(RightWing.org) – The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) began conducting joint research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in 2013. The UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) was one of the first biosecurity labs to receive samples of the underlying COVID-19 virus strain from the CDC. A recent report revealed an agreement between the WIV and GNL to destroy secret files and other materials.
On Wednesday, April 20, a nonprofit research group, US Right to Know, published a stunning exposé detailing a 2017 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Wuhan and Texas laboratories. Of particular note, the eight-page agreement’s final clause states either party can ask the other to “destroy [or] return… files, materials, and other equipment without any backups.”
“As a government-funded entity, UTMB is required to comply with applicable public information law obligations, including the preservation of all documentation of its research and findings.” Why would we agree to letting then destroy records? 🤔 https://t.co/yn7YFNL78N
— TWGRP Susan (@Susan36495963) April 21, 2022
However, as The Epoch Times recently reported, that clause has a problem. UTMB spokesperson Christopher Smith confirmed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the construction of the high-security biocontainment lab. He also admitted federal law requires UTMB to preserve documentation of its research and findings as a government-funded entity.
Reuben Guttman, a partner at a prestigious law firm handling whistleblower and corporate governance actions, echoed that sentiment. As he explained, government-funded entities can’t destroy documents simply because a Chinese partner tells them to. “It doesn’t work like that,” Guttman explained.
However, the MOU does include a clause clearly stating both parties must comply with applicable Chinese and US laws and regulations. Presumably, UTMB officials could deny a Chinese request to destroy files.
The MOU expires on December 11, 2022, but both parties can extend the deadline by written consent. Additionally, the memorandum’s confidentiality obligation continues beyond the termination date.
Whether UTMB or WIV officials have destroyed any documents, equipment, or related material remains unclear.
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