An open debate about the role Dr Fauci has played in managing pandemic outbreaks and research could be very helpful in deciding how to stop Covid and future pandemics
It seems clear Dr Fauci played a key role in removing the gain of function ban in place between 2014 and 2017 and ALSO in allowing some GOF work to continue in the USA ALSO between 2014 and 2017.
If it proves that a lab leak of a GOF virus was behind Covid Dr Fauci may have some responsibility. In any event a real debate must take place on GOF research
This is therefore not just a technical debate. It raises deep public policy, legal, ethical and cultural questions.
By investigating itself the USA can answer many of the key covid19 origin and virus research questions such as is doing gain of function research worth the risks and who has been funding it ?
So further down there is some follow the money info
Dr Fauci has been a longtime defender and promoter of GOF research on animal viruses in general, saying while he was working on GOF with bird-flu viruses such research is worth the risk because it allows scientists to prepare for pandemics. However, this kind of research has not improved governments’ pandemic responses to ebola, bird flu or Covid
Now former Food and Drug Administration chief, Scott Gottlieb, says that “Fauci briefed world leaders on the possibility the virus came from a Wuhan lab last spring”. According to a June 6 Forbes report, Gottlieb said last Sunday:
“I was told at the time back in the spring that Dr. Fauci had gone over to a meeting with world health leaders in Europe around the World Health Assembly (…) At this meeting, Fauci briefed world health leaders on the information U.S. officials were looking at, including ‘that this could have been a potential lab leak, that this strain looked unusual’”.
Does the NIAID Director still think that the risk is worth it?
And if the possibility of a lab origin pandemic was so obvious to him, has he been thwarting efforts to investigate a lab origin and making false statements, or just seeking to mislead?
And why have the “world health leaders” that he apparently informed not spoken out?
Yes, science can makes us wiser and safer, but if we want wisdom and safety those are the values that must be rewarded.
The world has a right to know the truth. As Louis Brandeis once said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Especially under penalty of perjury.
In a Senate hearing on May 11, NIAID Director Fauci declared [min. 59:49]:
“The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology”.
The discrepancy between these official statements, and the opinions of relevant experts and the amount of evidence suggesting the contrary, is disturbing. In response to the NIH’s Director statement from 29 May, Dr. Ebright declared in an interview:
“The statement by the NIH Director is demonstrably false. The NIH Director either is uninformed, or is misinformed, or is seeking to mislead (any one of which should be a disqualification for continuation in his position).
The NIH Director now even is denying that the 2015 Nature Medicine paper by UNC and WIV reporting construction of a novel chimeric coronavirus with spike gene from a bat SARS-related coronavirus with genomic backbone from SARS-CoV –a paper that for six years has been deemed to epitomize the highest-risk subset of gain of function research– was gain of function research”.
There is nevertheless a debate over the definition of GoF.
Technicalities aside, perhaps it was the biological weapons expert Milton Leitenberg of the University of Maryland who made the most resounding conclusion when he said to the Financial Times on 28 May; “Whatever we classify this work as, it should not have been taking place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology”.
Further evidence supporting the need for additional scrutiny was reported in The Australianon May 28 by Sharri Markson of Sky News, Australia :
“An investigation by The Weekend Australian has also confirmed Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID], did not alert senior White House officials before lifting the ban on gain-of-function research in 2017 (…)
in a January 21, 2018 NIAID Advisory Council open meeting, NIAID Director Fauci addressed the resumption of government funding for GoF research (and the new December 19, 2017 P3CO Framework) which he defines as “research that might be anticipated to create, transfer, or use enhanced potential pandemic pathogens”(min. 44).
Markson’s sources nevertheless strengthen some timely conclusions that Dr. Ebright expressed in the aforementioned interview:
“The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have systematically thwarted efforts by the White House, the Congress, scientists, and science policy specialists to regulate GoF research of concern and even to require risk-benefit review for projects involving GoF research of concern”.
“In 2014, the Obama White House implemented a ‘Pause’ in federal funding for GoF research of concern. However, the document announcing the Pause stated in a footnote that: ‘An exception from pause may be obtained if head of funding agency determines research is urgently necessary to protect public health or national security’. Unfortunately, the NIAID Director and the NIH Director exploited this loophole to issue exemptions to projects subject to the Pause –preposterously asserting the exempted research was ‘urgently necessary to protect public health or national security’– thereby nullifying the Pause”.
