It’s the moment at least half the country has been waiting for. This week, we’ll finally get our first Congressional hearing on the government’s support for “gain-of-function” research in China and any relation it might have to the origins of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, August 3rd, Senator Rand Paul, who is the Ranking Member of the HSGAC Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, will lead the investigation. The hearing will specifically focus on “gain-of-function” research.
According to the National Library of Medicine, gain-of-function research is research that “involves experimentation that aims or is expected to (and/or, perhaps, actually does) increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens,” with the ultimate goal being to “better inform public health and preparedness efforts and/or development of medical countermeasures.”
“On Aug. 3, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will once again try to determine the origins of COVID-19.” https://t.co/sVJyRSYdsk
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 1, 2022
Paul’s office says in the hearing, “medical and scientific professionals will inform and educate lawmakers and the public on the myriad issues involving the risky, virus-enhancing research that is funded by taxpayer money.”
There’s no question that American taxpayers have funded this type of research in the past. But critical examination of these practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic has been harshly discouraged by mainstream media and establishment figureheads.
People were even censored on social media platforms for even proposing the (quite legitimate) theory that the coronavirus may have been accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab where it was being studied.
Why this was ever such an outlandish thing to suggest? Well, the government (multiple governments at that) potentially had something to lose if it were true.
During another hearing led by Senator Paul last May, this attempt to avoid scrutiny was on full display as he questioned the government’s top COVID official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and met tremendous backlash. Ultimately, documents reported by The Intercept reveal that the US government had funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Lab, specifically through Fauci’s agency.
“To arrive at the truth, the US government should admit that the Wuhan Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’s ability to infect humans,” Paul said then.
He went on to point out a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where Fauci works, to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) through a third party called EcoHealth Alliance. Shortly thereafter, the mainstream media began to quietly change its tune and edit old articles as the evidence mounted.
Yet it didn’t stop there.
In a letter to Congress, Fauci had previously denied that the NIH directly funded the research at a lab in Wuhan, China, prompting Senator Paul to assert he had lied to Congress at another hearing in July of 2021. To excuse his actions, Fauci then attempted to cling to technicalities and shift the definition of “gain-of-function” research—a popular tactic of the Biden administration when caught with egg on their face.
But by now Senator Paul was beginning to get some assistance.
Freedom of Information Act requests filed by an animal-welfare group called the White Coat Waste Project (where I am a fellow) revealed that the NIH had used millions of taxpayer dollars on cruel animal experiments that included gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Lab. Their reporting actually found that staffers within Fauci’s agency raised concerns over these practices all the way back in 2016.
This is significant as, at the time, the US government actually had a moratorium on these practices. Under former President Barack Obama, a halt was placed on this kind of testing so that a risk assessment could be carried out. Formally, such testing did not resume until 2017 after a special committee review process was established to help “manage” these risks… but it seems there may have been foul play beneath the surface.
Senator @RandPaul asks @NIH some worthy questions about its #FOIA failings, and whether NIH is “improperly withholding information from the public related to Covid-19”. https://t.co/GhLKZcNYMz
We have had lots of troubles with NIH over #FOIA. See: https://t.co/rWZMrOcyFl
— Gary Ruskin (@garyruskin) July 27, 2022
“EcoHealth…sampled wildlife in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar…samples were tested by #WuhanLab, according to docs obtained via #FOIA by animal rights group WCW.” https://t.co/TGM2hmd715#LabLeak #OriginOfCovid via @emilyakopp @USRightToKnow
— White Coat Waste Project 🥼🗑️ (@WhiteCoatWaste) July 28, 2022
Millions of people dead. Billions of resources wasted. And the global economy is in shambles.
Americans, and the world moreover, deserve answers on the causes of this horrific event and those responsible for it. If our government officials did indeed fund this virus, they should be held responsible and protocols must be put in place to ensure such a catastrophe never befalls us again.
On Wednesday, we will be watching.
Disclaimer: Hannah is a fellow for the White Coat Waste Project.
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