(TheRedWire.com) – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government and leading scholars on novel viruses such as coronaviruses want to discover what else is out there that could lead to future pandemics. On October 15, President Joe Biden’s Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it would lead a new 5-year, $125 million project with Washington State University (WSU) and collaborators worldwide. Researchers hope to find over 10,000 novel viruses and study how they jump from wildlife and domesticated animals to humans.
WTF!? Biden's USAID Launches $125 Million Project To Find 12,000 New Viruses. https://t.co/yTFieLx6lr
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) October 16, 2021
As researchers gather the viruses, they intend to screen and genetically sequence them to learn which ones pose the most significant risk to humans. WSU said the study would ensure the world is better prepared for infectious diseases, which are likely to spread more often in the future. University scientists said over 70% of viral outbreaks originate in animals. The study will partner with countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America who will use their own facilities to survey animals safely.
In the past, WSU partnered with Chinese company DJI, which has strong links to the Chinese Communist Party. The company admits it complies with Beijing directives. In 2017, the US Army banned DJI out of concerns it could create cyber vulnerability for the Armed Forces. Additionally, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says it’s sure DJI’s commercial drones used by the US collect data and send it back to China.
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