(Ken Silva, Headline USA) State Department spokesperson Matt Miller refused to answer probing questions from a reporter Tuesday about how much, if any, funding the U.S. Agency for International Development sent to Ralph Baric, the epidemiology professor at the University of North Carolina, who has been described in legal disputes as a “close collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
The questions from reporter Sam Husseini came after a bombshell article from healthcare publication BMJ, which reported last week that the USAID silently terminated a controversial $125 million program to fund the study of “exotic wildlife viruses that might someday infect humans.”
USAID—a State Department subsidiary closely associated with the CIA and other covert intelligence agencies within the deep-state apparatus—terminated the program due to concerns that it “could inadvertently ignite a pandemic,” BMJ reported last week.
“USAID has determined that investments that focus on the search for and characterization of unknown viruses prior to spillover into humans are not an Agency global health security priority at this time,” the agency said in a statement. “As a result, we will cease funding projects with this specific objective.”
The USAID program reported by BMJ was launched in October 2021, and is seemingly unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Husseini wanted to know whether the USAID had previously funded gain-of-function research via Baric’s laboratory at UNC’s Chapel Hill campus.
“How much money went from USAID to this—to the work at Wuhan and to their collaborator, Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina—to collect and make coronaviruses that are weaponized?” he asked.
Spokesperson Miller refused to answer.
“I, first of all, reject the implicit accusation in that question,” he said. “I do not have at my fingertips the particular details of USAID funding.”
But Husseini pressed further, asking him if he’s sure no money went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Miller claimed to have answered the question, but Husseini kept pressing when the spokesperson tried to call on another reporter.
“What are you denying?” Husseini cried. “It’s a non-denial denial!”
The interaction between Husseini and Miller also followed a report this week that the CIA attempted to pay off analysts in order to bury their findings on the origins of COVID-19, which tied the virus back to a lab in Wuhan.
According to a CIA whistleblower, at least six analysts informed the agency that COVID-19 likely originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The agency allegedly then attempted to bribe the analysts to change their positions and publicly say that COVID-19 originated naturally.
The FBI was the first federal agency to conclude that COVID-19 most likely spread as the result of a lab leak. The Energy Department later agreed with this finding.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.