Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not fund "gain-of-function" research in Wuhan and even if they did, the newly created superviruses are genetically too dissimilar to COVID to have caused the pandemic. The left-wing media allows this blather to accumulate without any critical analysis.
First, no one, not myself or anyone I’m aware of, argues that a recombinant supervirus that has been published in scientific journals is COVID-19 or a close relative. If COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan lab, it would be a laboratory-created virus that the Wuhan scientists have not yet, and are unlikely ever, to reveal.
What we are arguing is that the techniques that the NIH funded in Wuhan to create enhanced pathogens may also have been used to create COVID-19.
Fauci’s sophistry is a straw man argument to avoid a fact that even the NIH now admits: that a recombinant virus created in the Wuhan lab and funded by the NIH did display increased lethality.
One way of denying that the NIH funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan is to scrub the NIH website of its "gain-of-function" definition.
On Oct. 20, the NIH admitted in a letter to two members of Congress that research supported by the NIH in Wuhan did create viruses that gained function or gained in lethality.
On the same day, the NIH removed its previous definition of gain-of-function research from its website and replaced it with another term: "enhanced potential pandemic pathogen" research. As described on the NIH website, ePPP research refers to research "that may be reasonably anticipated to create, transfer, or use potential pandemic pathogens resulting from the enhancement of a pathogen’s transmissibility and/or virulence in humans."
And wouldn’t you know it, the NIH letter admitting the agency-funded research that strengthened bat viruses in Wuhan makes no mention of gain-of-function research either. Rather, the letter argues that the experiments do not count as ePPP research "because these bat viruses had not been shown to infect humans."
So what explains the change in terms? To avoid contradicting Dr. Fauci’s testimony that NIH does not fund gain-of-function research, the NIH is compelled to change the topic. The NIH is effectively moving the goalposts and arguing that any experiment that combines an unknown virus with a known pathogen such as the SARS coronavirus (15% mortality) is not gain of function because the experimenters do not know yet whether the recombinant virus will be enhanced.
That’s crazy! Defining away gain-of-function research by saying it doesn’t exist unless you know in advance it will occur is the very essence of hubris.
So, according to the altered NIH standard, recombing any unknown bat virus with a deadly virus like MERS (a coronavirus with mortality as high as 50%) is NOT gain-of-function research because the result is not yet known.
Why so many machinations and word manipulations? Because ultimately, we’re talking about culpability here. NIH, under Dr. Fauci’s tutelage, funded research in Wuhan that used recombinant genetics to merge unknown bat coronaviruses with a known pandemic pathogen, the SARS virus.
And Dr. Fauci still claims it isn’t "gain-of-function" research because the scientists didn’t know in advance that the newly created virus would be enhanced or more deadly.
But isn’t that the very purpose of the experiment, to see if the newly created virus has gained function?
Under Dr. Fauci’s convoluted definition, no experiment, no matter how deadly the combination, would be considered "gain-of-function" unless the scientists knew in advance that the combination would lead to enhanced lethality.
Under Dr. Fauci’s word salad guidance no experiment combining viruses would ever be denied funding.
The NIH’s old and newly altered website admits that the NIH funds "gain-of-function" research but that it needs to be "conducted in very high biosecurity laboratories." But we can’t even get to the question of whether the Wuhan lab was secure because Dr. Fauci won’t admit that "gain-of-function" research even occurred.
Furthermore, Dr. Fauci continues to support funding for EcoHealth. Despite the possibility of a lab leak in Wuhan, in 2020 the NIH rewarded EcoHealth with a new grant, this time in the amount of $1.5 million per year for five years. Giving more taxpayer money to EcoHeath, an organization that has been less than forthcoming about what happened in Wuhan, is malpractice.
The American people deserve to know how this pandemic started, to know if the NIH funded research that may have caused this pandemic, and to remove from office anyone, such as Dr. Fauci, who let this happen.