US government had EcoHealth researching whether humans could give bats Covid
- July 3, 2023
During the height of the coronavirus, the Department of the Interior teamed up with a scandal-plagued nonprofit organization to investigate whether humans can infect bats with Covid-19. According to hundreds of pages of internal documents obtained by the watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust, or PPT, the Department of the Interior worked hand in glove with EcoHealth Alliance through subsidiary agencies.
PPT points to two key EHA connections to the study. One of its authors is Kevin J. Olival, EHA’s vice president for research, and a member of the “expert panel” for the study, Jonathan Epstein, is EHA’s vice president for science and outreach.
The significance of the expert panel for this study cannot be overstated,” PPT notes. “The study acknowledges, ‘Ideally, we would obtain parameter estimates from empirical data and associated mathematical models. Because these information are unavailable and time is of the essence for decision makers, we aim to use an expert panel…’ In short, the subjective experience of the experts is apparently being substituted for the gathering of empirical data for purposes of the study at hand.”