In a newly resurfaced paper from 2012, Dr. Anthony Fauci argued that the benefits of gain-of-function research are worth the increased risk of a potential pandemic-causing lab accident.
Despite the risks of a pandemic, Fauci called gain-of-function experiments “important work” writing:
“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?
“Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?
“Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.
“It is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature, and the need to stay ahead of such a threat is a primary reason for performing an experiment that might appear to be risky.
“Within the research community, many have expressed concern that important research progress could come to a halt just because of the fear that someone, somewhere, might attempt to replicate these experiments sloppily.
“This is a valid concern,” Fauci said.
In 2014, the Obama administration paused funding for gain-of-function.
But Fauci, the then-director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), did not alert Trump White House officials before lifting a ban on gain-of-function research in 2017.
Now HHS has said the Wuhan lab violated the terms of Fauci’s grants.
However, Fauci was prohibited from handing out grants for this research and the rest is history.
American molecular biologist Richard H. Ebright shared a letter from HHS to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
In a post on Twitter/X, Ebright said:
“HHS letter to Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), 09/19/23: ‘NIH determined that..WIV conducted an experiment that violated the terms of the grant regarding viral activity, which possibly did lead..to..unacceptable outcomes.’
“NIH determined that an experiment by WIV..yielded a greater than 1 log increase in viral activity, in violation of the terms of the grant…
“NIH’s conclusion that WIV likely violated protocols of the NIH regarding biosafety is undisputed.
“In 2017-2018, WIV constructed a novel chimeric SARS-like coronavirus that was able to infect and replicate in human airway cells and that had 10,000x enhanced viral growth and 4x enhanced lethality in mice engineered to display human receptors on cells.
“In 2018, in an NIH grant proposal, WIV and collaborators proposed to construct more novel chimeric SARS-like coronaviruses, targeting chimeras that replace natural spike gene with novel spike genes encoding spikes that have higher binding affinities to human cells.”
HHS letter to Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), 09/19/23: "NIH determined that..WIV conducted an experiment that violated the terms of the grant regarding viral activity, which possibly did lead..to..unacceptable outcomes" https://t.co/EO7H6kHxRy pic.twitter.com/oTQ9XsnR6m— Richard H. Ebright (@R_H_Ebright) September 20, 2023