As we previewed at BASEDPolitics, Senator Rand Paul held a bombshell congressional hearing on Wednesday investigating the US government’s support for “gain-of-function” research and the origins of COVID-19.
The hearing presented testimony from a number of experts who were there to speak to the definition of the term “gain-of-function” research, which the National Library of Medicine defines as research that “involves experimentation that aims or is expected to (and/or, perhaps, actually does) increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens.”
They also analyzed the extent to which our government agencies have undertaken or subsidized gain-of-function research, and whether it occurred in the now-infamous Wuhan, China lab where many believed the coronavirus leaked from.
Why was all this necessary?
In short, because government officials be lying. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has acted as the US government’s top brass on the topic, previously insisted we were not funding this risky kind of research in the Wuhan lab. And after a prior spat with Paul, the National Institutes of Health attempted to edit its own definition of the term “gain-of-function” a few months ago.
To be clear, documents obtained by the White Coat Waste Project, where I am a fellow, and a money trail that goes directly from the NIH to EcoHealth Alliance to the Wuhan lab all conclusively show that we were very much funding this practice in this lab. But since the Biden administration is (per usual) trying to redefine words, Paul decided to set the record straight.
Paul opened the hearing by saying, “gain of function research is a controversial scientific research method…Today we will discuss what gain of function research entails, how gain of function research is defined, and whether the definition of gain of function research is applied consistently.”
“I maintain that the techniques the NIH funded in Wuhan create enhanced pathogens that may have, or could have, been used to create COVID-19. The American people deserve to know how this pandemic started, and to know if the NIH funded research that caused this pandemic” Paul continued.
So, what did the expert witnesses have to say?
Two of the three adamantly agreed that the original definition of gain-of-function research, which Paul has consistently employed, is the correct one and that it is absolutely what we were funding in the Wuhan Lab. The third (who was really there more as an expert on national security) said it was “dangerous research” and should have gone before a committee.
One of the expert witnesses at the hearing was Dr. Richard Ebright, laboratory director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University. During his remarks he said, “The statements made on repeated occasions to the public, the press, and to policymakers by the NIAID director, Dr. Fauci, have been untruthful.”
Senator Josh Hawley asked Ebright about another statement from him that said Fauci had been “untruthful” in his claim that the NIH did not fund gain-of-function research. Ebright replied, “I stand by my statement.”
Another expert, Dr. Steven Quay, CEO of Atossa Therapeutics Inc., rebuked the official Chinese narrative that the coronavirus came from a wet market in Wuhan.
“There is no dispositive evidence the pandemic began as a spillover of a natural virus in a market,” he said. “All evidence is consistent with a laboratory-acquired infection.”
Quay also told the committee, “The virus has three genomic regions that have the signature of synthetic biology—that is, gain-of-function research… One region has features of the two types of forbidden gain-of-function research that are associated with bioweapons development: asymptomatic transmission and immune-system evasion.”
The third witness, Kevin Esvelt, an assistant professor of media arts and sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, urged Congress to see gain-of-function research as a national security threat. He stated, “from a security perspective…thousands of researchers could gain access to a novel, pandemic agent as soon as it was identified as such.”
These are significant findings. As Rand Paul later told Fox News, “We learned that Dr. Fauci has been lying to us.”
The American people absolutely deserve to know not only if we funded dangerous research related to the coronavirus, but also if we are still funding practices that make us unsafe.
Thank God Senator Paul, for one, is going to keep demanding answers.