NIH deleted coronavirus data at China's request?
According to a report in theblaze.com, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) deleted certain sequences of coronavirus data from the agency's Sequence Read Archive. This was allegedly done early in the pandemic, at the request of Chinese researchers. Doctor Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, published a study in June of 2021 that identified the missing sequences and recovered the files from the Google Cloud, from which he performed an analysis to learn more about the origins of the virus.
Why were the data deleted? NIH FOIA officer Gorka Garcia-Malene wrote:
Exemption 6 mandates the withholding of information that if disclosed 'would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.' 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6). Exemption 6 was applied here due to the heightened public scrutiny with anything remotely related to COVID-19.
Huh? "Heightened public scrutiny" of China's role in the pandemic would be a good thing, though maybe not for the NIH.
Garcia-Malene also claimed, "If released, this type of information could be used by the public to send threatening and harassing messages." To whom?
And then came the Orwellian Whopper. Garcia-Malene stated that the information needed to be redacted "because of the amount of misinformation surrounding the pandemic and its origins."
Talk about preposterous! As independent journalist Paul Thacker aptly put it: "Seriously, the NIH is now arguing in court that because there is so much misinformation about how the pandemic began, they can't release facts that might clear up misinformation about how the pandemic began."
The only thing that can counteract misinformation is accurate information.
Logically, it follows that theblaze.com's report — and Thacker's analysis — was accurate...and that the NIH is trafficking in misinformation. And perhaps has been compromised by the Chinese Communist Party?