Did the DoD Fund COVID-19 Research in a Ukrainian Biolab in 2019? Digging for the Truth Unravels the Connection Between the DoD, Metabiota, Black & Veatch, Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Big Tech


Some independent media outlets are reporting that the Department of Defense funded COVID-19 research at a biolab in Ukraine in November of 2019, a month before the alleged emergence of the “novel” disease. But while DTRA, the DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, flatly refuses that claim—saying the evidence on which it’s based is a fluke of the way records are kept by its contractors and subcontractors—searching for a true answer reveals something undeniable: the DoD has been spending billions of taxpayer money on biolabs in Ukraine that handle “especially dangerous,” sometimes highly engineered pathogens via corporations like Black & Veatch. And Hunter Biden, his investment fund Rosemont Seneca, and even tech giants like Google and Amazon, help to make it happen.

On April 13, 2022 online news outlet The Exposé reported an anomaly amongst the $4.4 trillion that the U.S. government has spent on “the response to COVID-19”: a “sub-award” granted by Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp.—itself awarded more than $116 million by the Department of Defense (DoD)—for $369,000 for “SME manuscript documentation and COVID 19 research” for Labyrinth Global Health Inc. Which was paid on November 12, 2019.

The Exposé claimed that “[a]n award for Covid-19 research isn’t exactly shocking when the world is allegedly in the grip of a Covid-19 pandemic, but considering the fact the sub-contract was awarded 12th November 2019, at least one month before the alleged emergence of the novel coronavirus, and three months before it was officially dubbed Covid-19, the award for Covid-19 research should come as a shock to everyone.” The Exposé even went on to say that “the shock doesn’t end there, because the place the [contract] for Covid-19 research was instructed to take place was Ukraine, as was the entire contract awarded by the DOD to Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp.”

Link to Black & Veatch award page

However, the DoD—specifically the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (or DTRA), which is a combat support agency within the DoD responsible for countering weapons of mass destruction—was quick to dismiss the claim as untrue. DTRA wrote in an email to “fact-checking” website Lead Stories that the “DOD did not award a contract in 2019 for COVID-19 research.” The agency added that “DTRA’s contractor modified a task order in [on?] 10 June 2020 to assist Ukraine in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, many months after the pandemic had begun” and that the reason for the mixup is that “the date in the database reflects the original date the Master Servicing Agreement [MSA] was entered into the system.”

Meaning Black & Veatch—dolling out millions of DoD money to sub-contractors—had indeed paid Labyrinth Global Health Inc. $369,511, in part, for “COVID 19 research”; but only after the “novel disease” was established as a pandemic threat. Black & Veatch or Labyrinth Global Inc. then went back and amended the MSA to reflect an investment into the “research.”

Link to Black & Veatch award page
Link to Black & Veatch award page

DTRA added in its email to The Exposé that “the date of each modification is not reflected on the USASpending.gov page, which stays as the date the original MSA was entered into the system, but the description is updated to reflect the latest changes in the task order.”

DTRA added in the email to Lead Stories that:

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) contracted with Black & Vea[t]ch to continue to support Ukraine’s peaceful and safe biological detection and diagnostic capabilities and to reduce biological threats, whether they are naturally-occurring, accidental, or intentional, through the provision of equipment, supplies, and training. Black & Vea[t]ch signed the MSA with DTRA on 2 October, 2019, to modify DTRA’s requested non-COVID training support, which was submitted to the procurement system on 12 November 2019. After the pandemic began, the MSA was modified to provide additional COVID-19 pandemic-related support to Ukraine on 25 April 2020 and again on 12 June 2020. The task order directed the servicing contractor to provide high-level subject matter expert mentorship support on COVID-19 Laboratory Diagnosis, Biological Safety and Laboratory Emergency Response in Ukraine.

“Stories involving Ukraine and biological weapons are popular among conspiracy theorists,” Lead Stories wrote, capping off its fact check. But while DTRA’s response to The Exposé seems final and sufficient to close out the matter, a speech by the commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces Igor Kirillov in March of 2022 raises some relevant and compelling questions. Which, of course, are catnip for “conspiracy theorists.”

