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US Congress raises alarm over taxpayer’s money funding Chinese bird flu

The daily mail report revealed that it is a collaborative effort worth $1 million between the USDA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, overseen by the Chinese Communist Party

US Congress members are seeking clarity following revelations that the US is allocating taxpayer funds to a Chinese military lab to enhance the virulence of bird flu viruses in humans. A group of eighteen lawmakers are urging the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide detailed explanations regarding this project according to a daily mail report.

The daily mail report revealed that it is a collaborative effort worth $1 million between the USDA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, overseen by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), they are focusing on enhancing bird flu viruses.The funding is directed towards research in China aimed at increasing the transmissibility of highly pathogenic avian influenza to mammals through gain-of-function methods.

This project commenced in April 2021 and is anticipated to receive funding until March 2026. This collaboration raises concerns, especially given the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ association with the Wuhan lab, which has been a focal point in discussions about the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Daily Mail uncovered the research documents through the efforts of the group White Coat Waste Project.

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Last week, members of Congress reached out to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack via letter, seeking clarity about the agency’s involvement in bird flu research supported by China. A collective of 18 legislators, among them Representative Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey, signed the letter.

They wanted to understand the situation better, reflecting their concern regarding the situation saying, “This research, funded by American taxpayers, could potentially generate dangerous new lab-created virus strains that threaten our national security and public health.”

The letter, led by Representative Nick Langworthy from New York, raised concerns about the use of taxpayer funds by the USDA for research conducted at the Chinese Communist Party-backed Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). Lawmakers argue that this research, focusing on the evolution of bird flu, has potential implications for national security and public health, drawing parallels to coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

The letter stated, “CAS is mentioned by name in the notice barring WIV from future U.S. government funding for blatantly violating grant and biosafety policies, refusing to share lab notebooks and other data, and otherwise obstructing investigations into the likely role of the lab’s risky coronavirus GOF research in the origin of COVID-19.”

Langworth expressed himself on X and said, “It’s simple, our taxpayer dollars should never be sent to the CCP, especially for high-risk virus research. #NeverAgain.”

The lawmakers posed seven questions seeking clarification regarding the safety protocols of the USDA’s collaboration, how the project is being monitored, and whether the FBI has been engaged in overseeing this matter.

According to information from the USDA shared earlier, the project was submitted for consideration in 2019 and received approval in 2020. The research entails infecting ducks and geese with various virus strains to enhance their infectivity, alongside investigating the virus’s ability to transition into mammalian hosts.

The H5N1 outbreak, which emerged in 2020 after a bird contracted both domestic poultry flu and a wild bird virus, rapidly escalated worldwide. It began in Europe and then spread to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. These developments are occurring amid heightened concerns about bird flu. Recently, a farm worker in Texas contracted the H5N1 strain, currently affecting cattle across the US, making them only the second American to be diagnosed. Experts are preparing for potential additional cases.

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