NYC & Philadelphia
by Michael Kane
In both New York City and Philadelphia the public school systems signed contracts for in-school COVID testing with laboratories that ‘coincidentally’ own large proprietary catalogues of DNA specimens.
In NYC the contracted laboratory is Fulgent Genetics. Through the courts and freedom of information requests, we were able to get legal guarantees that specimens from COVID testing will be destroyed and used for nothing but a positive or negative COVID result.
In Philadelphia the schools have contracted Thermo Fischer Scientific, a laboratory that is known to have given “free health screenings” to children in China for the hidden purpose of cataloguing their DNA specimens. They also maintain a DNA database that every police department in America has access to (supporting documentation provided below).
Is it just a coincidence that 2 of the largest cities on the east coast have partnered with major laboratories that own DNA catalogues to collect specimens for in-school COVID testing? What about the other major cities in America? Los Angeles? San Francisco? Chicago? Who has been contracted to execute those in-school COVID testing contracts? Is it also, coincidentally, a laboratory that owns a large proprietary catalogue of DNA specimens? This is an open question that I hope a journalist of integrity will pick up the ball and run with.
I’m just a teacher.
New York City
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE has sued NYC Schools over privacy rights of specimens taken from staff and students during in-school COVID testing, and we won. In our case KANE vs. NYC DOE, we ultimately won a court ordered stipulation forbidding Fulgent Genetics, or any NYC DOE contractor, from utilizing collected specimens for anything other than getting a positive or negative COVID result. After winning in court, we still did not get to see the governing contract; it remained secret. When we finally uncovered the governing contract through a freedom of information request, it revealed Fulgent was never required to destroy any of the specimens they collected.
Glad we got our court-ordered stipulation!
In Philadelphia, teacher Neal Follman has uncovered that the lab contracted for in-school COVID testing in the public schools, Thermo Fischer Scientific, is creating its own DNA database accessible to every police department in the country. Thermo Fischer has also harvested DNA from Chinese children through “free heath screenings.” In addition to this they have played a key role in the detention and tracking of the Muslim minority Uighers and other dissidents many who are in Chinese concentration camps. The lab has also partnered with Bode Technologies, a private company run by CIA interests (supporting documentation below).
Follman has asked to see the contracts that govern Thermo Fischer’s in-school COVID testing program in Philadelphia schools. While some of the contracts have been provided, others still remain secret. (This is exactly the same nonsense we dealt with in NYC which forced us to retain attorneys). Follman was recently fired for refusing to sign the in-school COVID testing consent form in Philadelphia public schools. Below is brilliant research from Neal Follman documenting the shady reality surrounding Thermo Fischer Scientific. This comes from Follman’s 16 page rebuttal to Philadelphia’s Labor Relations Department on why he was unfairly and illegally fired from his teaching position in Philly.
Outstanding work Neal!!!
What gave me the greatest concern in my research however, was one of the companies that the District has given a contract to: Thermo Fisher Scientific and it’s TaqPath. As I stated previously, the District has claimed a commitment to focusing on social justice and equality, particularly as it applies to race and sexuality. If this claim is authentic, then why is the District giving contracts to a company that is focused on establishing a DNA database that will be accessible to every police department in the country? If it seeks equality, why is it endorsing a company that harvested data by giving Chinese children “free heath screenings” in order to collect their DNA, and ultimately incarcerate Uighers and dissident citizens in concentration camps? I have cited information below that highlights my concerns:
- FBI Approves Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Rapid DNA Solution for National DNA Index System (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/science/dna-crime-gene-technology.html) While this is currently being employed in limited areas, the implication is that this technology will be implemented nationally.
- Here is a presentation that highlights how this technology was used by the Bensalem Police Department: https://assets.thermofisher.com/TFS-Assets/GSD/Reference-Materials/law-enforcement-rapid-DNA-case-study.pdf
This presentation alone should be cause for concern for anyone that claims to serve the best interest of children. It is impossible to express the negative impact that our justice system has had on the lives of many of my students, and while this topic is one that would need to be addressed separately, the implications of this alliance are alarming. If one gets toward the end of the presentation, they will also see that Thermo Fisher has partnered with Bode Technologies, which a little research will reveal to be a privatized company that is run by former employees of the CIA. Here is a link to a recent conference that they held, and I advise exploring their website as well:
3) Why did the Philadelphia Police Department allocate money to Thermo Fisher Scientific for “lab equipment”? And if your immediate reaction is to label this question as speculation, I ask that you look at the information provided in number 4. I also would encourage you to investigate the PPD Forensic Director’s (Mike Garvey) ties to the CIA.
4) WHY ARE WE GIVING CONTRACTS TO COMPANIES THAT HAVE ASSISTED IN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES SINCE 2017?
- Thermo Fisher Scientific has supplied, “[T]echnologies to ‘severely limit the freedoms of movement, expression, and religion’ of the ethnic minority Uyghur population of western China. China has detained an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in ‘political education centers,’ including over a dozen family members of U.S.-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) Uyghur Service journalists.” https://www.cecc.gov/media-center/press-releases/chairs-ask-commerce-secretary-ross-about-sale-of-surveillance-technology
““[H]uman rights groups have expressed alarm that such data could be employed to track down Uighurs who do not cooperate with the government. For example, the DNA could be used to predict an individual’s facial features, images of which the government could compile in ‘mass surveillance and facial recognition systems that it is building.’” Also of note is the quotation that has haunted me since I found it in April: ‘“The Chinese government’s intrusive surveillance of its population, including the collection of biometric data, is not confined solely to Xinjiang. Throughout the country, police have taken individuals’ DNA samples by offering “free health checks” or by simply taking saliva samples from schoolchildren. Chinese public security officials aim to have 100 million DNA records in their national database before the end of this year. However, the anthropologist Darren Byler, an expert on recent Chinese government policies toward Uighurs, has argued that the state’s biometric data system is particularly threatening to Uighurs: “Since Uyghurs have no legal representation and virtually no institutional support, the Chinese state is free to experiment on them as they wish. The resonance between the eugenics movement that was widespread in America and Western Europe in the 1940s and the contemporary Chinese weaponization of biomedicine is not lost on them. This is why there is widespread fear among Uyghurs that the biometric data may be used to selectively harvest the organs of thousands of Uyghurs that have disappeared . . . [into] the mass detention system.” How can a district, that outwardly claims to be focused on equality and justice, conduct business with a company that engages in such business practices, even though they announced they would no longer do business in that region in 2019. ‘“We recognize the importance of considering how our products and services are used—or may be used—by our customers,’ the company said in a statement. It didn’t specify whether it would continue to sell these sequencers elsewhere in China.” If one were to give Thermo Fisher Scientific the benefit of the doubt and believe their claims of being ignorant to this gross abuse of their product, does that not still enable the same abuse to be perpetrated on Philadelphia’s children? Who is overseeing this operation? Why should I trust the District when they have failed to provide contract information that was requested months ago, which was supposed to be provided within 30 days? How can I be terminated from my position, as a public servant, when my actions are strictly motivated by protecting the students I love?