Dr. Peter Daszak was spotted outside of his million-dollar home in upstate New York on Friday, just as DailyMail.com learned that he has ‘ignored’ a request from Congress to answer questions about his charity’s funding of the Wuhan Insitute of Virology.
Daszak is accused of using ‘thuggery and intimidation’ to dismiss a theory that Covid-19 came from a Chinese lab his charity, EcoHealth Alliance, worked with and helped support with U.S. government dollars.
In April the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent him 34 questions about his involvement with the lab.
Despite a deadline of May 17, Daszak has failed to respond, a source close to the committee told DailyMail.com.
The questions were about his charity, its federal funding which went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, and the work the U.S. nonprofit did with the Chinese lab.
Daszak – who last year earned more than $410,000 – lives with his immunologist wife Janet Cottingham in a five-bed, five-bath home in an affluent town in Rockland County, New York, 30 miles northwest of Manhattan. They bought the house, set on two acres of land, for a bargain $665,000 in 2015. It is now estimated to be worth around $1 million.
Rather than respond to the allegations that he ‘bullied’ other scientists into signing off on a letter to a prestigious medical journal that removed blame for Covid-19 on the Wuhan Institute of Virology – and that his ties to the lab led to such a conflict of interest that he should never have sat on two panels investigating the cause of Covid-19 – he told a DailyMail.com reporter: ‘You need to remove your car from our drive right now, leave the area and never come back.
‘Goodbye, I have no comment,’ he added.
DailyMaill.com spotted Dr. Peter Daszak outside of his million dollar home in the affluent neighborhood in Rockland County, New York on Friday
Daszak — who last year earned more than $410,000 — lives with his immunologist wife Janet Cottingham in a five-bed, five-bath home 30 miles northwest of Manhattan
Wearing a blue polo shirt, shorts and sandals, he went on to the porch of the house overlooking the Ramapo Mountains, sat down and started waving his arms around in apparent anger as he had an animated conversation on his phone
Rather than respond to the allegations that his letter ‘bullied’ other scientists and that his ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology led to such a conflict of interest that he should never have sat on two panels investigating the cause of Covid-19, he told a DailyMail.com reporter: ‘You need to remove your car from our drive right now, leave the area and never come back’
Minutes later, wearing a blue polo shirt, shorts and sandals, he went on to the porch of the house overlooking the Ramapo Mountains, sat down and started waving his arms around in apparent anger as he had an animated conversation on his phone.
Soon afterwards, three police cruisers turned up at his house.
The Republican minority group of the committee launched an investigation in March into the origins of Covid-19 after a growing number of prominent scientists began voicing their concerns that the deadly virus may have escaped from the lab – and could even have been created there.
EcoHealth and Daszak have come under intense scrutiny after it emerged that the charity funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants to the lab for controversial coronavirus research.
Daszak and other EcoHealth scientists have been closely involved with the Wuhan lab for years, which was also conducting ‘gain of function’ experiments, where viruses are genetically engineered to be more infectious to test their effects on human cells.
In its April 16 letter, the congressional committee asked Daszak to provide details of what federal funds were passed on to the WIV, what information they have on bat viruses worked on at the lab that are closely related to Covid-19, and what his charity knows about a mysterious database of virus genomes held by the lab taken offline in 2019.
The letter asked a total 34 questions and gave a deadline of May 17, 2021 – but has still received no response, a source close to the committee told DailyMail.com.
‘Total silence. They seem to be refusing to acknowledge anything from us,’ the source said.
‘At least when we send a letter to a government agency we get a ‘we got your letter, we’re working on it’ kind of thing. But from Eco? Zip.
‘We would like them to cooperate with us and give us answers. We’re not going out of our way to try to burn them. We just want answers on some of this stuff.
‘They’re the group that’s been tied in with the WIV, and would have a lot of these answers, hopefully that would help out. But they refuse to be involved in that at all.’
He and his wife bought their house, set on two acres of land, for a bargain $665,000 in 2015. It is now estimated to be worth around $1 million
Peter Daszak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2020. The congressional committee asked Daszak to provide details of what federal funds were passed on to the WIV, what information they have on bat viruses worked on at the lab that are closely related to Covid-19, and what his charity knows about a mysterious database of virus genomes held by the lab taken offline in 2019
The House energy and commerce committee sent Daszak 34 questions in April with a May 17 deadline. Daszak has allegedly failed to respond to any of their questions were about his charity, EcoHealth Alliance and its federal funding
The source said that as the investigation is run by the minority group in the committee, it does not have subpoena powers.
