You are here: Welcome » USAID PREDICT


PREDICT was an epidemiological research program funded by a United States Agency for International Development USAID grant. Launched in 2009, the program was described as an early warning pandemic in response to the influenza A virus subtype H5N1 “bird flu” outbreak in 2005. It was designed and overseen by Dennis Carroll, then the director of the USAID emerging threats division with epidemiologist Jonna Mazet of the University of California, Davis as its global director.

PREDICT has been enabling global surveillance of pathogens that can spillover from animal hosts to people by building capacities to detect an discover viruses of pandemic potential. The project is part of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program and is led by the UC Davis One Health Institute. 1)

PREDICT is enabling global surveillance for pathogens that can spillover from animal hosts to people by building capacities to detect and discover viruses of pandemic potential. The project is part of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program and is led by the UC Davis One Health Intitute.

PREDICT was initiated in 2009 to strengthen global capacity for detection and discovery of viruses with pandemic potential that can move between animals and people. Those include coronaviruses, the family to which SARS and MERS belong; paramyxoviruses, like Nipah virus; influenza viruses; and filoviruses, like the ebolavirus.

Working with partners in over 30 countries, the project is investigating the behaviors, practices and ecological and biological factors driving disease emergence, transmission and spread using the One Health approach.

Through these efforts, PREDICT has improved global disease recognition and has developed strategies and policy recommendations to minimize pandemic risk. 2)

PREDICT enables global surveillance of pathogens that can spillover from animal hosts to people by building capacities to detect and discover viruses of pandemic potential. The project is part of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program and is led by the UC Davis One Health Institute.

The core partners are USAID, EcoHealth Alliance, Metabiota, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Smithsonian Institution. Contact us at 3)

PREDICT Global Network

Developed the One Health Workforce by training more than 6,800 people in over 30 countries.

Operationalized One Health surveillance and sampled over 164K animals and people, helping minimize the spillover of zoonotic disease threats from animals into human populations.

Detected over 1,100 unique viruses (949 novel, 217 known), including zoonotic diseases of public health concern such as Bombali ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Marburg virus, and MERS- and SARS-like coronaviruses. 4)

==== PREDICT Project Archive ===== 5)

Taxpayer Fraud and Profiteering

Celebrated virus hunter siphoned taxpayer funds for his private ‘Global Virome Project’ US Right To Know - USRTK March 16, 2022 by Emily Kopp

A former U.S. Agency for International Development official founded and worked for a controversial organization benefiting from USAID funds while he continued to receive six-figure paychecks from his USAID job, potentially running afoul of ethics laws, according to documents obtained by U.S. Right to Know.

Emerging Pandemic Threats Division Director Dennis Carroll went on to lead the organization — an ambitious, expensive, and potentially dangerous endeavor called the Global Virome Project. Carroll is now the group’s chair.

USAID — a federal agency that typically provides foreign aid — funded a $210 million government program that Carroll designed and oversaw for 10 years called “PREDICT” that served as the “proof of concept” for the Global Virome Project.

Now the Global Virome Project is seeking at least $1.2 billion to collect more than 1 million viruses in wildlife, with the stated aim of forecasting where animals carry pathogens that could evolve to infect humans too. Carroll has pitched the Global Virome Project as the “beginning of the end of the pandemic era.”

Not all experts are convinced Carroll can make good on those promises. Others worry the fieldwork may pose its own pandemic risks.

Although the Global Virome Project is controversial even within the field of virology, the idea gained credibility with Carroll’s help and his use of the imprimatur of USAID, the emails suggest.

They indicate that Carroll’s work as USAID’s leader in viral surveillance and as the chair of the Global Virome Project overlapped for years.

Carroll organized calls and meetings on the project’s work with other co-founders, sought donations and helped refine fundraising pitches, pushed favorable messages in the press, and consulted on its application for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service — all while still working for USAID.

Carroll told the media he founded the Global Virome Project after he left his job at USAID.

But the emails show he started in-depth work on the Global Virome Project as early as March 2017, and received six-figure USAID paychecks in 2017, 2018 and 2019. For example, in 2019, USAID paid Carroll $166,500, the maximum allowed for a rank-and-file federal employee.

“The law is clear that officials cannot use government resources to benefit themselves or prospective employers,” said Kedric Payne, senior director of ethics with the Campaign Legal Center, a government watchdog group. “If Carroll was involved in decisions benefitting GVP while he was at USAID, it is likely that he needed approval from the agency’s ethics officials. The public has a right to know if their public officials comply with conflict of interest laws.”

