The Biden administration decided to send all Americans free COVID-19 tests to address the omicron surge. So far, the ordered tests are getting delivered unless you live in an apartment. As our editor Paula Boylard noted, those living in colder parts of the country may also have their tests left out in the cold. The COVID tests are not supposed to be stored in temperatures under 36° F. Fox’s Bill Hemmer received the four tests he ordered and noted another odd feature. According to Fox News:
Hemmer, co-host of “America’s Newsroom,” praised the federal government and the United States Postal Service (USPS) for getting the tests out quickly after he and many other Americans put in the request last week for free tests. But he noted when he turned the test package over the “fine print” revealed the tests were manufactured in China.
“I got mine yesterday,” Hemmer said, holding up the orange kit. “All four of them came. Congrats U.S. government. U.S. Postal Service did a great job. Got my four tests. And on the back of the fine print, Dana, it is made in China.”
It makes perfect sense, of course. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent citizens from Wuhan all over the world early in the pandemic while restricting their travel within China. Now, two years later, Chinese companies are profiting from the fallout. iHealth, the Chinese company Hemmer’s test came from, received a $1.275 billion contract from the Army Contracting Command earlier this month. Reuters reported that the firm, a division of China’s Andon Health Limited, also signed a $120 million contract from the New York State Department of Health and another for $148.3 million from Massachusetts.
Hemmer stated the COVID test kits he received were made in China. Yet the Army announcement stated, “Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California.” The screenshot shared by Fox Digital contradicts the Army’s statement. The box says the kits were manufactured for iHealth Labs in Sunnyvale and made in China. It appears warehousing and distribution of rapid antigen tests made in China could be the only “work” completed by iHealth in Sunnyvale.
Even more frightening, iHealth offers more than just COVID testing. The company’s core business is remote monitoring and coaching for patients with chronic diseases. A Chinese company is selling medical data collection services to American doctors and patients:
iHealth receiving a government contract for COVID rapid tests follows other reports that Chinese companies are collecting genetic and other health-related data on Americans.
Another company, BGI, also stepped forward when COVID hit America’s shores. In another form of so-called “mask diplomacy,” the company approached Washington state. According to 60 Minutes:
Early last March, the state of Washington was the site of the first major coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. As COVID rates and the need for tests were spiking, BGI Group, the world’s largest biotech firm – a global giant based in China – approached the state of Washington with an enticing offer.
In a strikingly personal letter to the governor, BGI proposed to build and help run state-of-the-art COVID testing labs. BGI would quote “provide technical expertise,” provide “high throughput sequencers” and even “make additional donations.”
The swabs for a COVID PCR test are covered in a patient’s DNA. Bill Evania, a former CIA and FBI counterintelligence official, issued a warning about BGI’s offer, “Foreign powers can collect, store and exploit biometric information from covid tests.” He and other intelligence officials suspect companies like BGI and iHealth fronts for China to collect Americans’ genetic and other health-related data.
BGI group also offers prenatal genetic testing kits. More than 8 million women worldwide have taken the test. BGI admits it “stores and re-analyzes left-over blood samples and genetic data from the prenatal tests.” Reuters reports that the company collaborates with China’s military. In March of 2021, U.S. government advisors warned that BGI Group is amassing a vast bank of genomic data and analyzing it with artificial intelligence. iHealth may try to leverage its government contract into leverage to provide more patient monitoring systems.
With these apparent national security threats, it is astonishing that the Army Contracting Command chose a Chinese company for such a lucrative contract. While competitive bidding benefits the taxpayer, so does operating with common sense since China deliberately subsidizes industries the Chinese Communist Party wants to dominate. A military unit giving a company with a clear mission to collect health data from Americans a leg up in the marketplace is an inexcusable miss. That nation already makes far too many essential medications that Americans rely on to stay healthy.
The whole free test program is suspect. The rapid tests do not seem as accurate at picking up the omicron variant of the virus. Some theorized that this is because the virus accumulates in the back of the throat rather than the nasal passages. Most Americans will also receive them as the rates of the virus begin to decline. States in the northeast where omicron hit early are already seeing the steep decline observed in South Africa. So why are we giving a Chinese company a contract worth over a billion dollars? That would be a great question to ask.
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