Chinese Covid-19 tests pushed by federal agencies despite security warnings


At least two federal agencies have worked to distribute Covid-19 tests from a Chinese genetics company, despite warnings of security risks from US intelligence and security officials, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
At the start of the virus, BGI Group or people trying to distribute its products approached at least 11 states in a sometimes aggressive attempt to get the products to government-run labs or to set up entire labs, according to the people. who received the approaches and documents.
BGI, China’s leading genetics company, enlisted a foundation linked to a former US president and used a company linked to the UAE’s top spy to promote its efforts. A prominent New York real estate attorney has threatened to complain to the governor of California if state health officials do not use BGI tests.
Some of the company’s testing supplies have been used in Nevada, according to the head of the state’s Covid-19 task force. BGI has tried in the past to enter the US market and has sold test equipment to private US labs that advertise their work for government clients.
In March, an FBI special agent who monitors biotechnology threats to the Department of Health and Human Services told an HHS advisory committee that government agencies should be wary of doing business with the company, which, he said, had a history of misuse of personal data. Agent Ed You echoed warnings from other law enforcement, security and military intelligence officials.

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