Over the weekend, The Epoch Times published a story about the University of Texas Medical Branch taking responsibility for signing “poorly drafted” agreements with three top level biosecurity labs in China, one of which was the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The three contracts, including one with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), gave the Chinese labs the power to destroy “secret files” from any stage of their collaboration.
“The party is entitled to ask the other to destroy and/or return the secret files, materials, and equipment without any backups,” reads the 2017 memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) signed with the Wuhan lab, which was revealed in April.
The broad confidentiality obligation, renewable every five years, applies to “all cooperation and exchange documents, data, details and materials,” according to the document.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) began asking questions about the UTMB/Wuhan relationship earlier this year. In a July letter, Rep. Roy told UTMB former director Dr. James LeDuc that “it raises serious concerns that a prominent recipient of federal taxpayer dollars would enter into an agreement with any foreign entity—but especially an adversary—with such a glaring ‘memory hole’ provision that authorizes research materials and files to be destroyed upon request.”
Last week, Congressman Roy told the Epoch Times:
Data sharing agreements between the CCP and U.S. entities, including the University of Texas Medical Branch, are deeply concerning. Such agreements are especially alarming given the CCP’s demonstrated willingness to twist and subvert scientific research to fit their hostile political agenda. I will keep fighting for answers until we get to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins and American involvement in Communist China’s extremely dangerous research.