“In 2017, the Trump Administration announced a Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight (P3CO) Framework that implemented a requirement for risk-benefit review of GoF research of concern. However, the P3CO Framework relies on the funding agency to flag and forward proposals for risk-benefit review. Unfortunately, the NIAID Director and the NIH Director have declined to flag and forward proposals for risk-benefit review, thereby nullifying the P3CO Framework”.
These statements by Dr. Ebright seem truly alarming in the wake of the current pandemic and need to be followed up.
He later requested “a criminal investigation into Tony Fauci’s role in this pandemic”.
Did the directors of the NIH and NIAID break the law when they systematically thwarted efforts by the White House, Congress and the scientific community to implement the 2014 GoF Pause and the 2017 P3CO Framework? Was the recent NIH official statement and was Fauci’s NIAID Senate testimony about their role in Gain-of-Function funding, false or intentionally misleading? If this were the case, Title 18 § 1001 of the U.S. Legal Code has this to say:
“(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully- (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;(…)”.
It would be an astonishing and shocking situation. A good way to know if it is true is to have a presidential mandate for a full and unrestricted national investigation, with subpoena powers, into the U.S./Wuhan GoF controversy. Now. The 90 days are running out.
Even if the Wuhan lab turns out not to be the source of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, or U.S. Gain-of-Function funding played no role, it still would not change the urgency of a national investigation.
Are GoF experiments really worth the risk?
High-risk experiments with potential pandemic pathogens are a Pandora’s box, that much we know. The Cambridge Working Group has long warned that these studies could provoke a pandemic. Maybe the NIAID Director still thinks that the risk is worth it. As The Australian also recalls:
“America’s top medical adviser for the coronavirus, Anthony Fauci, argued [in this Sep-Oct 2012 paper] that the benefits of experimenting on contagious viruses–manipulating and heightening their infectious potency–was worth the risk of a laboratory accident sparking a pandemic”.
“In previously unreported remarks, Dr. Fauci supported the contentious gain-of-function experiments that some now fear might have led to an escape from a Wuhan laboratory causing the Covid-19 pandemic, calling them ‘important work’”.
Just before the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan outbreak, the WHO Global Preparedness Monitoring Board’s September 2019 annual report of which Anthony Fauci was a member, alerted in at least four different sections that a pandemic due to a lab leak or bioweapon attack was a plausible scenario (bold added):
“Countries, donors and multilateral institutions must be prepared for the worst. A rapidly spreading pandemic due to a lethal respiratory pathogen (whether naturally emergent or accidentally or deliberately released) poses additional preparedness requirements” (p. 8).
“In addition to a greater risk of pandemics from natural pathogens, scientific developments allow for disease-causing microorganisms to be engineered or recreated in laboratories. Should countries, terrorist groups, or scientifically advanced individuals create or obtain and then use biological weapons that have the characteristics of a novel, high-impact respiratory pathogen, the consequences could be as severe as, or even greater, than those of a natural epidemic, as could an accidental release of epidemic-prone microorganisms”
By Investigating Itself The US Can Answer Many Of The Key COVID19 Origin Questions - Independent Science News | Food, Health and Agriculture Bioscience News
by Jorge Casesmeiro Roger On May 26 U.S. President Biden gave U.S. Intelligence agencies 90 days to report findings about the possible Wuhan lab origin of the Covid-19 pandemic. One component of this investigation, having ...
Dr Fauci has been a longtime defender and promoter of GOF research on animal viruses in general however, this kind of research has not improved governments’ pandemic responses to ebola, bird flu or Covid, let alone provided any ability to speak clearly about what existing drugs or preventative measures or travel bans should be used or to have new vaccines or drugs or policies ready.
