Authored by Stephen L. Miller via Spectator World (emphasis ours),
I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again: the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded ‘gain-of-function’ research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
That was Dr Anthony Fauci during a May 2021 congressional hearing. It kicked off a months-long national media effort to frame questions around gain-of-function research and US-taxpayer-funded virus manipulation as a Royal Rumble between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul.
When he testifies or sits for friendly network interviews, Fauci depends on semantics. He relies on the naivety of the interviewer and the audience, employing terminology and definitions he believes only he understands.
But like the ponytailed Chad in Good Will Hunting attempting to flex his big brain, Fauci’s arguments fall apart in front of the initiated.
Last week, Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director of the NIH, sent a letter to Congress saying that EcoHealth Alliance failed to report certain aspects of the experimental work it had been conducting in China on bats and bat-borne viruses. Tabak pledged that the NIH and Fauci’s NIAID would take administrative action, but not much more than that.
So Fauci’s absolutist answer from May has proven to be false. At the very least, the doctor needs to answer directly why he chose to deflect questions on gain-of-function research, something his own agency is claiming it had no idea was happening. How could have Fauci have denied back in May something so “categorically” if EcoHealth Alliance, run by Fauci ally Peter Daszak, had failed to report the full extent of their experiments?
When Fauci sat for a cozy Sunday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he once again deployed his semantic game on the interviewer. Stephanopoulos framed the revealing letter from Tabak as “critics pouncing”:
“Some critics and analysts have seized on that to say you and others have misled the public about US funding of this so-called gain-of-function research. The NIH says that’s false.”
Fauci addressed Senator Rand Paul directly by responding, “The framework under which we have guidance about the conduct of research that we fund, the funding at the Wuhan Institute was to be able to determine what is out there in the environment, in bat viruses in China. And the research was very strictly under what we call a framework of oversight of the type of research.”
Fauci then went on to say “And under those conditions which we have explained very, very clearly, does not constitute research of gain-of-function of concern.” In his answer, Fauci hedges by admitting that there was US funding directed to the Wuhan Institute, but, now, that funding did not directly fund “gain-of-function of concern.”
“Of concern” is the new caveat Fauci has added to get around answering the question. He had never used the terminology “gain-of-function of concern” in prior interviews or testimony. He just slipped it in there because hardly anyone notices. Furthermore he knows that the general public and most of the press has no idea what “of concern” means.
We know that gain-of-function research was happening in Wuhan and we know Fauci categorically denied US involvement in it. So now he’s attempting to sneak one by the audience and change the terminology, on what the definition of “gain-of-function of concern” means. So what does it mean?
It all comes down to intent. “Of concern” is the term used to differentiate studying and manipulating viruses in the scientific environments as a purposeful method to produce bioweapons. Fauci said as much in 2012 when he testified that his department worked with the Defense Department on such experiments. What Fauci is seeking to do is tweak the argument with semantics and write off his critics and the critics of gain-of-function as people accusing Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of developing bioweapons. No one has done so. It’s a game: “Sure we funded gain-of-function, but how dare you insinuate we funded bioweapon research, you kook!”
These are not the actions of a medical professional, with a serious interest in a transparent inquiry into the origins of the virus that has led to the deaths of 16 million people worldwide, including 750,000 Americans. These are the games a bureaucrat plays when they are attempting to cover their own ass, their career and their life’s work. Pulling this thread leads to one place: more discovery, more leaks and more gleam off Fauci’s armor in the media. How much more damning information needs to come out before he retires?
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Stephen L. Miller is a contributing editor to The Spectator.