[Headline News]A Primary Agency of the United States Government Switched its Platform from Webex to Zoom

Author: M&M Reviewer: Irene

According to an email message released by an insider, the steering committee for an important public health project PDXNet funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) switched its meeting platform from Webex to Zoom, starting March 3, 2021. This committee had been meeting via Webex for the past three years.

The NIH was founded in the late 1880s. As part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, It is a primary agency of the United States Government with biomedical and public health research as its mission. National Cancer Institute (NCI) is one of its 27 institutes and centers (NIH.gov). NCI launched the PDX (Patient-Derived Xenografts) Development and Trial Centers Research Network (PDXNet) in September 2017(pdxnet.org). According to its website, PDXNet consists of six PDX Development and Trial Centers (PDTCs) and the PDX Data Commons and Coordinating Center (PDCCC). This team works collaboratively to “test and advance multi-agent cancer treatments from PDX studies to human clinical trials” (pdxnet.org). Due to the sensitive nature of public health and biomedical research of the United States, the security of the meeting platform the PDXNet steering committee uses must be taken into serious account. The steering committee for PDXNet apparently has no worries in this regard.

It’s known that Zoom was prevented by former President Trump for national security. Ironically, it’s now a formal platform for a national research project of NIH under the Biden Administration. Recall the recent news, Malik Peiris, who is the former boss of Dr. Li-Meng Yan, is back to the Pasteur Research Pole of HKU. Together with the news that Communist China recruited a large number of researchers to attack Dr. Yan’s two reports. This could be a sign that the CCP is now using Zoom to collect big data.

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