President Joe Biden supports gain-of-function research, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said during Monday’s White House press briefing.
“Gain of function” research involves creating a more dangerous strain of a disease by making it deadlier or more contagious for the purposes of obtaining a scientific benefit, according to the National Institutes for Health. Such research is used for the purposes of assessing potential biological warfare threats or for developing vaccines and other medical treatments, causing NIH to consider it dual-use technology. (RELATED: Why Aren’t We Talking More About China’s ‘Gain Of Function’ Coronavirus Research?)
“[President Biden] believes that it’s important to help prevent future pandemics, which means, he understands that there has to be legitimate scientific research into the sources or potential sources of pandemics so that we understand it, so that we can prevent them, we prevent them from happening, obviously, but he also believes in and this is why he wants the whole of government effort here to understand it, that that research has to be done must be done in a safe and secure manner, as and as transparent as possible to the rest of the world, so that so people know what’s going on. So, I think that’s a fancy way of saying yes.” Kirby said when asked by a reporter whether President Biden believed the rewards of such research “outweighed the risk.”
Republicans on the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) issued a report in October saying that the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic stemmed from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Dr. Anthony Fauci, who retired as chief medical adviser to President Biden in November, faced questions about the funding of so-called “gain of function” research at the WIV.
The State Department pressured Twitter to suppress discussion about the possibility that COVID-19 leaked from a lab, Matt Taibbi reported in January, citing documents released by the social media site after Tesla CEO Elon Musk completed the purchase. Documents showed that Twitter also suspended the account of a doctor for citing data on adverse reactions entered into the Department of Health and Human Services Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), according to Taibbi.
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