A USAID spokesperson said in a statement that Carroll never sought a waiver either from laws surrounding conflicts-of-interest while in a government job, or from laws regulating the revolving door.

“USAID does not have any record that Mr. Carroll sought clearance for any outside positions while he was still employed at USAID,” a spokesman said in an email. “USAID does not have any record that Mr. Carroll sought advice regarding whether a recusal was necessary or appropriate for any post-government employment negotiations in which he might have been engaging.”

Experts also raised concerns about Carroll appearing to leverage the prestige of his position at USAID to endorse the private organization he founded.

“There’s numerous conflict of interest laws that should be investigated here to ensure that Carroll didn’t violate the laws on the books,” said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group.

Carroll did not respond to a request for comment or to a request for the Global Virome Project’s tax records.

Connections in Wuhan

Global Virome Project cofounder, secretary and treasurer Peter Daszak ⁠— president of another USAID contractor called EcoHealth Alliance — has come under Congressional scrutiny because of his work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including on so-called “gain-of-function” work that makes novel coronaviruses more dangerous in the lab. Carroll’s division at USAID funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology through EcoHealth Alliance.

Shi Zhengli, a top coronavirus researcher at the Wuhan lab, worked with Carroll’s PREDICT and was slated to work with the Global Virome Project.

The emails demonstrate that there was significant correspondence between Carroll and Daszak about the Global Virome Project while Carroll was a USAID official and EcoHealth was receiving USAID funds.

In one March 2019 email, Daszak suggests that lawyers flagged the overlap in Carroll’s role.

“I realize this isn’t the exact language you wanted, but it’s safer for us at this sensitive point where we still receive USAID funding being [used] for GVP related activities,” Daszak wrote to Carroll.

The details are redacted.6)

USAID PREDICT DEEP VZN Virus Hunters Close Shop 2023

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 07 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2002

For more than a decade the US government has been funding international projects engaged in identifying exotic wildlife viruses that might someday infect humans.

Although critics have raised concerns over the potentially catastrophic risks of such virus hunting activities,1 hundreds of millions of dollars in unabated funding have symbolised a commitment to the effort.

The shuttering of the project, as described in a new congressional budget document and during interviews with scientists and federal policy makers, marks an abrupt retreat by the US government from wildlife virus hunting, an activity that has also been funded by the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

The turnabout follows early warnings raised by sceptics—including officials in the Biden White House—that the $125m (£99m; €115m) “DEEP VZN” programme could inadvertently ignite a pandemic. The misgivings continue to resonate, as the cause of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the world’s deadliest such event in a century, remains unproved.

When USAID, an arm of the US State Department, launched DEEP VZN (pronounced “deep vision”) in October 2021, the agency promoted it as “a critical next step . . . to understand and address the risks posed by zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.”2 Short for “Discovery & Exploration of Emerging Pathogens—Viral Zoonoses,” DEEP VZN succeeded an earlier USAID programme called PREDICT and aimed to find previously unknown pathogens from three viral families: coronaviruses; filoviruses, such as Ebola; and paramyxoviruses, including Nipah virus. The aim was to help the world “be better prepared to detect, prevent and respond to future biological threats.”2

Officials at Washington State University, hired by USAID to help administer DEEP VZN, said in a submission to the agency that the university’s goal was to collect around 480 000 samples from wildlife, seeking out “previously unknown” viruses to “identify a subset that pose a significant pandemic threat.” The university said that the project aimed to “detect and characterize” as many as 12 000 novel viruses over the programme’s five years.3

Beginning in July of this year, however, officials at USAID quietly informed aides to Democratic and Republican members of two Senate committees with jurisdiction over DEEP VZN that it was being shut down. Apart from the Biden White House officials, several Republican senators had questioned the prudence of DEEP VZN, according to Senate letters and the interviews conducted for this article.

The previously unpublicised decision by USAID to terminate DEEP VZN comes amid heightened concerns over the many risks of working with exotic viruses—including unresolved questions about whether a research mishap or a naturally occurring spillover of virus from an animal species to humans caused the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.4

In China, where a separate effort to catalogue viruses has been under way for years, scientists have described being bitten or scratched by bats or having bat urine or blood splashed into their eyes and faces.567

The closure of DEEP VZN was privately relayed to the Senate aides by the office of Atul Gawande, USAID’s assistant administrator for global health, said officials familiar with the matter. Gawande, an appointee of President Biden, was a general and endocrine surgeon and bestselling author before joining the administration in January 2022.


Back to top