In Dr. Anthony Fauci’s deposition last week, there is some discussion of the CZ Biohub and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. I thought I would look into these groups a little more.
From their website:
We support collaborations among some of the best minds in science, medicine, engineering, and technology. Our scientists, engineers, technologists, and physicians embrace the challenge of conquering human disease by tackling the toughest problems in biology and medicine.
The CZ Biohub appears to be housed in the building that appears above, on the campus of Stanford University.
Their Board of Directors and Other Key Staff
The Board of Directors includes:
- A representative of the Rockefeller Foundation.
- Priscilla Chan, Mark Zuckerberg’s wife; physician.
- A partner in Greylock, a leading venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley.
- The Chairman of Alphabet, parent company of Google.
- Mark Zuckerberg.
Scientific Advisory Board also includes the President of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Joe DeRisi is President of CZ Biohub. He is mentioned in Fauci’s testimony on page 133.
About Dr. DeRisi from CZ Biohub:
DeRisi’s work to rapidly launch a COVID-19 testing facility at CZ Biohub early in the pandemic, which ultimately offered free testing and gene sequencing to all 58 California Departments of Public Health, is chronicled in Michael Lewis’ new book, The Premonition.
He was named an Eli Lilly and Company Research Award Laureate. You can see how sincere he is in his portrait.
CZ Biohub was established to support the work of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, namely:
In 2016, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced a bold new mission to support the science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent, or manage disease by the end of the century.
How do they pursue their purpose?
- We pursue large scientific challenges that cannot be pursued in conventional environments
- We enable individual investigators to pursue their riskiest and most innovative ideas.
- The technologies developed at CZ Biohub facilitate research by scientists and clinicians at our home institutions and beyond.
(Emphasis added. I noted that they use the word “risk,” “risky” or “riskiest” a number of times on their website.)
About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
From their website:
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.
From CZI about the CZ Biohub:
In September 2016, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg announced CZI’s first big scientific bet with the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub), a unique research institution that brings together scientists and engineers from Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, San Francisco, to take on large-scale scientific challenges in areas like cell biology and infectious disease research.
Building off the successes and lessons learned from the CZ Biohub, CZI is forming a CZ Biohub Network, in which new Biohubs will be created to bring together leading scientific and technology institutions with the goal of pursuing grand scientific challenges on 10- to 15-year time horizons.
CZ Initiative and Bill Gates and, of course, the WHO
There’s a press release on the CZI site that states:
Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced a funding commitment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will award $2 million to researchers who are investigating and detecting novel and emerging pathogens with applications in human health, zoonosis, vector-borne diseases, and antimicrobial resistance. These grants build on an existing partnership between CZI, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is focused on building metagenomics capacity in high-potential countries that have been historically under-resourced.
Definitions: Zoonosis: a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals. Metagenomics: the study of microbes in their natural living environment, which involves the complex microbial communities in which they usually exist.
A 2020 news story links the CZ Initiative to Bill Gates and, of course, the World Health Organization and their attempts to find treatments for COVID 19.
The contribution from Zuckerberg and his wife comes after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator earlier in March …The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will also be working with the World Health Organization on the project.
This news story from Wired notes that:
Zuckerberg has been laying the groundwork to be a philanthropist in the Gates mold. They appeared jointly in San Francisco in September 2010 during an announcement of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to “cure, prevent or manage all disease” by the end of the century.
Here they are, almost kissing, as they announce the CZ Initiative.
Diversity, Inclusivity, etc.
A few days ago, the CZ Initiative announced a series of new grants:
Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced a series of new grants to support organizations working to advance a world that is more just, equitable, and inclusive. The grant recipients include organizations that are primarily led by people of color and are activating key levers to tackle racial disparities, from cultivating more leaders of color, to reshaping policies that promote equity, to accelerating systemic change that will advance progress in CZI’s focus areas of science, education, and supporting the needs of local communities.
The groups that have received their grants can be found here.
This is just a quick peek down this rabbit hole. The more I look, the deeper this rabbit hole gets.
It’s just my opinion but I think the last thing we need is another Big Tech billionaire dabbling around in science and planetary health. In particular, we don’t need them involved in researching infectious diseases that may jump from animals to humans and the treatments for them.