A Virologist’s Covid-19 Infection Highlights US Institutions That Collaborate With Chinese Regime
Commentary by Yang Ning
May 28, 2020
In a media interview from his hospital room, virologist Dr. Joseph Fair talked about how he may have become infected with the CCP virus through his eyes while on a plane flight. He described how it felt like a moderately severe flu for the first week. But then his condition got progressively worse and he had trouble breathing. He declined to be intubated, and responded well to oxygen and drug treatment, and has since been taken off the critical list.
Amid the pandemic, a pattern has emerged in which individuals, countries, and regions hit-hard by the CCP virus have close ties with the Communist Chinese regime.
Throughout Fair’s career, the institutions he’s been involved with have close ties with Beijing.
Fair holds a PhD in molecular biology and a Master of Public Health in tropical medicine from Tulane University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and biological sciences from Loyola University, New Orleans. He is a scientist, business entrepreneur, and media consultant.
According to Fair’s LinkedIn résumé, between June 2015 and September 2017, Fair was a chief advisor for the research lab company MRIGlobal.
He was also a research professor and senior fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University.
On June 3, 2013, when Fair was vice president of the U.S.-based nonprofit focused on preventing pandemics, Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, he paid a one-day academic visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He was invited by Shi Zhengli, a researcher of the Wuhan institute. During the visit, Fair attended the “Ge Hong Elite Forum” and presented his report on “Biosafety Level 4 Containment Research and Recombinant Biology: How advances in molecular biology can advance in-vitro product design.” Many teachers and students of the Wuhan institute attended the seminar.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology was modeled after the P4 Jean Mérieux-Inserm Laboratory in Lyon, France. China and France signed an agreement in 2004 to build the lab in Wuhan.
James Le Duc, the director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas, one of the largest active biocontainment facilities on a U.S. campus, was closely involved in training the Wuhan institute’s staff before it opened in January 2018.
Notably, Le Duc’s Galveston laboratory provided short-term training to staff from the Wuhan institute in 2013 and also hosted two postdoctoral scientists from the facility, who completed the almost year-long training needed to gain independent access to facilities rated at BSL-4—the highest level of bioresearch safety.
From May 17 to 19, 2017, the second China-U.S. Workshop on the Challenges of Emerging Infections, Laboratory Safety and Global Health Security was co-organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Wuhan Institute of Virology, and Hubei Society for Microbiology. Le Duc attended the workshop as a special guest.
Le Duc also defended the institute’s deputy director Shi Zhengli, whose work in researching viruses in bats made her a target amid ongoing inquiries into the source of the CCP virus.
U.S. officials have said there is evidence suggesting the virus had leaked from the Wuhan institute, but that the virus was naturally-occurring. Investigations are still ongoing as to the exact origins of the virus.
It is interesting to note that the U.S. Education Department’s Office of General Counsel sent a letter, dated April 24, 2020, to Chancellor James Milliken requesting records of gifts or contracts that the University of Texas received from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Department of Education has asked the Texas university system to provide records of its relationship with the Chinese lab that is being investigated by U.S. officials as a potential source of the pandemic.
According to the letter, the University of Texas Medical Branch operates the Galveston National Laboratory, which has contracts with the Wuhan institute, a maximum biocontainment laboratory.
Previously, in February 2017, MRIGlobal mobile labs provided a tour to staff at the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biosafety Laboratory, a lab built by the Chinese regime.
Fair is a research professor at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University. The Scowcroft Institute is housed in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A and M University. The Institute is named in honor of former Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft. The Institute’s core mission is to foster and disseminate policy-oriented research on international affairs.
The Bush School has an open exchange agreement with the Institute for International Studies in Shanghai, which is managed by the Shanghai municipal government, China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu. These institutions are also directly under China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Institutions that collaborate with the Chinese regime only serve to empower its tyranny.
As indicated by The Epoch Times editorial, “Taking history as a mirror, as ancient Chinese scholars did, it is apparent that the coronavirus pandemic is a calamity linked with the CCP and its 70 years of brutal rule. And today, the world is an interconnected community. Any country, community, or organization that keeps too close to the CCP and falls for its deception will taste the bitter fruits of that involvement.”