LA County sheriff cuts ties with COVID testing provider after alarming FBI warning about the firm

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced in a letter on Monday that his department will no longer utilize the county’s coronavirus testing provider to carry out mandatory COVID testing and registration due to its alleged ties to the Chinese government.

His announcement came after disturbing information was revealed concerning the background, policies, and connections of the firm hired to facilitate the COVID program.

National correspondent Bill Melugin for Fox News in Los Angeles reported that the company in question, Fulgent Genetics, was not only linked to the Chinese as disclosed during an FBI briefing given to Villanueva, they also have a public disclaimer warning that they share information with foreign entities.

Melugin tweeted, “NEW: The L.A. County Sheriff has notified L.A. County that LASD will not work w/ a genetics firm the County hired for mandatory COVID-19 testing/registration of County employees after he received a recent briefing from the FBI warning him about the firm’s links to China.”

Los Angeles County mandated that employees must register with Fulgent Genetics. They referred to it as part of a “vaccine passport” system that all public employees must take part in or risk being terminated.

Fulgent Genetics states very clearly on their website that they “may store, process, and transmit personal information in locations around the world, including locations outside the country or jurisdiction where you are located.”

Villanueva stated in his letter that the FBI had contacted him and then held a briefing the day after Thanksgiving at the FBI’s L.A. field office along with the county’s top attorney and chief executive to convey “the serious risks associated with allowing Fulgent to conduct COVID-19 testing” of county employees. He asserted they are connected to the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences which is under the control of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

The sheriff claimed that the DNA data is “not guaranteed to be safe and secure from foreign governments” and that the FBI warned the information is likely to be shared with China. Fulgent Genetics allegedly has “strong ties” with Chinese technology and genomics companies.

The county claimed on Monday that its contract with Fulgent Genetics forbids the disclosure of data collected without the county’s written permission and requires that the company store and process data in the continental United States.

Equally disturbing is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies contract with Fulgent Genetics.

“If a credible threat is confirmed, or if the federal government takes any steps to rescind its certification, we will take immediate action to ensure no employee data is misused,” the county statement proclaimed.

A contract was awarded to Fulgent Genetics in March by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide genomic sequencing of random positive samples, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Villanueva contended in his letter that the company makes “no attempt to disguise the fact that they will use the genetic information obtained in future studies.”

“Entering into a no-bid contract with Fulgent Genetics and allowing them to have the DNA data obtained from mandatory COVID-19 testing, for unknown purposes, has shattered all confidence my personnel have in this entire process under the county mandate,” he wrote.

Villanueva remarked that the Sheriff’s Department would use its own registration system and work with vetted testing companies that are not associated with Fulgent Genetics or the communist Chinese.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn commented on Monday that Villanueva should focus on enforcing the county’s employee vaccination mandate.

“I wish the sheriff would get his deputies vaccinated instead of worrying about how the unvaccinated get tested,” she declared in a statement.

Villanueva has butted heads before with the powers-that-be in California over the pandemic. He has previously asserted that he will not comply with nor enforce the vaccine mandate.

The sheriff is strongly supported in his stance against Fulgent Genetics:

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