Following Friday's bombshell revelation that Dr. Anthony Fauci has supported 'gain of function' research, even arguing that the "risks" (which include a worldwide pandemic caused by a potential lab accident) were outweighed by the potential benefits to humanity, it's worth revisiting a vote that quietly took place earlier this week in the Senate.
Sen. Paul has been arguing with Dr. Fauci about the merits of the research and whether they're outweighed by the risks of deadly lab leaks for weeks now. He memorably took the good doctor to task during a hearing of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee hectoring over his prior support for gain of function research in China, to which Dr. Fauci insisted that was not the case.
Now, reporting by the Australian, which brought to light an obscure 2012 paper written by the doctor, has proven the doctor's comments to be disingenuous.
Here's what we wrote about that earlier.
"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?" Fauci wrote in the American Society for Microbiology in 2012, adding "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," Fauci continued. "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."
In the paper, Dr Fauci also writes: “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.”
Coincidentally, the mainstream was silent when just days ago, Sen. Paul proposed an amendment that would ban the use of federal money to support 'gain of function' research in China, an effort that hasn't garnered widespread support in the Democrat-dominated body for obvious reasons. But despite this, the amendment received unanimous support, and was attached to the bill.
"We may not know whether this rose out of a Wuhan lab, but I think gain-of-function research - where we take a deadly virus, sometimes much more deadly than COVID, and then we increase its transmissibility to mammals - is wrong. In 2014, NIH stopped all of this research. I’m using the same definition to say any gain-of-function research should not be funded in China with U.S. taxpayer dollars, and I recommend a yes vote."
But with President Biden now giving the government 90 days to release something conclusive about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, some believe public interest in this type of research is about to surge. And in a sign of just how much public opinion has shifted so far, a group of supporters gathered cheered when Rand's amendment was passed unanimously.
Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Paul delivered a brief speech, pointing out that the NHS had banned this type of research in 2014.
SENATE: The Senate chamber erupts into cheers after an amendment proposed by @RandPaul that bans US funding of gain-of-function research in China is passed by unanimous voice vote pic.twitter.com/8fQ6hAWpuW— Forbes (@Forbes) May 25, 2021
The amendment, Senate Amendment 2003, was appended to the Endless Frontier Act which bans Fauci’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other U.S. agencies from funding any gain-of-function research in China.