Federal prosecutors have brought charges against Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology chair for lying to the Defense Department about money he received from China’s Wuhan University of Technology.
Charles M. Lieber, the chair of Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, allegedly violated federal law by not disclosing his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Plan to the Defense Department, including money he received, according to the charging document.
“The charges brought by the U.S. government against Professor Lieber are extremely serious,” Harvard said in a statement. “Harvard is cooperating with federal authorities, including the National Institutes of Health, and is initiating its own review of the alleged misconduct.”
The documents presented by federal prosecutors on Tuesday allege that Lieber was paid $50,000 monthly, along with $158,000 in living expenses and $1.74 million to set up a research lab at Wuhan University.
The money was allegedly transferred using China’s Thousand Talents program, which aims to poach Western science and technology experts and bring them to work in China in those fields.
The National Institutes of Health was also allegedly lied to by Lieber regarding his involvement in the Thousand Talents recruitment plan and his affiliation withChina’s Wuhan University.
NBC News reported that law enforcement has confirmed Lieber is in federal custody as of Tuesday.
In 2011, Lieber was featured in a Harvard Magazine article for his work on “virus-sized transistors:”
Lieber has worked for the past decade on the design and synthesis of nanoscale parts that will enable him to build tiny electronic devices (see “Liquid Computing,” November-December 2001, page 20).
The arrest comes as Wuhan is under quarantine after the spread of the novel coronavirus, with thousands infected and many more dead.
Wuhan has been confirmed as the epicenter of the biological crisis.
National File reported last week on video evidence that shows Wuhan hospitals are running out of beds as infected patients pile up on the floors:
Disturbing video footage posted to YouTube shows a Chinese doctor in the doctor in the city of Wuhan begging in vain for help from higher-ups to combat the spread of the deadly Corona virus.
The doctor, clad in full hazmat gear, is seen on the phone communicating with his superiors in an agitated voice.The user who posted the video provided a rough translation of the phone call:
TRANSLATION: Doctor picks up phone: “I don’t want to go home?! I don’t want to go home to celebrate New Year’s, huh?! What did you guys do?! What did you guys do?”
[Not 100% on the next few sentences, so “rough” translation.]
“You five went to see some sick people, and then there were four? And then we came out, there were thirteen!?”
“We don’t want to live?! Look at this situation!”
Nurse walks up to try and comfort him.
Doctor continues: “What exactly is it do you guys want to do, huh?! No, I don’t want it! Fine, if you guys don’t think it’s convenient, then forget it! Take [them?] away! Go home! Go home and don’t work!”
Nurse: “Don’t make a fuss…”
Doctor: “I’m not making a fuss! There are so many sickbeds, what do we do?!”
National File is continuing to track the Coronavirus outbreak.