Further that Dr. Fauci knew in advance that a lab origin pandemic was plausible privately advising world leaders on this in June 2020 but publicly he campaigned to debunk even remote suggestions it was possible while supporting those against this lab idea but who are deeply conflicted such as Peter Daszak whose charity received almost $40-million-in-pentagon-funding plus additional NIH and US government funding for virus research linked to Gain of Function
Federal grant data assembled by independent researchers indicate that Daszak's EHA charity has received more than $100 million from the government – from 2017 to 2020 – and that one of its biggest funders is the Department of Defense, funneling almost $39 million to the organization since 2013
Daszak seems a central Covid / Wuhan figure as seen by his unusual appointment to investigate Covids origin.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs a former special advisor to the UN, the former head of the Millennium Villages Project, and Chair of the EAT Lancet Commission on the pandemic. in September 2020 named Daszak to head up its committee on the pandemic’s origins. Daszak is also on the WHO’s committee to investigate the pandemic’s origin. He is the only individual on both committees..... yet is a long time research collaborator with Professor Shi from the WIV and George Gao head of the Chinese CDC and as seen by recent emails is on close terms with Dr Fauci
PBS documentary linked below from 20mins and 05 seconds you will see
Peter Daszak interviewed saying he was in contact with George Gao on the 31st Dec 2019 about the Wuhan Virus outbreak offering help with the outbreak
Peter Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance Has Hidden Almost $40 Million In Pentagon Funding And Militarized Pandemic Science - Independent Science News | Food, Health and Agriculture Bioscience News
The hidden military funding of Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance
May 11, 2021, Senate hearing, Sen. Rand Paul questioned Fauci on the NIAID’s funding of GOF research on bat coronaviruses, some of which was conducted at the WIV.
Fauci denied the charge, saying “The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute.” It’s a curious denial, considering the NIH’s funding of such research has been thoroughly documented and can be easily double-checked.
When Paul asks Fauci if the NIAID funded Dr. Ralph Baric’s GOF research, Fauci claims Baric “does not do gain-of-function research, and if it is, it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina.” Paul shoots back, saying:
“You don’t think turning a bat virus spike protein, that he got from the Wuhan Institute into the SARS virus, is gain-of-function? You’d be in a minority, because at least 200 scientists have signed a statement from the Cambridge Working Group that it is gain-of-function.”
In the video above, Jimmy Dore reviews the apparent lies dished out by Fauci during the Senate hearing. In the Truth in Media report below, investigative journalist Ben Swann lays out some of the proof, showing Fauci’s dishonesty.
“What’s insane about this exchange is that Fauci is clearly and probably lying … to Congress, which is a crime … and he’s lying to the American public,” Swann says.
NIH/NIAID has funded gain-of-function research
As reported by Swann, the NIHwx/NIAID has funded GOF research to the tune of at least $41.7 million. Up until 2014, this research was conducted by Baric at the University of North Carolina (UNC). In 2014, the U.S. government issued a moratorium on federal gain-of-function research funding due to safety, ethical and moral concerns raised within the scientific community.
It was at this point, in 2014, that funding for GOF research started being funneled through the EcoHealth Alliance to the WIV. Swann reviews documents proving Fauci lied to Congress, including a paper titled “SARS-Like WIV1-CoV Poised for Human Emergence,” submitted to PNAS in 2015 and subsequently published in 2016. In this paper, the authors state that:
At the end of that paper, the authors thank “Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology for access to bat CoV sequences and plasmid of WIV1-CoV spike protein.” They also specify that the research was supported by the NIAID under the grant awards U19AI109761 and U19AI107810, which together total $41.7 million.“Overall, the results from these studies highlight the utility of a platform that leverages metagenomics findings and reverse genetics to identify prepandemic threats.
For SARS-like WIV1-CoV, the data can inform surveillance programs, improve diagnostic reagents and facilitate effective treatments to mitigate future emergence events. However, building new and chimeric reagents must be carefully weighed against potential gain-of-function (GOF) concerns.”
As noted by Swann, this paper clearly spells out that the NIAID spent $41.7 million on GOF research, with the aim of determining how bat coronaviruses can be made more pathogenic to humans, and that this research continued after the 2014 moratorium on such funding was implemented.
NIAID viewed Baric’s research as GOF
What’s more, a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services to the director of proposals at UNC Chapel Hill, discussing grant U19AI107810, also spells this out in black and white. The October 21, 2014, letter states, in part:
In other words, the NIAID authorized the continuation of what it admitted was gain-of-function research — simply because the grant had already been funded — and it did so after the ban on such funding was put into place.“NIAID has determined that the above referenced grant may include Gain of Function (GOF) research that is subject to the recently-announced U.S. Government funding pause … The following specific aims appear to involve research covered under the pause: Project 1: Role of Uncharacterized Genes in High Pathogenic Human Coronavirus Infect — Ralph S. Baric, Ph.D. — Project Leader.
