Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci have been at war in recent months over the argument that the United States funded “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci continues to deny his beloved National Institutes of Health would have funded something so dangerous.
Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the money was funneled to the Chinese lab through the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance to fund “a modest collaboration with very respectable Chinese scientists who were world experts on coronavirus.”
But Fauci emphatically denied that the money went toward so-called “gain of function” research, which he described as “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans.”
“That categorically was not done,” he insisted.
Oh, really? NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told Rep. Andy Harris that researchers at Wuhan “were not approved by NIH for doing ‘gain-of-function research.'” Not approved? Does Fauci or any other man of science believe that the Chinese Communists didn’t take that money and spend it on anything they wanted to at the lab?
Fauci, as usual, is playing the politician more than the scientist. And he’s awful at both of them.
The Chinese army carried out secret projects at the Wuhan lab using lab personnel. Those employees were paid with U.S. tax dollars. That’s why Senator Paul wrote the amendments that not only banned U.S. funding of the Wuhan lab, but also any taxpayer support for gain-of-function research in China.
“We don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally,” said Dr. Paul. “While many still deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise. The passage of my amendment ensures that this never happens in the future. No taxpayer money should have ever been used to fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, and now we permanently have put it to a stop.”
Senate Amendment 2003 bans the National Institutes of Health and any other U.S. agency from funding any gain-of-function research in China.
The amendment defines gain-of-function research as “any research project that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity or transmissibility in mammals.” This is the same definition the NIH used when implementing a funding moratorium on gain-of-function research in 2014-2017.
Given what we know about the sloppiness and carelessness of lab personnel in Wuhan, a leak of a naturally occurring virus was always a distinct possibility. The Chinese government’s subsequent actions strengthen that belief. They may not have any better idea of the origin of the coronavirus than anyone else. But it’s clear that they feared it was a leak from the start. They covered up the three serious illnesses among lab workers from November 2019, destroyed medical records, denied the WHO team full access to the lab and its records, and continue to this day to obstruct investigations into the origins of the virus.
China may be the most guilty-looking innocent party in history. Or they may know a lot more than they’re letting on.