Harvard Professor Accused Of Hiding Ties To China Released On $1M Bail
Two liberal news organizations published articles that now cause those on the left to claim a right wing conspiracy hoax.
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas was the first to sound an alarm. Cotton was belittled, and later, silenced.
The leftest group Common Dreams wrote:
Hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton issued a menacing statement on Thursday vowing that the United States “will hold accountable those who inflicted” the coronavirus on the world, seeming to suggest that the Chinese government is behind the pandemic.
“The Wuhan coronavirus is a grave challenge to our great nation,” said Cotton, who announced he is temporarily closing his Washington, D.C. office as a precautionary measure. “We are a great people. We rise to every challenge, we vanquish every foe, and we come through adversity even better than before.“
Critics slammed Cotton for exploiting the deadly pandemic to beat the drums of war as the U.S. struggles to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
“When all you have is a hammer and you’re also a moron, every problem is a nail and you keep hitting your own fingers,” tweeted Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council.
In response to Cotton’s remarks, Ben Schwartz tweeted : Translation: “We have no plan, but rest assured we will emerge a much more vengeful, racist nation.”
Conflicts, however, emerge in the two left wing publications’ (CNN AND THE NEW YORK TIMES) confluence of curious facts. No public official has directly connected the dots between the two. However, the U.S. Government is silent on what research, in total, Lieber provided the Chinese.
(CNN reports ) A Harvard University professor and two other Chinese nationals were federally indicted in three separate cases for allegedly lying to the US about their involvement with China’s government, the US attorney for the district of Massachusetts announced Tuesday. Federal authorities told reporters the cases highlighted the “ongoing threat” posed by China using “nontraditional collectors” like academics and researchers to steal American research and technology.
Dr. Charles Lieber, 60, who is the chair of Harvard’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, is accused of lying about working with several Chinese organizations, where he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chinese entities, US Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a news conference.
According to court documents, Lieber’s research group at Harvard had received over $15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, which requires disclosing foreign financial conflicts of interests.The complaint alleges that Lieber had lied about his affiliation with the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China and a contract he had with a Chinese talent recruitment plan to attract high-level scientists to the country.
By Donald G. McNeil Jr. Dec. 19, 2017
Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal.
Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits justify the risks.
Some scientists are eager to pursue these studies because they may show, for example, how a bird flu could mutate to more easily infect humans, or could yield clues to making a better vaccine.
Critics say these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.
Now, a government panel will require that researchers show that their studies in this area are scientifically sound and that they will be done in a high-security lab.
The pathogen to be modified must pose a serious health threat, and the work must produce knowledge — such as a vaccine — that would benefit humans. Finally, there must be no safer way to do the research.
“We see this as a rigorous policy,” Dr. Collins said. “We want to be sure we’re doing this right.”
In October 2014, all federal funding was halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
But the new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic. For example, they would apply to a request to create an Ebola virus transmissible through the air, said Dr. Collins.
There has been a long, fierce debate about projects — known as “gain of function” research — intended to make pathogens more deadly or more transmissible.
In 2011, an outcry arose when laboratories in Wisconsin and the Netherlands revealed that they were trying to mutate the lethal H5N1 bird flu in ways that would let it jump easily between ferrets, which are used to model human flu susceptibility.
Tensions rose in 2014 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accidentally exposed lab workers to anthrax and shipped a deadly flu virus to a laboratory that had asked for a benign strain.
That year, the N.I.H. also found vials of smallpox in a freezer that had been forgotten for 50 years.
When the moratorium was imposed, it effectively halted 21 projects, Dr. Collins said. In the three years since, the N.I.H. created exceptions that funded ten of those projects. Five were flu-related, and five concerned the MERS virus.
That virus is a coronavirus carried by camels that has infected about 2,100 people since it was discovered in 2012, and has killed about a third of them, according to the World Health Organization.
Critics of such research had mixed reactions. “There’s less than meets the eye,” said Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University.
Although he applauded the requirement for review panels, he said he would prefer independent panels to government ones.
He also wanted the rules to cover all such research rather than just government-funded work, as well as clearer minimum safety standards and a mandate that the benefits “outweigh” the risks instead of merely “justifying” them.
Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health, called review panels “a small step forward.”
Recent disease-enhancing experiments, he said, “have given us some modest scientific knowledge and done almost nothing to improve our preparedness for pandemics, and yet risked creating an accidental pandemic.”
Therefore, he said, he hoped the panels would turn down such work.
Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said he believed some laboratories could do such work safely, but wanted restrictions on what they could publish.
“If someone finds a way to make the Ebola virus more dangerous, I don’t believe that should be available to anybody off the street who could use it for nefarious purposes,” he said.
“Physicists long ago learned to distinguish between what can be publicly available and what’s classified,” he added, referring to nuclear weapons research. “We want to keep some of this stuff on a need-to-know basis.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: MyrtleBeachSC news fully expects the article from the NY Times to be pulled in short order. We also expect our news group will be banned from Facebook for publishing the above on the grounds we are “fear mongering”. Such is the world we live in today.
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.