They added that the Democrat chair of the committee, New Jersey congressman Frank Pallone, does have subpoena power, but has so far failed to involve himself in the investigation.
‘Being in the minority we have squat. We would love for Chairman Pallone, really the one person who has these powers, to work with us and help us with this,’ said the source.
Daszak, 55, from Manchester, orchestrated a behind-the-scenes ‘bullying’ campaign to ensure blame for Covid was directed away from a Chinese lab with which he had worked closely
‘But so far he’s not said anything about doing anything like that either, so we’re kind of stuck.
‘This is not a Republican or Democrat thing. Wherever this investigation goes, we’re just trying to get to the bottom of this.’
The letter to Daszak is one of several sent to government departments and others by the committee’s minority group in their investigation.
Before asking their 34 questions, the lawmakers pointed out that Daszak’s charity ‘has an extensive history with research into bat coronaviruses in China’ and ‘has partnered with the WIV in this area of research’.
‘For several years, EHA has provided some of its National Institutes of Health (NIH) federal funding to WIV as a federal sub-award recipient for bat coronavirus research,’ the letter said.
‘We believe through its research activities, collaborations, and EHA’s relationship with the WIV as a federal award subrecipient, that EHA has information and documents that will provide insight into the WIV’s bat coronavirus information.’
The letter asked for access to- or information on a ‘password-protected virus database’ taken offline on September 12, 2019.
The database, administered by lead WIV coronavirus researcher Dr. Shi Zhengli, dubbed ‘batwoman’ in the media, is ‘estimated to contain 500 coronaviruses identified by EHA, and at least 100 unpublished sequences of bat beta coronaviruses that are relevant to the investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 origin,’ according to the lawmakers.
The congressional committee pointed out that EHA was required to ‘monitor the activities’ of WIV as a recipient of an NIH grant, to ensure it complied with federal regulations.
It also asked Daszak for information on which grants went to the Wuhan lab – which the charity’s IRS and New York state filings fail to disclose.
Daszak runs the New York-based non-profit EcoHealth Alliance that has funnelled hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (pictured)
While China has tried to insist the virus originated elsewhere, academics, politicians and the media have begun to contemplate the possibility it escaped from the WIV – raising suspicions that Chinese officials simply hid evidence of the early spread
‘EHA reported a $319,570 cash award grant and a $126,792 cash award grant disbursed by wire to China for the purpose of ‘understanding the risk of bat coronavirus emergence’ on its IRS Form 990, calendar year 2016. The name of the organizations receiving the awards were left blank,’ the letter said.
‘Please provide the full name and address of the organization(s) that received these cash award grants.’
The congressional letter has Pallone’s name on its letterhead alongside ranking Republican member Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
It is signed by Rodgers, Republican subcommittee leader on health Brett Guthrie, and oversight and investigations subcommittee leader Morgan Griffith.
Daszak has been accused of orchestrating a behind-the-scenes ‘bullying’ campaign to ensure the blame for Covid-19 did not fall on the Wuhan lab his charity helped fund.
In February 2020 Daszak persuaded more than two dozen other scientists to sign off on a letter he had written to highly respected medical journal The Lancet, that was seen as so influential that it cowed most experts into refusing even to consider that the virus could have been man-made and escaped from the Wuhan institute.
Former high-level Clinton administration staffer Jamie Metzl, who now sits on the World Health Organization’s advisory committee on human genome editing, told DailyMail.com this week that the Lancet letter ‘was scientific propaganda and a form of thuggery and intimidation.’
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is about 20 miles from the Huanan Seafood Market where the first coronavirus cases are reported to have occurred
Freedom of Information Act disclosures revealed Daszak tried to distance his charity from the letter, which dismissed lab leak claims as ‘conspiracy theories’, to make it appear it was coming from ‘a community supporting our colleagues.’
Despite his close connections to the Chinese lab, Daszak was also picked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be part of its 13-member team that was tasked with finding the cause of the pandemic which began in Wuhan, a city of some 11 million people in Central China.
Metzl told DailyMail.com the appointment was a ‘massive and outrageous conflict of interest,’ allowing a man who had significant financial and reputational stakes in discrediting lab leak theories to investigate those theories.
Prominent scientists have criticized the WHO probe, which also dismissed lab leak theories, as lackluster and incomplete.
In a Freedom of Information disclosure of Fauci’s emails obtained by Buzzfeed last month, Daszak thanked White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci for pushing back on the theory that covid-19 was man made.
Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dr. Peter Daszak is spotted outside his million-dollar home in upstate New York Source link Dr. Peter Daszak is spotted outside his million-dollar home in upstate New York