses and their hotspots is the best way to prevent pandemics. Dr. Robert B. Tesh, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, says we don’t understand enough about zoonotic viruses to create predictive models… Tesh believes that in many cases—as with SARS and MERS, which pop in and out of humans long before they are noticed— human surveillance is the way to go. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has long employed a surveillance project at six hospitals in Uganda. When a child comes in with an unexplained fever, doctors draw his or her blood. They test the sample for bacterial causes as well as viruses, creating an early warning system locally. 

Dr. Ron Rosenberg, associate director for science at the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, declined to comment specifically on projects like PREDICT. But like Tesh, he said he believes the focus should be on identifying viruses in humans.

“In general, I think the best sentinels for discovering new viruses are humans, not animals,” says Rosenberg, who edits the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“The reason I say that is we don’t really have a way of predicting whether a virus that we find in an animal … will infect humans…” See: “Can Virus Hunters Stop the Next Pandemic Before It Happens? A global project is looking to animals to map the world’s disease hotspots. Are they going about it the right way?” By Jim Morrison, Smithsonian Mag Jan 25, 2018 https://archive.is/13KZg

PREDICT was apparently started as part of post-2008 pork barrel spending. Over the course of 11 years (2009-20) it spent around $212 million of taxpayer money-US debt. It was started by Dennis Carroll of the USAID and Jonna Mazet of U Cal Davis was as its global director. PREDICT collected over 10,000 samples from bats, and identified over 160 coronavirus’ that could cause human disease. It worked in the Amazon, South Asia and Southeast Asian, as well as the Congo. Its “virus hunting” strategy “has been criticized as an ineffective way to prevent pandemics”. PREDICT helped “discover” a new variant of Ebola, Bombali ebolavirus, and was partnered with EcoHealth Alliance. Funding ran out in September of 2019 and Trump ended the program in March 2020. In April 2020 USAID gave them an additional $2.26 million for six months. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PREDICT_(USAID) https://archive.md/1hD6G

In short, their funding was cut a few months before the pandemic started and they got millions of dollars because of the pandemic. Thus, they would have a huge motive to let a Coronavirus escape to get funding restored.

Now USAID is plotting to give away another $125 million for a similar program with a new name: Discovery & Exploration of Emerging Pathogens – Viral Zoonoses (DEEP VZN) program.

From the letter admitting to the Wuhan funding, as a subcontract to EcoHealth Alliance: “USAID has invested $212 million in PREDICT over the 11-year life of the project – 2009-2020. USAID’s global PREDICT project assisted the Agency in the discovery of known and unknown viruses from wildlife while improving the understanding of the behaviors, practices, and conditions associated with their viral evolution, spillover, amplification, and spread in 29 countries.

Between October 2009 and May 2019, PREDICT provided a total of $1.1 million to the EcoHealth Alliance for a sub-agreement with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for the purpose of advancing research on critical viruses that could pose harm to human and animal health. USAID-funded activities carried out by the WIV were consistent with the work performed in other countries that also received related funding. These activities involved testing for viral families (by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) in samples collected from wild animals and humans, as well as the development of serologic assays to test for exposure (i.e., antibodies) to coronaviruses in animals and people. These activities were done to identify and understand zoonotic viruses among animal populations before they spillover (i.e., are able to infect humans) and cause potential pandemics in people. USAID never authorized or funded any work that aimed to increase the ability of infectious agents to cause disease by enhancing its pathogenicity or by increasing its transmissibility (research known as “Gain of Function” studies) at WIV. In addition, USAID never received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the EcoHealth Alliance requesting a voluntary pause.” (USAID, May 6, 2021) https://reschenthaler.house.gov/sites/reschenthaler.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Reschenthaler%20EcoHealth%20RESPONSE.pdf

One of the examples of previous “success” given by the grant description!
PREDICT I: “Coronaviruses in Bats in China. PREDICT investigators also isolated for the first time and characterized the binding receptor from a SARS-like coronavirus from a Chinese horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus sinicus; Ge et al. 2013). Results showed the virus was able to bind to the human ACE-2 cell receptor suggesting that direct transmission to humans from bats is possible. Previously, the only known source of SARS for humans was civets sold in markets. During the 2003 outbreak of SARS in the wet markets of Guangdong province in China, it was thought that bat viruses first infected civets and then evolved to infect people through this intermediate host. However, this study provides compelling evidence that an intermediate host was not necessary (Ge et al. 2013). Isolation of the live SARS-like virus from bats will allow for future studies to identity potential effective control measures, including vaccine development”. https://ohi.sf.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk5251/files/files/page/predict-final-report-lo.pdf


DISCOVERY & EXPLORATION OF EMERGING PATHOGENS – VIRAL ZOONOSES (DEEP VZN)https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=329847

Entire letter:
May 6, 2021
The Honorable Guy Reschenthaler U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Reschenthaler:

Thank you for your letter dated March 15, 2021, to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) regarding federal funding to EcoHealth Alliance Inc.

USAID has invested $212 million in PREDICT over the 11-year life of the project – 2009-2020. USAID’s global PREDICT project assisted the Agency in the discovery of known and unknown viruses from wildlife while improving the understanding of the behaviors, practices, and conditions associated with their viral evolution, spillover, amplification, and spread in 29 countries.

Between October 2009 and May 2019, PREDICT provided a total of $1.1 million to the EcoHealth Alliance for a sub-agreement with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for the purpose of advancing research on critical viruses that could pose harm to human and animal health. USAID-funded activities carried out by the WIV were consistent with the work performed in other countries that also received related funding. These activities involved testing for viral families (by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) in samples collected from wild animals and humans, as well as the development of serologic assays to test for exposure (i.e., antibodies) to coronaviruses in animals and people. These activities were done to identify and understand zoonotic viruses among animal populations before they spillover (i.e., are able to infect humans) and cause potential pandemics in people. USAID never authorized or funded any work that aimed to increase the ability of infectious agents to cause disease by enhancing its pathogenicity or by increasing its transmissibility (research known as “Gain of Function” studies) at WIV. In addition, USAID never received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the EcoHealth Alliance requesting a voluntary pause.

Our work in China through the PREDICT project ended in 2019, due to the previous administration’s decision to stop all USAID activities in China. Since then, no additional USAID Global Health Security funding has been provided to the WIV.

Thank you for your interest in and support of USAID’s work in global health security and emerging infectious threats. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at 202-712-4300.

Sincerely,
Diala Jadallah-Redding
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs
https://reschenthaler.house.gov/sites/reschenthaler.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Reschenthaler%20EcoHealth%20RESPONSE.pdf