In his speech Kirillov, who was addressing the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the “biological programs” implemented by the Pentagon in the post-Soviet era have resulted in Ukraine now being home to “a chain of more than 30 biological laboratories divided into those for scientific research and [those] for sanitary-epidemiological investigations.” Kirillov went on to say that “those works [conducted at the biolabs in Ukraine] have been ordered by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) [and a] firm affiliated to the defense department—Black and Veatch above all others… .”

Kirillov added in his speech—immediately above—that the works of DTRA and Black & Veatch manifested in “three main branches,” including: “biological situation observation in the areas of possible deployment of the NATO military contingents according to the Pentagon”; “collecting and transporting the strains of dangerous microorganisms”; and “scientific investigations [of] potential biological weapons—[including] agents that are specific for that region, possessing natural focuses and able to be transmitted to humans.”

“At the same time,” Kirillov said, “the activity of the biological laboratories that, according to our data, has been intensified since 2014, and the so-called Ukrainian healthcare system ‘reforming’ program implemented by the United States, have led to an unmanageable increase of hazardous and economically important infections.” However, upon Russia invading its neighboring country, Kirillov added that “Apparently, everything necessary for [the] continuation of the implementation of the military biological program has already been taken out of Ukraine.”

Kirillov goes on to read out a litany of infectious agents that have been studied at the U.S. biolabs in Ukraine—specifically in Kharkov and Poltava—including plague, anthrax, brucellosis, diphtheria, salmonellosis, and dysentery.

The Russian commander also said in his speech (in the excerpt immediately above) that “It’s remarkable that structures close to the current U.S. leadership, in particular the investment fund Rosemont Seneca, headed by Hunter Biden, are involved in the financing of these activities.” Kirillov added that “The fund has significant financial resources in the amount of at least 2.4 billion US dollars… [and at] the same time… is closely connected with the main contractors of the US military department, including Metabiota, which, along with Black and Veatch, is the main supplier of equipment for Pentagon biological laboratories around the world.” (Kirillov also implicated the US Agency for International Development, which distributes billions in “civilian foreign aid,” the George Soros Foundation, and the CDC, as being “directly involved” in the biolab scheme in Ukraine.)

In the face of DTRA’s fact-check response to The Exposé’s claims, Kirillov’s claims raise a lot of questions. The first, and most pertinent, being: Did the DoD, in effect, launder money through Black & Veatch, as well as Metabiota (a company that does “risk analytics” for disease outbreaks run by a virologist-slash-member of DARPA’s Defense Science Research Council) in order to establish dangerous biolabs in Ukraine? And, if so, what role did Hunter Biden, who really acts as a middleman so his father can make money off his political positions (“10[%] held by H for the big guy?”), play in the scheme?

First off, it’s interesting to note that Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland—who the BBC reported in 2014 “plot[ted] with [US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt] on who should and shouldn’t be in a new Ukrainian cabinet” following the so-called Ukrainian Revolution—said in March of 2022 that “Ukraine has biological research facilities,” which she and her government colleagues were “quite concerned” would be usurped by Russian military forces. “[W]e are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” Nuland said at the time.

Nuland’s remarks seem to largely corroborate Kirillov’s claims regarding one: Ukraine’s biolabs having pathogens dangerous enough to make the American government worried about them “falling into the hands of Russian forces” and two: Ukraine evacuating the labs in order to prevent Russia’s capture of the problematic pathogens.

Link to Black & Veatch award page

If the biolabs in Ukraine were studying dangerous pathogens, then that means Black & Veatch was involved in constructing the labs themselves. And indeed it was. Unequivocally.

In the five years prior to the COVID-19 “pandemic” Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp had spent millions on vague R&D in Ukraine, including: $21,796,198 on “biological threat reduction program in Ukraine – [involving] science engagement and increasing laboratory capacity”; $4,246,910 on “cooperative biological engagement program in Ukraine”; $1,743,599 on “[a] cooperative biological engagement program (CBEP) in Ukraine”; $954,463 on “[project management oversight], training, research, and sustainment”; and $150,000 on “CBEP Ukraine ([including] science engagement and renovation of labs).”

