Trump Administration Ended A Program Tracking New Coronaviruses
The goal of the project was to track viruses with pandemic potential
LA Times: Trump Ended a Program Tracking Over 160 New Coronaviruses
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that two months before the coronavirus outbreak began, the U.S. ended a $200 million program that was tracking over 160 new coronaviruses — among other infections — with the potential to cause pandemics.
Here’s an excerpt:
The project, launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2009, identified 1,200 different viruses that had the potential to erupt into pandemics, including more than 160 novel coronaviruses. The initiative, called PREDICT, also trained and supported staff in 60 foreign laboratories — including the Wuhan lab that identified SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Field work ceased when the funding ran out in September, and organizations that worked on the PREDICT program laid off dozens of scientists and analysts, said Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, a key player in the program.
Read the full story below.