LAWRENCE SELLIN EXCLUSIVE: Biden’s Department of Agriculture Is Conducting Bird Flu Research with a Chinese Scientist Linked to People’s Liberation Army | Joe Hoft

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LAWRENCE SELLIN EXCLUSIVE: Biden’s Department of Agriculture Is Conducting Bird Flu Research with a Chinese Scientist Linked to People’s Liberation Army

Biden’s Department of Agriculture is conducting bird flu research with a Chinese scientist linked to the People’s Liberation Army.

(Guest post by Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D.)

In a letter to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) demanded answers to why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding a collaboration with a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked researcher involving dangerous bird flu experiments.

Senator Ernst pointed out that the researcher involved with those experiments is affiliated with China’s infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology, from where the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have started. Like the dangerous experiments on coronaviruses conducted in unsafe laboratories in Wuhan, this collaboration will involve a form of gain-of-function research that could make the virus more infectious.

What Senator Ernst failed to notice was that the Chinese scientist she identified, Wenjun Liu, is also a frequent research collaborator with scientists from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Wenjun Liu, who is now Deputy Director of the Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology of Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science, received a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1996. Between 1996 and 2000, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical institute/Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and became a Senior Scientist at Genzyme Corporation until he returned to China in 2004.

The five-year Department of Agriculture project with China, “US-UK-China Collab: Predictive Phylogenetics For Evolutionary and Transmission Dynamics of Newly Emerging Avian Influenza Viruses,” began in 2021 and costs $1 million.

While the Department of Agriculture project has been underway, Wenjun Liu was conducting research on the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) in 2022 with PLA scientists like Guangyu Zhao from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing, China.

Incidentally, another participant in the above-mentioned PLA study on the COVID-19 virus was Penghua Wang, a Chinese scientist at the University of Connecticut, who is funded by Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Oddly, it appears that Penghua Wang has not yet reported his collaboration with the PLA to NIAID.

In June 2020, Wenjun Liu published a scientific article on African swine fever virus with the Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine (Rongliang Hu) in Changchun, China.

In 2013, Wenjun Liu published two articles on influenza viruses with Chengfeng Qin of the State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, which can be accessed here and here.

Also in 2013 and published in 2014, Wenjun Liu participated in research on human-infecting influenza A (H7N9) virus with General Rui-fu Yang of the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

General Rui-fu Yang, who is believed to be a key figure in China’s biological warfare program, wrote, together with three of his senior PLA colleagues Zhi-Kai Xu, Zhong-Tian Qi and Fu-Quan Hu, that the new era required a military microbiology strategy that “should strive to cultivate and bring up a team of scientific and technological talents with strong innovation ability” regarding “pathogenic substances, pathogenic mechanisms and immune mechanisms of important pathogenic microorganisms,” “including the construction and management of high-level biosafety laboratories” for research related to “biological warfare” (Med J Chin PLA, Vol. 35, No. 9, September 1, 2010).

It is important to note that, in China, there is no difference between military and civilian research. The fusion of those research and development sectors was mandated by the 2016 Chinese Communist Party’s Thirteenth Five-Year Plan.

Therefore, the results of all research funded by the U.S. and conducted in collaboration with Chinese scientists should be considered a potential contribution to China’s military.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He had a civilian career in international business and medical research. Dr. Sellin is the author of Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution. He can be followed on X (Twitter) @LawrenceSellin and his email address is lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

 

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