Link to Black & Veatch page

Furthermore, Russian “independent economic expert” and reporter Alexander Rogers wrote (via translation) in April of 2015 that “Some time ago, in the city of Merefa, Kharkiv region, a project was launched to build a depository for the study and storage of especially dangerous animal pathogens and pathogens, developed by the American company Black and Veatch Special project corp and funded by the US Department of Defense.” Indeed, Black & Veatch itself wrote in a (undated) post the following:

Black & Veatch completed Ukraine’s first Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory in Odessa on time and under budget. The new facility enhances the government’s existing disease surveillance systems to detect, report and respond to bioterrorism attacks, epidemics and potential pandemics.

The BSL-3 laboratory in Odessa was designed and constructed by Black & Veatch. It is the first BSL-3 laboratory in the region and the first to be commissioned, accredited and operational under the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP).

The BSL-3 laboratory was specifically designed and constructed to support work with especially dangerous pathogens that can be naturally occurring or introduced through a bioterrorism attack. It serves as a central location for research, consolidation and training on the proper handling of dangerous pathogens. The lab also provides the Ukrainian Ministry of Health a safe environment to confirm diagnosis of suspected dangerous pathogens, enhancing public health while deterring bioterrorism.

As integrating contractor, Black & Veatch is responsible to DTRA and the Ministry of Health for the full rollout of the BTRP [Biological Threat Reduction Program] in Ukraine. Black & Veatch is ensuring the mission’s success by training Ukrainian personnel in molecular diagnostics, biosafety, operations and maintenance, and laboratory management techniques. This training, along with three years of gradually decreasing sustainment and transition support, will provide Ukrainian scientists with the necessary resources to manage the BSL-3 laboratory and the Ukrainian biosurveillance system going forward.

Black & Veatch also wrote in another undated post that DTRA had awarded Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp. one of its Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contracts (BTRIC) in 2008, which, along with its four fellow contractors, had a ceiling of $4 billion. Black & Veatch noted that the awarded work “is a vital part of the Cooperative and Biological Threat Reduction (CTR and BTR) program of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) / DTRA and Implementing (Executive) Agents of the Ukraine” including Ukraine’s Ministry of Health (MoH), Academy of Agrarian Sciences (AAS) and State Committee for Veterinary Medicine (SCVM).

Just as the DoD was funneling hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) to Black & Veatch to build biolabs in Ukraine, it was also establishing tens of millions of dollars worth of contracts with Metabiota. The biotech company, headquartered in San Francisco, California, was founded in 2008 by Nathan Wolfe. Wolfe, an American virologist who “spent over eight years conducting biomedical research in both sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia,” led a lab that was the first to discover and describe Simian foamy virus.

Link to page

In March of 2022—after Metabiota received a $1 million investment from Google Ventures in 2021—The Mail reported that “emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop show he helped secure millions of dollars of funding for Metabiota… .” The claims and evidence from The Mail—which has a copy of the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop—came after Kirillov’s March, 2022 speech.

The Mail also reported that “although Metabiota is ostensibly a medical data company, its vice president emailed Hunter in 2014 describing how they could ‘assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia’ – an unusual goal for a biotech firm.”

In the same report The Mail even showcased an email (immediately above) from Vadim Pozharskyi, an adviser on the board of the Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma, discussing with Hunter and his colleagues a “Science Ukraine” project involving Metabiota. In an April 8, 2014 email—which came just days after the email from Metabiota to Hunter touting the company’s aim to “assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia”—Pozharskyi sent a list of questions regarding the “Science Ukraine” project to one of Hunter’s colleagues, Devon Archer. Immediately below are some of the bullet-pointed questions, verbatim (with Pozharsky’s grammatical errors unchanged). Note that Vadim mentions Black & Veatch multiple times, aware that it is the corporation that operates these types of projects in Ukraine.

“1. Financing. As I understand the Metabiota was a subcontract to principal contractor of the DoD B&V. Today they seem to state that financing is closed. What was the reason of stopping the projects and financing of the projects? They look for a new financing? Do they expect to receive it again from B&V or they look for else were?

“2. What kind of partnership Metabiota is looking for in Ukraine? From potential non-governmental player in Kiev? Rebuilt the ties with respective ministries in Ukraine, and on the basis of that reinstate the financing from the B&V? Or they look for partnership in managing projects in Ukraine, PR with Government institutions here, financing of the projects?

