Sheriff Villanueva will not use county’s coronavirus testing

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated on Monday that his division would now not use the county’s coronavirus testing supplier over issues concerning the firm’s alleged ties with the Chinese language authorities.

In a letter to the board of supervisors, Villanueva stated the FBI contacted her final week and held a briefing the day after Thanksgiving to handle the “severe dangers related to permitting Fulgent to take a COVID-19 take a look at” of county staff. ” may be eliminated.

Villanueva stated the obtained DNA knowledge “will not be assured to be secure and safe from international governments” and suggested the FBI that the data was prone to be shared with China. Fulgent Genetics, he stated within the letter, has “sturdy ties” with Chinese language know-how and genomics corporations, however didn’t specify what these ties are.

Villanueva stated she attended a briefing on the FBI’s L.A. area workplace with the county’s high lawyer and chief government. An FBI spokesman declined to remark when requested to verify what was mentioned within the assembly.

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl stated she was invited to the briefing by textual content, however couldn’t attend as a result of she was out of city for Thanksgiving.

“From what I heard concerning the briefing, there was no proof, void, that Fulgent had breached something or had any affiliation with the Chinese language authorities that was dangerous to the data that will have been current within the samples they used.” testing,” she stated.

It’s not clear whether or not the FBI interviewed some other federal, state or native businesses utilizing Fulgent.

“Now we have no proof that they met anybody aside from us,” Kuehl stated.

The county’s settlement with Fulgent prohibits disclosure of knowledge collected with out the county’s written permission and requires that the corporate retailer and course of knowledge within the continental United States, the county stated in an announcement Monday.

Federal businesses, together with the Division of Homeland Safety, additionally contract with Fulgent, which is licensed by the Meals and Drug Administration, accredited by the Faculty of American Pathologists and licensed by the California Division of Public Well being, the assertion stated. . The corporate is situated in Temple Metropolis.

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

In March, Fulgent stated it had been awarded a contract by the federal Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention to supply genomic sequencing of random optimistic samples.

Villanueva stated of their letter that Fulgent “makes no try to cover the truth that they are going to use the genetic info obtained in future research.”

“Entering a no-bid contract with Fulgent Genetics and allowing them to obtain DNA data derived from mandatory COVID-19 testing for undisclosed purposes shattered all of my personnel’s confidence in this entire process under county mandate.” given,” wrote Villanueva.

County staff are required to register their vaccination standing with Fulgant, and people who haven’t been vaccinated are required to submit them for routine testing.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Skilled Assn, a union with about 1,850 members, sued the registration order, saying its members have been being pressured to supply confidential medical and peace officer personnel info.

Villanueva stated the sheriff’s division will use its personal registration system and work with probing testing corporations that aren’t affiliated with Fulgant.

Supervisor Janice Hahn stated Monday that Villanueva ought to concentrate on implementing the county’s worker vaccination mandate.

“I need the sheriff to do his responsibility to get vaccinated as an alternative of worrying about get examined with out being vaccinated,” she stated in an announcement.

Villanueva has made dramatic claims that the mandate would set off a mass exodus of staff. Earlier this month, about 53% of the sheriff’s division’s 16,070 staff, each sworn and civilian, had obtained not less than one dose of the vaccine.

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