Specific Aim 1. Novel Functions in virus replication in vitro. Specific Aim 3. Novel functions in virus pathogenesis in vivo … As your grant is currently funded, this pause is voluntary.”
NIAID authorized GOF research, bypassing review board
But that’s not all. After the moratorium was lifted in 2017, a special review board, the Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight (the P3CO Review Framework), was created within the DHHS to evaluate whether grants involving dangerous pathogens are worth the risks. The review board is also responsible for ensuring proper safeguards are in place for approved research.
According to Rutgers University professor Richard Ebright, an NIH grant for research involving the modification of bat coronaviruses at the WIV was sneaked through because the NIAID didn’t flag it for review. In other words, the WIV received federal funding from the NIAID without the research first receiving a green-light from the HHS review board.
The NIAID apparently used a convenient loophole in the review framework. As it turns out, it’s the funding agency’s responsibility to flag potential gain-of-function research for review. If it doesn’t, the review board has no knowledge of it.
According to Ebright, the NIAID and NIH have “systemically thwarted — indeed systematically nullified — the HHS P3CO Framework by declining to flag and forward proposals for review.”
NIAID is also committed to continued GOF research
Lastly, Fauci is also clearly committed to continuing GOF research, seeing how the NIAID, back in August 2020, announced a five-year, $82-million investment in a new global network of Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Again, while Fauci insists Baric is “not doing any kind of GOF research,” and “if he is,” then he’s doing it at UNC and not in China, the WIV’s web page clearly refutes this. GOF research was done at the WIV, in partnership with UNC researchers, of which Baric is a leading one.
The WIV’s deletions of American research partners from its website (with the exception of EcoHealth Alliance), and its deletion of the article discussing genetic research on the SARS virus raise a host of questions and appears to be yet another attempt at a cover-up. The surprising thing is that they’re now covering up American involvement and not just their own.
Chinese-American GOF research example
The WIV and the Wuhan University School of Public Health are both listed as subcontractors for EcoHealth Alliance under a $3.7-million NIH grant titled, “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”
The two institutions also worked as collaborators under another $2.6-million grant to research the “Risk of Viral Emergence from Bats,” and under EcoHealth Alliance’s largest single source of funding, a $44.2 million sub-grant from the University of California at Davis for the PREDICT project (2015-2020).
Part of the PREDICT grant went to funding GOF experiments by WIV scientist Zhengli and Baric with the UNC. In this experiment, Zhengli and Baric used genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create a “new bat SARS-like virus … that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans.” A request by Zhengli and Baric to continue their research during the moratorium on GOF was approved by the NIH. Daszak described Zhengli and Baric’s work in a 2019 interview:
The research was published in the journal Nature in 2015. As a condition of publication, Nature, like most scientific journals, requires authors to submit novel DNA and RNA sequences to GenBank, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information Database. Curiously, the new SARS-like virus Zhengli and Baric published in 2015 wasn’t deposited in GenBank until May 2020.“You can manipulate them [coronaviruses] in the lab pretty easily. Spike protein drives a lot of what happens with the coronavirus, zoonotic risk. So, you can get the sequence, you can build the protein, and we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this. Insert it into a backbone of another virus, and do some work in the lab.”
Fauci has accomplished great deal of harm
It remains to be seen whether Daszak is in fact being groomed as the fall guy in this saga. Clearly, he’s innocent in the lab origin cover-up. He somehow ended up on two separate commissions charged with investigating the origin of SARS-CoV-2 — one by the WHO and one by The Lancet — having already played a central role in the plot to obscure the lab origin of SARS-CoV-2 by crafting a scientific statement condemning such inquiries as “conspiracy theory.”
Letting Fauci off the hook is not an option, however. Like Daszak, Fauci has spent the last year denouncing the possibility that COVID-19 could be the result of a lab leak, all while knowing the kinds of research his agency funded there.
He’s been a longtime defender and promoter of GOF research on animal viruses in general, saying while he was working on GOF with bird-flu viruses such research is worth the risk because it allows scientists to prepare for pandemics. However, this kind of research clearly has not improved governments’ pandemic responses one whit.
In March, the Wuhan Institute of Virology deleted mentions of its collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, directed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. It also deleted descriptions of gain-of-function research on the SARS virus.