Are US virologists aiding China’s Dr. Frankensteins?
WASHINGTON. Dr. Anthony Fauci looked a little nervous when GOP Sen. Rand Paul asked him about practice in medical research called “gain-of-function.” Gain-of-function is a method employed by virologists to alter animal pathogens to become easily transmissible to humans. The highly dangerous and controversial practice of gain-of-function is supposed to help scientists develop treatments and or vaccines to combat highly infectious diseases that may appear on the horizon.
Before leaving office, President Trump and members of his administration stated publicly that Covid-19 appeared to have been engineered in a Chinese lab, likely the Wuhan Virology Institute. Wuhan is the city in China where the first coronavirus patients presented symptoms. It’s been reported the three patients in question worked at the Wuhan Virology Institute. In response, Trump ended US government funding of joint virology research between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Wuhan Virology Institute.
At the time of President Trump’s announcement, many in the scientific community and the mainstream media dismissed the claim as a “conspiracy theory.” The term, as we now know, is meant to end all debate on a particular subject, whether it be a Russian dossier, election fraud, or the origins of a killer pandemic.
But the gain-of-function topic took center stage earlier this month during hearings before the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. And it was GOP Senator Rand Paul who pushed the issue:
Sen. Paul: “Juicing up super-viruses is not new. Scientists in the US have long known how to mutate animal viruses to infect humans. For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the US, has been collaborating with Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi, of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super-viruses.
“This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH. The collaboration between the US and the Wuhan Virology Institute continues. Dr. Baric and Shi worked together to insert bat virus spike proteins into the backbone of the deadly SARS virus. And then, used this manmade super-virus to infect human airway cells. Think about that for a moment. The SARS had a 15 percent mortality [rate]. We’re fighting a pandemic that has about a one percent mortality [rate]. Can you imagine if a SARS virus that’s been juiced up and had viral proteins added to it… if that was released accidentally?
“Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”
Fauci was adamant.
Dr. Fauci: “Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the… NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
But the guardians of truth, the folks at FactCheck.org, say questions over the coronavirus origins have “a lot of unknowns, speculation, and differences of opinion on these topics.”
They add that Dr. Stanley Perlman, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa, insists Fauci’s response in the May 11 exchange with Sen. Paul…
… was correct — that no money was given for gain-of-function research. But, he added, there’s a scientific discussion to be had on the benefits and risks of research making recombinant viruses, which involves rearranging or combining genetic material. The politicization of the issue, Perlman said, ‘doesn’t do anybody good.’”
That sounds a lot like a non-denial denial. Moreover, the “politicization” of the gain-of-function issue might just be what the doctor ordered. US virologists aiding Chinese researchers in the development of lethal and highly contagious pathogens do, pardon the pun, infect the realm of politics. Especially with 587,830 Americans died from the virus thus far.
And notice Dr. Perlman seems to lament possible legal restraints on the ability of scientists, ala Dr. Frankenstein, to create monsters in their hidden laboratories.
On Wednesday, meanwhile, Faux President Joe Biden said he’s “asked the intelligence community to redouble their efforts to analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” regarding the virus’s origin. He’s given Deep State agencies 90 days to offer their report.
But the truth, like a manmade pathogen, is not easily contained. And it appears the White House pretender wants to get out in front of its release.
Beyond the virus’s point of origin, there’s another question that needs answering: At a time when US intellectual property and university research are targets of Chinese pilfering, why would the US willingly fund joint scientific investigations that aid a barbaric, totalitarian regime in its engineering pandemic-causing pathogens?
According to a Daily Caller article, Newsweek magazine’s very own “fact-checkers” say that claiming a lifting of restrictions on NIH grants to US medical organizations working with the Wuhan Virology Institute is false.
In light of the media’s calling all discussions of Covid-19’s manmade origins a “conspiracy theory” – not to mention Big Tech’s censorship of the claims via social media – should deepen the distrust in many quarters of the mainstream media’s impartiality and credibility as a “fact-checker.”
Going forward, all such media and scientific denunciations should alert us that a frightening, uncomfortable truth exists. Like a lumbering monster escaped from a laboratory and lurking in the dark forest. And like the townspeople in a 1930s Frankenstein movie, it may be time for US lawmakers to break out the torches and pitchforks.
About the Author:
Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area, and now resides in South Florida. A cigar and bourbon aficionado, Steven is a political staff writer for Communities Digital News and an incredibly talented artist.
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