A group of scientists tied to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) are now using taxpayer cash to import bats and perform Ebola experiments in the U.S., the Daily Caller has learned.
According to a Daily Mail report, a new lab, funded by U.S. taxpayers, is being built in Colorado that will import bats from around the world to experiment on dangerous diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) granted Colorado State University (CSU) $6.7 million to build a new bat lab in partnership with EcoHealth Alliance (EHA). This is despite House and Senate Republicans calling on the NIH to terminate federal funding to EcoHealth, which has for years funneled taxpayer money to the WIV.
The Caller has also learned that in late September 2023, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) gave CSU and EHA another $1.7M towards the establishment of the CSU breeding facility and construction of the bat lab.
Greg Ebel, a CSU virologist and project leader for the bat research facility said in July: “This isn’t a bat COVID lab. It’s not a bioweapons lab. We’re not working with Ebola or Nipah virus or any of these things. I’m not interested in losing my job or going to jail or interested in doing research that’s going to carry home pathogens to my wife or my child. Those kinds of things are beyond ridiculous.”
However, the project description for the September 2023 NIH grant for the CSU/EHA bat lab states the bat lab would be used specifically to study those pathogens. The grant was uncovered by White Coat Waste Project (WCW), a taxpayer watchdog organization, and shared first with the Daily Caller.
“We will capture horseshoe bats and Indian flying foxes, respective reservoir hosts of Nipah virus and SARS-related coronaviruses, in Bangladesh where they will be quarantined and provided veterinary care as they adapt to captivity. Bats will be shipped to CSU to establish the breeding colonies as a resource for investigators who study these viruses… Finally, we will perform experimental infection studies of Nipah virus, SARS-CoV-2 and the SARS-related coronavirus, RaTG13,” the description states.
Another document obtained by WCW from a 2022 CSU Board of Governors meeting shows that CSU will be doing Ebola experiments on these bats in conjunction with NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Lab.
The new project has lawmakers who have called to prohibit federal funding to EHA concerned.
“The world just lived through a once-in-a-century pandemic, likely caused by a lab leak involving risky research on bat coronaviruses, funded in part by NIH. Instead of pausing to reflect on this, NIH continues sponsoring similar experiments on bat coronaviruses—with some of the same mad scientists who collaborated with China’s Wuhan Institute — right here in America! You would have to be blind as a bat to think this is a good idea. NIH needs to take a timeout from funding these batty studies before history repeats itself,” Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst told the Caller.
In 2022, Ernst introduced legislation that would prohibit federal funding to EcoHealth Alliance. The bill stipulates that “[n]o funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law may be made available for any purpose to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc, including any subsidiaries and related organizations that are directly controlled by EcoHealth Alliance, Inc.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who served as a director of NIAID, has repeatedly testified to Congress that the U.S. government has not funded gain-of-function research at the WIV, from which proponents of the lab-leak theory believe COVID-19 escaped. The WIV received U.S. taxpayer dollars via a NIAID sub-grant to EcoHealth Alliance.
EHA provided $600,000 in the form of NIH subgrants to the Wuhan lab between 2014 and 2019 to study bat-based coronaviruses.
“After what we exposed in Wuhan, giving the disgraced EcoHealth Alliance and its cronies millions more of our tax money to traffic infected wild bats from Asia to US animal labs for dangerous virus experiments is a recipe for disaster. We first uncovered how EcoHealth and Fauci shipped tax dollars to the Wuhan lab for reckless bat virus-hunting and gain-of-function experiments that violated federal policy and that the FBI and others believe caused COVID. Now, we’ve documented how boneheaded bureaucrats at the NIH, Pentagon and other federal agencies are bankrolling another EcoHealth bat lab that risks prompting a pandemic right here at home,” Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President of the White Coat Waste Project told the Caller.
Covid lockdowns were NO more effective than Swedish-style softer approach, major Oxford University-backed study suggests
Covid lockdowns were no more effective at reducing infections than letting people adapt their own behaviour, a major Oxford University-baked study suggests.
A team of international researchers created a model that estimates Covid death and unemployment rates in response to different pandemic policies.
Results suggest that imposing shutdowns — that forced people to stay home and closed essential shops — squashed fatality rates from the virus.
However, leaving people to adapt their own behaviour — such as by socialising less to avoid becoming infected, an approach used in Sweden — was just as effective.
The experts concluded that both policies led to ‘similar trade-offs’ for people’s health and the economy, with both approaches triggering job losses.
The researchers said strict non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) — lockdowns, social distancing and face masks — were ‘critical’ to reducing the spread of Covid.