“((Metabiota counterparts in Ukraine were (i.e. final beneficiary and the recipient of the results of the projects) were ministries of from Ukraine, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health. From the Ukrainian governmental point of you, it looks like standard international Assistance project, that could be technical, financial, etc))

“3. The principal contractor B&V seems to be also the party that operates in Ukraine on the similar or the same projects. There is no competition here?”

On top of all of the evidence linking the DoD, Black & Veatch, Metabiota, Hunter Biden and his colleagues, and Burisma, The Mail also noted connections between Metabiota and “Chinese scientists [who] performed gain of function research on coronaviruses at the [Wuhan Institute of Virology], working alongside… [the] US-backed organization EcoHealth Alliance[, which] has since drawn intense scrutiny over its coronavirus research since the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Indeed, as The Mail pointed out, researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology—specifically Zhengli Shi, a.k.a. the “Batwoman”—along with researchers from EcoHealth Alliance (Peter Daszak’s operation), and Metabiota published a study together in the journal Viruses. In the study Daszak, the “Batwoman” et al. “characterized the fecal pathogen microbiome of both insectivorous and frugivorous bats, incorporating 281 individual bats comprising 20 common species, which were sampled in three locations of Yunnan province… .”

Lihong Yuan, et al. / Viruses

Beyond Hunter Biden, a cross-sectional view of Metabiota’s financing reveals a funding and partnership web amongst several key organizations that architected the global response to COVID-19. Incredibly, Metabiota has received funding from: the DoD, Rosemont Seneca, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the CDC, and USAID. Metabiota is also partnered, in one way or another, with the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as Amazon’s AWS. In-Q-Tel, the “venture capitalist” arm of the CIA, is also invested in Metabiota.

According to emails from/to Hunter The Mail says the President’s son and his colleagues via their investment firm, Rosemont Seneca, invested $500,000 in Metabiota. Hunter also apparently helped to finance Metabiota by raising “several million dollars of funding for the company” from giant investment firms, including Goldman Sachs.

Ultimately, what this all points to is an incestuous nest of players in Ukraine driven, in large part, by the Department of Defense. It’s the DoD that provides the vast majority of the funding for the biolab projects in Ukraine, but it does so in such a way as to provide several degrees of separation. The DoD, beginning with DTRA, and then continuing on with Black & Veatch and its subcontractors, recedes further and further into the shadows as it pumps literally billions of dollars into buildings these biolabs in Ukraine. Biolabs that both Russian officials and American officials agree contain dangerous pathogens. Black & Veatch itself is proud to note these pathogens are “especially dangerous,” and, at least part of the time, modified by scientists.

What we also see here is that as the DoD recedes into the shadows (while continuously pumping billions into Ukrainian biolab projects), Hunter Biden and his colleagues at their well-heeled investment fund appear, and make relatively small investments in the DoD’s contractors. While Hunter et al.’s monetary investments in these Ukrainian biolab ventures are comparatively minor, however, President Biden’s son and his Rosemont Seneca partners, apparently, become specifically tasked with opening channels with the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian “private” industry necessary to establish the local “political will” necessary to make the DoD’s projects happen. (E.g. Pozharskyi noting “Metabiota counterparts in Ukraine” such as Ukraine’s Ministry of Agriculture and its Ministry of Health being the “final beneficiar[ies]” and “recipient[s]” of “the results of the [DoD biolab projects] projects… .”)

In turn, it’s reasonable to say that while the preemptive COVID-19 funding anomaly identified by The Exposé may indeed just be a fluke based on the way official records are kept between DoD contractors and subcontractors, the far, far bigger issue here still stands staring us all in the face: the U.S. Department of Defense spends billions of dollars on funding biolabs that admittedly work with dangerous manmade pathogens very near to Russia’s border. And instead of doing it openly, it hides behind contractors and subcontractors. Not only that, but the current President’s drug- and porn-addicted son, it seems, helps to get the necessary political will in line in Ukraine in order to make the projects happen. (You can learn more about how Hunter, apparently, also helps to broker similar deals with Chinese energy companies via the post embedded immediately above.)

Finally, we see that other federal governmental departments such as HHS, as well as monolithic private corporations like Amazon, also have a roll to play in these kinds of extranational projects. Which, of course, only emphasizes the idea that the American public needs to be spending far more time and attention focused on the “why” behind the DoD establishing these dangerous facilities in foreign nations.

Feature image: U.S. Secretary of Defense

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