GOP Calls for Investigation of Fauci and His Resignation after NIH Admits Funding Gain-of-Function Research
Let’s take a moment to remember the journalists who deemed “gain of function” funding as “misinformation”
The National Institutes of Health has finally admitted to something many of us Legal Insurrection readers have known for some item.
In a stunning letter, the agency has owned up to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan lab — despite Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly insisting to Congress that no such thing happened.
In a letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, a top NIH official blamed EcoHealth Alliance — the New York City-based nonprofit that has funneled US funds to the Wuhan lab — for not being transparent about the work it was doing.
NIH’s principal deputy director, Lawrence A. Tabak, wrote in the letter that EcoHealth’s “limited experiment” tested whether “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”
The lab mice infected with the modified virus “became sicker” than those that were given the unmodified virus, according to Tabak.
“As sometimes occurs in science, this was an unexpected result of the research, as opposed to something that the researchers set out to do,” Tabak said.
I would argue that slapping together bits of virus parts designed to attach readily to human lungs onto pathogens known to cause respiratory disease would lead to a poor result. Clearly, I still practice traditional science, rather than the new science.
As a reminder, “gain-of-function research” is medical research that genetically alters an organism in a way that may enhance the specific biological functions. For example, altering the disease outcome, transmissibility, or the types of hosts that a microorganism can infect.
In response to this revelation, Republicans are now calling for an investigation and the resignation of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who denied the NIH as ever funding this research.
The controversial research involves artificially engineering an animal virus in a laboratory setting to further examine how it becomes more easily transmissible and deadly to humans – a measure that Fauci told lawmakers was not utilized by the NIH.
“For the past year and a half, critical decisions for the whole country have hinged off of Dr. Fauci’s advice and decrees. Two presidents have used his advice as the basis for our nation’s response to COVID-19,” California Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa said in a statement to Fox News Friday.
“Yet here we have incontrovertible proof that he has been intentionally lying to Congress,” he added. “Dr. Fauci must resign and should face prosecution for perjury.”
LaMalfa’s comments echo sentiments by at least 14 other House Republicans who called on Fauci to resign this summer following reports that the NIH funded controversial animal testing in foreign countries.
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty took to Twitter to voice his opposition and said, “He should resign immediately.”
Meanwhile, it might be a good time to take a trip down memory lane and recall all the media types who said that asserting there was “gain of function” funding was #FakeNews and “misinformation. Here are just a few, as a sample.
CNN’s Brianna Keilar, May 2021: “Nothing brings out Senator Paul’s propensity to act like an ass like a congressional appearance by Fauci, and that is really saying something. . . . Like Elvis’s Kentucky rain, Rand Paul’s COVID BS keeps pouring down, and it’s enough to fill the swimming pool in the Senate gym.”
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, May 2021: “We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but decided on Two, because there still are enough questions about the work at the Wuhan lab to warrant further scrutiny, even if the NIH connection to possible gain-of-function research appears so far to be elusive.” Kessler went on to allege that Paul, not Fauci, had created a “false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper, July 2021: “I want to start with another kind of misinformation, the constant MAGA media and Republican lawmakers’ attacks on health experts, especially Dr. Anthony Fauci. Today on Capitol Hill, Fauci was confronted with an accusation basically from Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul. . . . I don’t want to get into the details of what Senator Paul was attacking there and all that, but just the bigger picture here as a health professional we keep seeing this. Trump allies in Congress and governors’ offices and the media trying to make Fauci a COVID boogeyman. This is a 40-year public servant, he received the presidential medal of freedom . . .”
It will be interesting to see of Fauci makes the rounds on the news shows this weekend . . . and, if he does, whether he is asked about the NIH letter.DONATE
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