In addition to the Obama administration enabling the firm to gain a foothold in the U.S., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation played a critical role in BGI’s American expansion.
In September of 2012, the Microsoft founder’s foundation signed a “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a collaboration on global health and agricultural development with the goal of achieving common objectives in health and agricultural development.”
The company is working towards a goal of building a huge library based on the DNA of many millions of people. BGI executives see this not as the end-game, but as the springboard for new drug discoveries, advanced genetic research and a transformation of public health policy.
The company has recently come under fire following a 60 Minutes exposé on the company’s use of COVID-19 tests to “collect, store and exploit biometric information” on American citizens, according to former U.S. intelligence officials. What’s more, a recent Reuters article linked the firm to the Chinese Communist Party’s military.
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