Dr. Charles Lieber’s arrest in January 2020 has no known connection to Coronavirus, according to federal documents surrounding his arrest.
On January 28, the Justice Department said in a statement that Lieber, the Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, was arrested and accused of “aiding the People’s Republic of China.” Lieber is accused of one count of making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement. If found guilty, Lieber could fast up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The death toll from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 2,000 on February 19 after 136 more people died, with the number of new cases falling for a second straight day, according to the National Health Commission.
Lieber’s Arrest Was Announced on the Same Day as the Arrest of Chinese Nationals Yanqing Ye & Zaosong Zheng, But the Cases Appear to Be Unrelated
Lieber’s arrest was announced on the same day as the indictment in Massachusetts of two Chinese nationals,
Yanqing Ye, 28, who is accused of spying through Boston University, not Harvard, and not in relation to Coronavirus. As well as, Zaosong Zheng, 30, a medical researcher who was attempting to smuggle vials of cancer cells to China in order to pass off research conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston as his own.
Zheng arrested at Boston’s Logan Airport where investigators say they found the vials inside of a rolled-up pair of socks inside of his luggage. Ye is believed to be in China and is not in federal custody. The Feds say that Ye is a lieutenant in the Chinese military, a fact she did not disclose on his visa application. The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Yelling said of Ye, “A border search of her electronic devices showed that Ye had complied information for the People’s Liberation Army about two U.S. residents with expertise in robotics and computer science.”
Lieber Is Accused of Being Paid Millions to Work for China’s Thousand Talents Project
Lieber’s indictment accuses him of had lied about his involvement with a Chinese government project Thousand Talents Plan. The plan is based out of Wuhan University of Technology. Wuhan is considered ground zero for Coronavirus. The DOJ alleges that since 2011, Lieber has been a “Strategic Scientist” for Wuhan University of Technology and worked for the Thousand Talents plan between 2012 and 2017.
The Feds say that for his role, Lieber was paid $50,000 per month, $158,000 in living expenses, and more than $1.5 million in exchange for creating a research lab at Wuhan University of Technology. The press release adds that Lieber’s work in China was unknown to his superiors at Harvard University. Between 2018 and 2019, the indictment says that Lieber lied to various investigators about his role in Wuhan. At one point, Lieber is accused of saying that he hadn’t worked in Wuhan since 2012.
According to the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, “China designed the Thousand Talents Plan to recruit 2,000 high-quality overseas talents, including scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and finance experts. The plan provides salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives to lure experts into researching for China.”
A Viral Facebook Post Has Connected Lieber’s Arrest to Coronavirus
On January 29, a man named Marty Weiss, wrote a lengthy Facebook post in which he connected Lieber’s arrest to Coronavirus and to the arrests of Ye and Zheng. Weiss’ post read in full:
In case you missed it, today, Federal Agents arrested Dr. Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying to the Department of Defense about secret monthly payments of $50,000.00 paid by China and receipt of millions more to help set up a chemical/biological “Research” laboratory in China.
Also arrested were two Chinese “Students” working as research assistants, one of whom was actually a lieutenant in the Chinese Army, the other captured at Logan Airport as he tried to catch a flight to China – smuggling 21 vials of “Sensitive Biological Samples” according to the FBI.
Oh, almost forgot. The research lab the good professor had helped set up? It’s located at the Wuhan University of Technology. Wuhan China is ground zero to the potentially global pandemic known as the “Coronavirus” which is both spreading rapidly and killing people.
This is Stephen Coonts international spy novel stuff happening in real life – and it has barely made the news.
At the time of writing, the post has received close to 2,500 comments and been shared 28,000 times.
Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton has pushed the conspiracy theory that Coronavirus is a man-made biological weapon. In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on February 16, Cotton said, “This virus did not originate in the Wuhan animal market. Several of the original cases did not have any contact with that food market. We don’t know where it originated … we also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only Bio Safety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases. We don’t have evidence that this disease originated there … but we at least have to ask the question.”
According to Foreign Policy, Russian propagandists have spread the story that Coronavirus was created by American biochemical researchers.
In 2014, Lieber Created a 1,870 Pound Pumpkin
In October 2014, Lieber created a state record in Massachusetts when he produced a 1,870-pound pumpkin, according to ABC News. The network said that Lieber created the pumpkin in his backyard in Lexington, Massachusetts. The story quoted Lieber’s wife, Jennifer, as saying, “It set the record as the biggest one grown in Massachusetts. He would have liked to have broken the 1,900-pound barrier but he’s happy with it.”
Lieber’s official Harvard University profile says that he is a native of Philadelphia. The bio goes on to say that Lieber is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology. Lieber first joined Harvard University in 1991. Following his arrest, Lieber has been placed on indefinite administrative leave.