Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is finally getting his hearing on gain-of-function research, a practice that was banned from receiving federal funding years ago, but was resumed by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and conducted in Chinese labs, Town Hall reports.
“The purpose of this hearing is to examine issues involving gain-of-function research, which attempts to enhance the severity and transmissibility of existing viruses that may infect humans or other mammals,” Paul’s office previewed in statement. “Gain-of-function research has historically been supported by tax dollars both domestically and internationally; as such, this hearing lies at the intersection of the subcommittee’s two primary jurisdictional responsibilities – monitoring emerging threats and conducting oversight of federal spending.”
“The dangers of this research are so acute that under President Barack Obama, the National Institutes of Health suspended funding for all gain-of-function projects until a risk assessment protocol could be developed for them,” they continue. “Gain-of-function research resumed in 2017, after a special committee review process was established to help manage these risks. However, serious questions remain about whether that protocol is sufficient to protect the U.S. and the world from the potential negative consequences of this research. Moreover, the debate over what gain-of-function research is and what it is not, is not settled.”
“Gain-of-function research has the potential to unleash a global pandemic that threatens the lives of millions, yet this is the first time the issue has been discussed in a congressional committee,” Paul said during the opening of Wednesday’s hearing.
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