MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Russian Defense Ministry assumes a connection between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program on bat control and the emergence of Covid, Russian Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops commander Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said Thursday.
"We consider a possibility that the USAID is involved in the emergency of the novel coronavirus. Since 2009, the agency funded the PREDICT program, which focused on studying novel coronaviruses and capturing bats that transmit these viruses. One of the program's contractors was Metabiota, notorious for its military biological operations in Ukraine," he said.
He also stated that the statements made by US congressmen also raise concerns about the role of US biologists in the emergence and spread of COVID-19. Kirillov pointed out that member of the US House Intelligence Committee Jason Crow warned US citizens during the National Security Conference in July against handing over their DNA samples to private companies, because they could be sold to third parties.
"There are now weapons under development, and developed, that are designed to target specific people," Crow said at the time.
"Considering the interest of the US Administration to research of focused action biological means, such statements provide a new angle on the reasons behind the emergence of the novel coronavirus infection and the spread of the COVID-19 pathogen," Kirillov said.
The general noted that the Johns Hopkins University held the Event 201 exercise that focused on actions amid an epidemic of an unknown coronavirus.
"According to the exercise background, [the coronavirus] was transmitted from bats to humans through an intermediate carrier - pigs. This is how the Spanish flu, which took lives of tens of millions of human lives, became a pandemic," Kirillov noted.
"The implementation of the COVID-19 development scenario, as well as the emergency shutdown of the PREDICT program in 2019, make it possible to assume the intentional nature of the pandemic and the US' involvement in its emergence," he concluded.