However, they noted that individuals changing their behaviour of their own accord — such as by minimising contacts and less frequent trips to shops or restaurants — could have also minimised deaths while having less impact on the economy.
To determine the effects of both approaches, the researchers created an economic model based on the first wave of the pandemic.
They used data from around 416,000 people in New York City.
The researchers input a range of scenarios, including varying levels of restrictions and changes to behaviour.
The model then estimated how many infections will occur as a result, as well as which occupation, income and age group are most affected.
Results, published in the Nature Human Behaviour Journal, show that both strict lockdowns and high rates of behaviour change led to a rise in unemployment and fewer Covid deaths.
For example, if lockdowns are imposed, virus deaths fall 35 per cent while unemployment jumps 64 per cent, results show.
In comparison, if people are left to change their behaviour in response to Covid fears, deaths fall 50 per cent, while job losses increase by 40 per cent.
The team said this showed there is a ‘similar trade-off between epidemic and economic outcomes’ regardless of whether Covid restrictions are imposed or if people are left to change their behaviour.
‘Both substantial behavioural changes and stringent closures lead to similar patterns of rising unemployment and fewer infections,’ they wrote.
The researchers found that this trend still stands, even if older people make bigger changes to their behaviour than younger people.
‘While it is intuitive to expect stricter mandated NPIs to increase unemployment and decrease Covid-19 deaths, it is less apparent that heightened behavioural adaptation would yield similar results,’ the team added.
They also found that forcing the closure of sectors that aren’t people-facing — such as construction and manufacturing — triggers a large spike in job losses with ‘only a marginal decrease in fatalities’.
This New Tool Aims to Keep Terrorism Content Off the Internet
Small platforms without resources to handle takedown requests have been weaponized by terrorist groups that share their content online. A free new tool is coming to help clean house
TERRORIST GROUPS HAVE found a home on smaller, less well-known online platforms in recent years where they store, share, and link to content such as violent beheading videos and recruitment propaganda.
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Those platforms have struggled to deal with the problem due to a lack of resources and expertise, but a new tool being built by a Google subsidiary in collaboration with a terror-tracking NGO is seeking to solve that problem.
Launched in Paris on Friday, Altitude is a free tool built by Jigsaw—a unit within Google that tracks violent extremism, misinformation, and repressive censorship—and Tech Against Terrorism, a group that seeks to disrupt terrorists’ online activity. The tool aims to give smaller platforms the ability to easily and efficiently detect terrorist content on their networks and remove it.
The project is also working with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which is an industry-led group founded in 2017 by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube that hosts a shared database of image hashes—a kind of digital fingerprint—of terrorist content.
After years of missteps and failing to deal with the problem of removing terrorist content from their networks, big tech platforms like Facebook, Google, and X (formerly Twitter) have—with the help of dedicated NGOs and law enforcement—largely removed this content from their networks, with the notable exception of Telegram. As a result, terrorists have moved to less regulated and under-resourced platforms where their presence either goes unnoticed or cannot be dealt with because the companies involved simply don’t have the resources to cope with a flood of takedown requests.
“Islamic State and other terrorist groups didn’t give up on the internet just because they no longer had the megaphone of their social media platforms. They went elsewhere,” Yasmin Green, the CEO of Jigsaw, tells WIRED. “They found this opportunity to host content on file-hosting sites or other websites, small and medium platforms. Those platforms were not welcoming terrorist content, but they still were hosting it—and actually, quite a lot of it.”
While there are some tools on the market that work in a similar way to Altitude, they are prohibitively expensive for a lot of smaller companies. Experts like Green believe that tools like this need to be open source and free of charge.
The new tool can be integrated straight into the backend of whatever platform it is working with. It then connects to Tech Against Terrorism’s own Terrorist Content Analytics Platform, which centralizes the collection of content that has been created by officially designated terrorist organizations. The database allows all the platforms using Altitude to easily check whether a piece of content has been verified as terrorist content.
Altitude will also provide context about the terrorist groups the content is associated with, other examples of this type of material, information on what other platforms have done with the material, and, eventually, even information pertaining to the relevant laws in a particular country or region.
“We are not here to tell platforms what to do but rather to furnish them with all the information that they need to make the moderation decision,” Adam Hadley, executive director of Tech Against Terrorism, tells WIRED. “We want to improve the quality of response. This isn’t about the volume of material removed but ensuring that the very worst material is removed in a way that is supporting the rule of law.”
Tech Against Terrorism works with more than 100 platforms, almost all of which don’t want to be named because of the negative impact on their business of being linked to terrorist content. The type of companies that Tech Against Terrorism works with include pastebins, messaging apps, video-sharing platforms, social media networks, and forums.