“GAIN OF FUNCTION” RESEARCH IS TERRIBLE AND SHOULD BE BANNED: US officials revisit rules for disclosing risky disease experiments: An expert panel is considering how much to reveal about a largely secret review process of ‘gain-of-function’ research.
Of course, a counterargument is that the U.S. ban just drove research — even research funded by the U.S. — overseas to Wuhan, where standards were slipshod.
Back in October 2014, the US government had placed a federal moratorium on gain-of-function (GOF) research – altering natural pathogens to make them more deadly and infectious – as a result of rising fears about a possible pandemic caused by an accidental or deliberate release of these genetically engineered monster germs.
This was in part due to lab accidents at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2014 that raised questions about biosafety at US high-containment labs.
At that time, the CDC had closed two labs and halted some biological shipments in the wake of several incidents in which highly pathogenic microbes were mishandled by US government laboratories: an accidental shipment of live anthrax, the discovery of forgotten live smallpox samples and a newly revealed incident in which a dangerous influenza strain was accidentally shipped from the CDC to another lab.
A CDC internal report described how scientists failed to follow proper procedures to ensure samples were inactivated before they left the lab, and also found “multiple other problems” with operating procedures in the anthrax lab.
As such in October 2014, because of public health concerns, the US government banned all federal funding on efforts to weaponize three viruses – influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
In the face of a moratorium in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci – the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and currently the leading doctor in the US Coronavirus Task Force – outsourced in 2015 the GOF research to China’s Wuhan lab and licensed the lab to continue receiving US government funding.
The Wuhan lab is now at the center of scrutiny for possibly releasing the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and causing the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Worth remembering Fauci’s role here, which has gotten little attention.